Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Jul 11, 2010
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



Front Page
News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

Front Page Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Over 1,000 ‘honour killings' take place every year: report

J. Venkatesan


“A regular occurrence in Punjab, Haryana, western U.P.”

Forced marriages and ‘honour killings' often intertwined


New Delhi: Even as the Cabinet has referred the issue of enacting a special law to deal with ‘honour killings' to a Group of Ministers, a report prepared by two legal experts specialising in child custody, marriage and adoption issues gives the shocking information that more than 1,000 young people in India are being killed every year due to this menace linked to forced marriages.

According to the Chandigarh-based lawyers, Anil Malhotra and his brother Ranjit Malhotra, honour killings happen with regularity in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh and most of them are not reported for fear of ostracism.

“They happen not only within the Muslim community but also among Sikhs and Hindus. Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh account for about 900 ‘honour killings' and another 100 to 300 occur in the rest of the country.”

The report says: “Forced marriages and ‘honour killings' are often intertwined. Marriage can be forced to save honour.” A woman can be murdered for rejecting a forced marriage and marrying a partner of her own choice who is not acceptable to her family. In traditional societies, ‘honour killings' are basically ‘justified' as a sanction for ‘dishonourable' behaviour.

“Be it forced marriages or ‘honour killings,' the social dimensions and implications are the same. Forced and early marriages entrap women and young girls in relationships that deprive them of their basic human rights. Forced marriage constitutes a human rights violation in itself.

“Several reasons lead to the high frequency of forced marriages: Traditions prescribe that it is the parents who are responsible for the marriage of their children. Accepting the free choice of young men and women of their life partner is still an exception and not the rule. Parents are generally believed to have a better knowledge of what is good for their children, which is why the practice of arranged marriages is still prevalent throughout the country, whether in educated or non-educated layers of society. Marriage is not considered to be an individual affair, but a family affair; a union of families rather than of individuals. However, the step from an arranged marriage to a forced marriage is only a small one; the borders between the two forms are overlapping. Consent to a marriage was in older times not regarded as necessary and is still not a condition precedent to a valid marriage.”

Referring to the Centre's proposal to amend the Indian Penal Code to define the act of ‘honour killing,' the report underlines the need for stringent legislation to deal firmly with the heinous crime. “The aim is to provide for deterrent punishment for caste and community panchayats which should be booked for aiding and abetting in such killings and as accomplices to the murder.”

The report was presented recently at a conference in London attended by international family law experts. It pointed out that U.K. had made forced marriages a civil liability under The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act, 2007.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Front Page

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

FIFA World Cup Chandraayan I


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2010, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu