Both Honor Killing and Domestic Violence are related to family or its members… Both are caused within the boundary of a family and by one or more of the family members.
Let’s talk about domestic violence first…
I won’t forget the evening when I was very angry. My anger reached to the highest level and I was simply out of my mind. I was beating the wall and the air in anger almost hurting myself because there were some arguments which made me angry on my family members. My poor wife wanted to stop me from hurting myself who came in front of my raging fist and hurt herself badly. Her thumb broke as she wanted to hold my hands. Even we don’t remember whether it was because of my fist or the wall or the bed which her thumb came across when it broke… That is immaterial…
It was accident…not at all intentional… BUT I REGRET IT!
My anger could have caused her even greater loss than what she had suffered or still suffering… I am not defending myself or acknowledging my mistakes here but want to a family member’s anger leads to domestic violence… Anger is the emotion which leads to such deadly acts inside the cosy environment of a family.
I had a talk with Kuljeet regarding this issue and her view was as under:
Firstly, Upbringing of the husband plays a big role… He has been taught that he is superior, he needs to control his wife and even if he is a nothing in the outside world he becomes the supreme king in his house by suppressing the easiest target in the house – his wife.
Secondly, the upbringing of the woman who is taught right from childhood to adjust and not come crying back to her parents after marriage even in houses like yours and mine if a woman complains about anything on her sasural (in laws house) the first things parents would say that you need to compromise a little, initial hiccups will come, come to us only when u think the problem is too huge..
I have been teaching history to my sons and together we have covered quite a few civilisations. Do you know what is common among them? My son jokes that for all the civilisations the answer to the question “What was the status of women in xyz civilisation?” we can safely write a few points like it was a patriarchal society, the women were considered inferior or the women were not allowed to own property, study, cast vote or take part in government decisions or read religious scriptures. And to my surprise he was right with the exception of only handful like early Vedic period the position of women was always inferior to men. This is what we are teaching our children today also.
The cases of domestic violence reported daily is a proof that the mind-set of male superiority is still prevalent.
And mind you the so called class and money and education has not improved the mentality of the people. Just google and see celebrities like Actress Rati Agnihotri, Miss World Yukta Mookhey, TV actress Sweta Tiwari, Bollywood actress Zeenat Aman, etc etc, women who have earned a name for themselves in the world have faced domestic violence at home.
Sadly the women in our Indian society have been taught to adjust to the environment of their marital house and not complain. This leads to the cases of domestic violence not being reported or reported very late, after undergoing years of torture. These women start believing that they deserve such treatment because of something they have done or could not do. They keep trying to please their tormentor thinking that things will improve. But alas this gives the husband (the tormentor) more power over them.
There are many a tell-tale signs of domestic abuse. We in the society tend to ignore it saying that it’s their ‘Ghar ka mamla’ or domestic matter. We should stop this attitude. If you see a victim of domestic violence, help her gather the strength to report it.
So controlling natural emotions and changing certain mediocre mindsets can really help getting rid of domestic violence to a greater extent.
Now talking about honor killing I had a talk with Kalpana who gave me her thoughts which was quite interesting about the so called honor of the family. Let’s read her thoughts as under:
A girl complaining to her mother about a guy stalking her. The instant reaction is to hush her down saying don’t let this spread around saying “aakhir parivaar ki izzat ka sawaal hai” (it’s a question of family honour), and the reaction remains same even in the heinous crime committed without her will. The worst thing is when people try to find faults in the lady’s character. Questions like what she was doing there at that hour of the day, why she trusted the person, why she dressed like that which provoked him and why only she was attacked among so many, it must be her fault only.
Terms like chastity, virginity, character are a woman’s prerogative only. And family honour is only her responsibility. Would you believe if I say a woman in one village of Maharashtra was stoned to death because it was found out that she was not virgin at the time of marriage. But it was later found it was her fiance only who was involved with her in trespassing the limit just few days before wedding. But he backed out instead of supporting his wife and the result was blood and gore in the name of honour and the lady was made the scapegoat.
If a drunkard person beats his wife that’s a family matter, but if the lady raises voice and leaves him, we still have a majority of mindset that asks her to reconcile and compromise. Because they feel woman is weak and can’t sustain alone. And again the entire blame is shifted towards the woman of the family and it is deemed it is her sole responsibility to keep the honour and family intact.
I quite agree with what she said above.
I remember in Jesus’ days once while He was teaching, people brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Him for His verdict. But He said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And starting from older to younger left that place leaving the woman unharmed.
I am not supporting adultery neither Jesus did that day. But I am talking about our approach towards a human life. How quick we are to condemn a human in the name of false religiosity without a thought!
I found a piece of information on family honor which literally took my mind away… The term called ‘Breast Ironing’.
Breast ironing, also known as breast flattening, is the pounding and massaging of a pubescent girl’s breasts, using hard or heated objects, to try to make them stop developing or disappear. It is typically carried out by the girl’s mother who will say she is trying to protect the girl from sexual harassment and rape, to prevent early pregnancy that would tarnish the family name, or to allow the girl to pursue education rather than be forced into early marriage. It is mostly practiced in parts of Cameroon, where boys and men may think that girls whose breasts have begun to grow are ready for sex. Some reports suggest that it has spread to the Cameroonian diaspora, for example to that in Britain. The most widely used implement for breast ironing is a wooden pestle normally used for pounding tubers. Other tools used include leaves, bananas, coconut shells, grinding stones, ladles, spatulas, and hammers heated over coals.
What a stupid and inhuman practice? My heart broke reading this… How lowly we can be in our thinking and actions!!!
Dear Parents! Your daughters are your honor and pride! Please keep and take care your honor and pride!