Teen Point of View

Honour killing — an insult to freedom of choice?

AUGUST 2018 TOPIC: Honour killing is an insult to freedom of choice. Comment.

Honour killing, also known as ‘shame killing’, is a heinous crime which is done for so-called ‘honour’. It is a kind of death awarded to a person, especially woman, of the family who is said to have brought dishonour to his/her family. Is honour more prestigious than a precious life? This type of cold-blooded murder is an extreme and brutal abuse of human rights. It severely violates the right to choice of an individual, especially of the young generation. Aren’t individuals free to cross the boundaries of caste, creed and religion in them for the so-called ‘honour’? According to a report in The Times of India, ‘honour killing’ is a global phenomenon and there are hundreds of deaths due to ‘honour killing’ every year. It is highly shameful and horrifying for a civilized society. Is there ‘honour’ in killing?
Tridib Das (14)
Don Bosco High School, Jorhat

Honour killing is the most gruesome way of killing the Freedom of Choice. For years we have seen families setting up the marriages of their children but when these children go “out of the way” and choose their life-partners from other castes, religions, colour or nationalities there is great anger and outrage. Many people think that it is the equivalent of losing their respect and status in society to have their children married to someone else other than their own choice. So to restore such honour they go to any limits which include murder of the opposite person or even their own child! Honour killing is not just silencing people but also a heinous crime which should be stopped; otherwise, the Freedom of Choice will only remain as a Right in our Constitution and never acted upon.
Senjuti Saibal Bhattacharya (17)
Kamothe, Navi Mumbai

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution provides for right to life and personal liberty but social evils like honour killing still flourish taking away the essence of such legal provisions. The fundamental rights are bestowed upon every individual by birth and are inalienable, then why do khap dictators prefer the murder of women by their own family members to justify it as retribution for the family’s honour? Even the so-called family does not use their rationale to justify their acts. However, Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code charges a person guilty of murder with life imprisonment or death and fine; and Section 107-116 for abetment of offences including murder and culpable homicide. But, no special act or law exists to curb such a misogynistic practice. Crimes against women have increased immensely and it is high time that the legislators make new laws to uplift the position of women in the country. But first, the people must educate themselves of the aftermaths of such actions.
Pahul Sond (19)
Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore

In a country like India, there are many cases of honour killing. When a member of the family has “dishonoured” the family by having an affair with, or married, somebody outside the caste and has been killed by his or her relatives, it is honour killing. This is wrong! Our choices should not be controlled by someone else. Honour killing is an insult to our freedom of choice. If this is what is happening what is the use of human rights? In the end it is our life what we want to choose, whom we want to spend our life with. That is why I believe that honour killing is an insult to freedom of choice.
Jessica Pereira (15)

The freedom of choice and the freedom of privacy are guaranteed by our constitution; still some people refuse to believe this in our democratic country. The addition of the word “honour” sort of justifies this odious crime. “Femicide” is a more suitable word because women are being punished as they seek to be free and challenge patriarchy. Honour killings are a serious barrier to a country’s progress and to its democratic nature. Awareness amongst people is a must. All mediums should be used to stop this horrid practice.
Gurleen Kaur Chona (20)
Mount Abu, Rajasthan

It is hard to sum up the squalidity of honour killing in a few words. A girl was murdered by her parents just because she dared to love a guy who did not belong to her caste or community. Kinsfolk are expected to be saviours, but what does one do when her saviour becomes her slaughterer? These kinds of crimes are gut-wrenching and condemnable. Honour killing is a huge disgrace to freedom of choice and it is tarnishing our society. We need some strict laws to prevent this abominable crime.
Sweta Raj Singh (19)
Patna, Bihar

India’s best-kept secret is honour killing. This heinous practice is entrenched in Indian culture, of which some ignorant citizens are so genuinely proud. Forced and underage marriages should not be recognized as marriage at all. No personal law should be above personal freedom of Indian citizens. The Government should send out a message to the public that in the name religion or tradition, they cannot take the law in their own hands and kill two adults who decide to marry. No religion, caste or tradition is more sacred than a human life. And honour killing is most definitely an insult to freedom of choice.
Sukanya Basu Mallik (19)
Techno India College

The profuse caste and religious sensitivities along with the dominance of khap panchayats have led to an explosion in the number of honour killings. Honour killing is an attack on the autonomy of an adult. It is a subversion of the freedom of women to take charge of their decisions. It is also a question mark on the choice of the modern generation to break artificial societal barriers and usher in a classless, casteless nation. The Supreme Court has deplored honour killings. It has mandated shelter homes for inter-faith couples. It has given the police directions to prevent unlawful intimidations to such couples. India must rise to the characteristics of modernity and let love remain a private affair.
Shailja Pandey

Honour killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against victims who are believed to have brought dishonour and violated the principles of a community or a religion. There’s no honour in killing which is itself an act of barbarism. ‘Honour’ is just to glorify and defend the crime. “Patriarchal crimes against autonomy” is more applicable to reflect the character of such violence. Nowadays people have to carefully fall in love, researching about a person’s caste, religion rather than their attributes, otherwise they’ll be strangled to death. Freedom of choice is the ability to pursue our own happiness, to make choices for ourselves. An individual is the entity with the greatest stake in his/her own welfare. They are the persons best placed to decide what is best for themselves. Honour killing is an insult to the whole idea of human rights.
Seena Basu (20)
Asutosh College, Kolkata

The Supreme Court, in its recent verdict, has upheld the rights of an individual to marry and love, and honour killing is to be treated as a killing of consent and choice of an individual. A person, after a certain age, has all to manifest his/her rights and consent towards their life choices. When an individual can be asked to fulfil his duties and responsibilities, then the person should also have the right to his/her consent and freedom of choice, which is a fundamental right as mentioned in the Indian Constitution. These are mere killings or merciless crimes that have been born out of nowhere-existing orthodox traditions and rituals that have made even loving someone a criminal offence. So, pledge to eradicate such practice of crimes .
Sneha Agarwal (21)
School of Engineering and Technology, MUST

Yes, indeed honour killing is an insult to freedom of choice. There is no ‘honour’ in honour killing. In fact, it is disgraceful to know that even though in today’s world honour killing is illegal it is still practised. Each and every person has a right to live according to his or her own wishes. After attaining the ages of 18 and 20, the families of girls and boys have no right to force them into a decision they are unwilling to make. In my opinion the people involved in honour killing should be treated as criminals. Now, only one question strikes our minds, is society more important to the parents than their children?
Rhea Popli
St Francis De Sales School, Janakpuri, New Delhi

Honour killing, no doubt, is an insult to freedom of choice. Is choosing your own life-partner such a huge crime that it needs violation of law in the name of this malpractice of honour killing? We live in the 21st century; it’s been 71 years since independence and people still are so narrow-minded! Does an arranged marriage mean a warranty card? Does it guarantee a safe and sound future? Is my life my own or do I have to live by society’s recipe?
Riya Lalwani (18)
Ajmer, Rajasthan

In a democracy like India, where everyone is entitled to their own opinion and have their own belief system, honour killing is a disgusting way that takes away a person’s freedom and, of course, life itself. It is indeed a monstrous thing which wages war with one’s freedom of choice.
Suhaina Javid (18)
B.S. Abdur Rehman Institute Of Science And Technology, Chennai