Honor killing or Honour killing
An honor killing or honour killing (also called a customary killing) is the murder of a (typically female) family or clan member by one or more fellow (mostly male) family members, in which the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community. The perceived dishonor is normally the result of the following behaviors, or the suspicion of such behaviors: (a) utilizing dress codes unacceptable to the family/community, (b) wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage or desiring to marry by own choice, or (c) engaging in certain sexual acts, including those with the opposite or same sex. Such killings or attempted killings result from the perception that the defense of honor justifies killing a person whose behavior dishonors their own clan or family. Honour killing is more prevalent where a member of a lower class (wrt., social status or wealth status) marries a person of relatively higher class (high social or wealth status). The United Nations Population Fund ((UNFPA)) estimates that the annual worldwide total of honor-killing victims may be as high as 5,000.
Honor killings and punishments have been documented over centuries among a wide variety of ethnic and religious groups throughout the world. For example, theCode of Hammurabi of Babylon which was issued in 1790 BC penalized adulterous couples by drowning. The 1075 BC Assyrian law of the civilization of Mesopotamia stated that the father of a defiled virgin shall punish his daughter however he saw fit. In the Bible, the Book of Genesis (38:24), Judah demanded for the burning of his daughter-in-law Tamar, whom he was told to be pregnant via harlotry; this view is then supported in Book of Leviticus (21:9). Matthew Goldstein also noted that honor killings are encouraged in ancient Rome, where male family members who did not take actions against the female adulterers in their family were 'actively persecuted'.
People are sometimes murdered in Northern India (mainly in the Indian state of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar for marrying without their family's acceptance, in some cases for marrying outside their caste (Jat or Rajput) or religion. Among Rajputs, marriages with other caste male/female instigates killings of the married couple and family. This is unique form of honor killing related to the militant culture of ethnic Rajputs, who, despite the forces of modernization and the pressures of decolonization, subscribe to medieval views concerning the "preservation" of perceived "purity" of their lineage.
In Punjab also there are many honor killing incidents.
In Haryana, for example, a couple of such incidents still occur every year Bhagalpur in the northern Indian state of Bihar has also been notorious for honor killings. Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur who was set on fire inside her house in a case of what the police called ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before neighbours arrived, only to find her still smoldering. She was admitted to a local hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. In another case in May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her in the head with an axe.. In june 2010 some incidents were reported even from Delhi.
In a landmark judgment, in March 2010, Karnal district court ordered the execution of the five perpetrators in an honour killing case, while giving a life sentence to the khap (local caste-based council) head who ordered the killings of Manoj Banwala (23) and Babli (19), two members of the same clan who eloped and married in June 2007. Despite being given police protection on court orders, they were kidnapped; their mutilated bodies were found a week later from an irrigation canal.
Honor killings are rare to non-existent in South India, and the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. There have been no honor killings in West Bengal in over 100 years, thanks to the influence and activism of reformists like Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy
In 1990, the National Commission for Women set up a statutory body in order to address the issues of honor killings among some ethnic groups in North India. This body reviewed constitutional, legaland other provisions as well as challenges women face. The NCW's activism has contributed significantly towards the reduction of honor killings in rural areas of North India. According to Pakistani activists Hina Jilani and Eman M. Ahmed, Indian women are considerably better protected against honor killings by Indian law and government than Pakistani women, and they have suggested that governments of countries affected by honor killings use Indian law as a model in order to prevent honor killings in their respective societies. In June 2010, scrutinizing the increasing number of honour killings, the Supreme Court of India issued notices to the Central Government and six states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana andRajasthan, to take preventive measures against the social evil
Alarmed by the rise of honour killings,Government is planning to bring a bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament next month (July 2010) to provide for deterrent punishment for 'honour' killings .
The so-called "honour killings" are murders by families on family members who are believed to have brought "shame" on the family name.
The apparent "shame" could be caused by a victim refusing to enter into an arranged marriage or for having a relationship that the family considers to be inappropriate.
Some victims are driven to suicide from the pressure of their families.
Alternate Spellings: Honor killing