Khaps are meant to solve disputes and not sanction, legitimise cold blooded murders. There is not a single law or practice in this world, which can approve killing of innocent people whose only crime is to follow their free-will. This makes these people i.e. so called protectors of the ethos and customs no better than the dreaded Taliban. Instead of brick-bats, the guilty are considered courageous and brave to have defended the so called pride and honour of the village clan. One would think there is no glory in murder but it seems upholding a family’s so called honour is “honourable” and “heroic”.
Apparently, it may be projected as an act carried out against those who dare to defy and marry within the same sub-caste/ gotra (different religion, same-village) but when we dig deeper that isn’t the case to be, and the victims are usually those who have dared to go against the wishes of their family. Police protection, which many such couples seek is usually of no use.
If people think it is only the dhoti-clad brigade who is guilty of this ill being rampant in our society, think again, as even well-educated people are an equal party and culpable to the shameful phenomenon of honour-killings. A Delhi couple who murdered their 19-year-old daughter and her fiancé said, “They had been left with no alternative. Their daughter’s deed frustrated them and belittled them in the eyes of society, and they didn’t regret killing the couple.”
Killing one’s own kin, blood, to be murdered by someone who is supposed to love, cherish and protect you..just because you dared to commit a natural act of falling in love with someone whom your family didn’t approve of, is just plain despicable.
It seems people’s approval, loss of respect and status in the eyes of society is more important than happiness of the loved ones. It does present a very dismal picture of our society and its “eminence” is to be perceived as the one being in control of their family and its actions.
A huge politically powerful section of Jats from Haryana threatened our Parliamentarians to modify the Hindu Marriage Act to ban same-gotra and same-village marriages or suffer consequences and sadly MP’s like Naveen Jindal fearing loss of political base and their powerful backing supported this. It seems that that human life is trivial and expendable, but vote bank is more important. Education only camouflages a medieval dark-age attitude.
Upholding a centuries old tradition is not honourable. Wasn’t sati a tradition too? When to prevent sati and dowry, there are stringent laws in place to deal with them, why not for Honour Killing? The Government is planning to bring a bill for this purpose but whether it is passed or not is the big question because a lot of our political leaders have proved that they are unable to rise above their own self-vested interests of maintaining their vote-banks and not rocking the boat and supporting something like this, which means they lose their shine in the eyes of the powerful khaps.