Friday, July 9

A mindset change to stop honor killings

"As India tries to fly high with its nuclear deals, claims to an UNSC permanent seat, ~8% growth rate, a sense of moral uprightness in dealing with Pakistan, condemning human rights abuses across the globe etc. such disgraceful events will only deal a blow to its international image. ‘Honor killings’ are murders, human right abuses, atrocities against women, denial of individual’s freedom of choice, and a display of the failure of the law and order situation in the country. India cannot claim to be a democracy, one of the biggest at that, if it cannot guarantee its citizen their fundamental rights to live on their own terms..."

My latest post on honor killings at the FPA India blog.


a Sane man said...

It would be thoroughly insensitive not to be upset by such incidents. Their occurrence, however, is not surprising, though shocking, given that they are not new and unheard of. One considers it as an issue of law and order, and improvises to find or create solutions under IPC only when you have such incidents of ultimate gravity concerning loss of human life. It then becomes an issue that the government of the day should be blamed for not being able to protect individual's fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution of the republic state. The question to be asked here is that have the same people accepted the legal institutions established by the very constitution? The wider issue is why have people still belief, faith and adherence to such Khap or any other caste courts (jaat panchayat), which are extra-constitutional? The crux of the matter lies in acceptance of caste as one's supreme identity. This is an identity, which the so called modern India that turns to constitutional institutions for justice has still not given up. When there is acceptance of such panchayats across the board and among people, it would be stupid to just consider it an issue to be handled using IPC and vaguely saying that people should be educated. The political calculations are shameful, but one cannot deny or disregard the role such panchayats play among people in terms of being an accepted institution.

To me, it is an issue of efficient functioning of state at the local level through strengthened decentralized, self-ruled, panchayat raj; and people's acceptance of superiority of constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights over the discriminating and inhuman ethos that believe in supremacy of caste, religion, region, gender, etc.

I think your article was very IPC-centric, and vague about awareness among people and the role of government. It did not challenge the parochial beliefs and norms as they should be.

Manasi said...

Thanks Nimish. I agree I could have been more specific with my policy recommendations and questioning of beliefs.

I believe that efficient implementation of the IPC can make a significant difference to such incidents. People who follow the laws of such courts/panchayats view them as entities beyond the scope of the IPC. This is because the law of the land has been hesitant in catching up with the panchyats. Ensuring that such courts do not exists, that they understand that they are not above the law, that their decisions can be punished by the IPC will reduce the hold and fear they generate. Sarkar pan tyancha kahi karu shakat nahi he joparyanta sampat nahi toparyanta tyanchi satta kayam rahanar. Ani hi satta ghalavayala IPC ani sarkari vruttit badal hya sarvat mahatvachya goshti ahet. Beliefs na tar challenge kelach pahije, pan je shastra hatat ahe te apan ka vaparat nahi ahot he majhykarata koda ahe.

a Sane man said...

That's quite reasonable approach, but I wish if you could write more concretely about policy steps. Thanks!