Kill to Honor the caste system
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Roshini Devi remained remorseless in accepting the fact that she and her family killed their daughter Sunita, a divorcee living with her lover Jasbir against the wishes of their family in particular and society in general, in Karnal district of Haryana state. Jasbir’s mother though felt grave loss of her son yet had to succumb to the social pressure in pretending as if she was happy with the way her son and his lover met their end.
Honored killing may not be in the official dictionary of
A few days back, the caste Panchayat sat in karnal and forced Jasbir’s parents to withdraw the case against the girl’s parents. These caste Panchayats are rampant in
About a fortnight ago we heard the killing of a boy who happened to be a Muslim and fell in love with a girl who was daughter of a local political leader of the Hindutva brigade in
The political parties and societies at large in
How can the writ of constitution run large in society where religion is being marketed not by the political parties but by the big corporations also to boost their sale? The film stars make good film but end up in globalizing the tainted Indian belief system. Irony is that there is no movement against the atrocious value system and even the so-called civil society harp on our great past and cultural legacy.
Our histories as well as mythologies are full of so-called illicit relationships. There were multiple queens and concubines and all these things were considered as usual and ‘leelas’ as justification. While the case of Rakshasas, these things were shown as bad but for the ‘gods’ they were ‘leelas’, or what I would call ‘theatre of absurd’. These absurdities are part of our value system and we continue to eulogize them. Rules are different for different people based on their castes.
This consciousness related to colour, caste, region and religion has created an ugly situation in
In the Bhadohi town of
The Indian police and
In the west, honored killing is basically linked to the Islamic world but the thing is that we are no better in
We continue to live in clan and identities. These identities are basically male dominance cultural values in our society. It helps the Parochial values of a period when women were kept in Hamams, as well as where the kings, Zamindars and others were keeping women of their choice. It is a culture we appreciate. Today, when these things are being questioned and people are marrying out of their choices, the biggest mental block comes from a false notion of superiority. That is why these honored killing. People talk of social backwardness, education and economic upliftment but caste can not be eliminated by these factors alone unless we are interested in it. The report from
Honored killing is not a ‘problem’ in India as those who are supposed to raise the issue in the human rights forum, in their own caste forums, in their communities, fear that it would open floodgates for ‘liberation’ and it is this fear of liberation of women, particularly her right to chose her partner, that would threaten our family values and structure. We are worried that if we are unable to ‘honor’ our family values, our system will crack. Therefore, even the activists fail to come forward to take on this honor but if we fail to respond to this urgent call, I am afraid, it will be too late.
But who will initiate the process? Once we fight against honored killing which are actually racial in nature as it is caste based violence, the forces of the status quo will be in action. Today, the priest is not speaking Sankrit but he is anglicized with a computer. Already, you have seen preachers entering; there are classes for girls, as how to be good ‘wives’, daughter in laws and mother. They are making huge money and people are put into caste structures. The newspaper industry will die, the fraudulent preachers will lose their jobs, the priests and all other will die with out funds if our boys and girls chose their own partners and live happily. Yes honored marriages have the potential to make many workless but definitely they will revive our love and give honor to individual. Nothing is happier and satisfying than human freedom. The so-called freedom from the British was a political battle that many feel we won, but we have not yet won our battle for individual freedom and their right to choose their faith as well as their partners.