Friday, September 20, 2013

Honour Killing: Real Victim

Finally I'm restoring my engagement with the social issues and writing my views which concerns especially women. Facebook is like brothel and we are like her addicted customer who keeps on visiting. But now I do have reservation of writing in Facebook because of the colleagues who are already stereotyping me in the office as aloof, fierce, opinionated feminist who hates their non-veg jokes and bedroom story in the lunch table. Yes, I do hate non political and non-sensible people whose life does not have a purpose and vision and showing no participation in the society.

Well, reading newspaper is my second habit and its hard for me to survive when I do not read newspaper. First thing which caught my attention in the Hindu page was the brutal murder of two lovers for the so called Honour killing in Rohtak, Haryana. It was unimaginable for a parent killing their own blood and flesh for their family honour. In the second thought, the more worrying factor was the father of the girl showing no remorse of the burning his daughter and beheading her lover but also confessing to the local media that what he did was correct and his heroic act will deter the youths to go against the society. Third shocking fact are reading the comments of the readers "killed such parents" "killed the Jats and Gujjars" "Jats are main reason of crime' 'Haryanvis are shame of this country". But feel pity of the victims and feel sad because their life has been ended so mercilessly. Rather I feel that her parents are more in a terrible situation than the victims which led them to kill their own kids. It was scary people jump on the road whenever there is a problem with an immediate solution- killed the rapist, killed the jats and gujjars. I think people are gone beyond madness and they do not have a single second to discuss about society, changing mindset, scenario but quick in  giving their solution to a problem. Such kind of generation and people do not have any role to play when they are so busy with their life and why solution given by them should be accounted? When I sit down and think about rape cases, honour killing, domestic violence etc, first thing I want to do is a study of their mental status, social norms, brought up and what are the factors which influence to make such monsters in our society. The recent studies show that most of the sexual assault accused have a childhood trauma of sexual harassment or torture while they are young. So, I'm really eager to understand the social norms, khap panchayats, their reason of subjecting to honour killing in northern India and increase in the sexual assault case in Manipur. Everything requires a long term solution. Killing the rapist, killing the parents and ethnic cleansing of one community will not solve any solution.

I do not know who are Jats and Gujjars. My knowledge about the caste system and community dividend in the North India is very poor and very confusing too because I'm born and brought in a society where there is no caste system except three religion - Hindu/Meitie, Christain and Muslim. But I do know lots of Haryanvi. Most of my non Manipuri friends in college, university are Haryanvi. Never asked my friends which caste they belong because what matters to me is what kind of person they are, not their community and caste. For a while I thought this lunatic people will really start a ethnic cleansing war one day. 

Just going around in my head, I remember visiting to Sonipat in MSc time to one of our classmate's home and how we play in their field like the kids. Above all,  the hospitality of her parents specially towards me because they are concerned about my security. And about Neelam, I can't even think of a person on the earth who will say a bad thing about her and  moreover her mother and sister was charming than her. While going from Delhi to Chandigarh I used to visit her home in Panipat and never felt that they treated me differently. So many of them are Haryanvis, Neha, my best friend in Law faculty, Praveen with whom I share my evening snacks in the faculty and all the funny talks, Ambika, the cutest girl in my list who would call me to complain about series of boyfriend and lastly about Rohit who would be there to rescue me during the heavy rainfall in Delhi from nowhere when no auto, no taxi would agree to go anywhere. Above all, my encounter with one of the most honest professor in the law faculty always left me an impression that people can be wrong but not the whole community or society. No one can ever say or think about a bad word about him just because he is of Haryana origin when he gave 100 % of himself while most of the professor fear of losing extra calorie did not even speak in an audible voice.  

With all of them I have such a good rapport, I started feeling bad when people bully by taking their community. Sometime I told them kya yaar, how come all my friends are Haryanvis only. In our conversation I do ask them why these issues are happening to their society and they understand everything is wrong except thing I felt is that the problem is so acute in their society and even if they want a change they are helpless and above all they lack organisational level of fighting a problem and less engaged like we do towards AFSPA, sexual harassment and community level interaction in Manipur. Only thing I could witness was the break down of the structure in the society where everybody bothers whats around them only while living with a myth "what can we do, it keeps happening". At least in our society we react, resist and protest, these things seems to be absent in their case.  None of them are happy specially when it comes to dealing with personal life and more frustrating was when they learnt that someday they have to settle down with a stranger through arrange marriage.  Everyone of them wants to fall in love, sometime share their interest about falling in love with a girl or boy of their choice.  But even I told them not to have any relation when they already know that there could never be a future though it is not all about marriage. They sometime said your society is so good and we wish we can choose our own life partner like you people do. Sometime I just have to make the situation funny to cheer them up by saying elope with your girlfriend, I will offer asylum in Manipur where your family could never reach. They know they can never do that so we just end the topic with a laughter. 

Just to conclude is that human should not be divided by the community, caste, religion and looks. Every community has good and bad people. So as in Manipur, Delhi and everywhere. It is just that some of the communities are still behind us in terms of education, liberalization and it also depend on which culture/tradition has influenced them from the beginning. We were even more open and liberal society than now before the adoption of Hinduism and when all the community in Manipur are of same religion but with time our society is also drastically changed. Foe instance, from the time I used to follow my aunts in their date in the cinema halls to a time when lovers have to hide and meet in the dark shade restaurants. May be there is a story or logic or menace which spread the epidemic honour killing in Haryana till today from the time immemorial. Just like we studied why sudden scrutiny, increase in the moral policing, several moves of suppressing women in our society have led to the maximum number of crime against women in Manipur in the few years. May be the people specially well educated youth needs to do some homework, engage in the social issues and learn to resist, react and protest in such happenings though it would be tough in the beginning. 

Last but not the least we should stop stereotyping of everything. All north east women are easy going type, all Muslims supports Pakistan,all Haryanvis are criminal, all Jats are maniacs, all Baniya are selfish etc.  will not bring a consolidated solution. In fact we are just pushing each other in a dirty racism game. This is too dirty and it will only hurt and divide us more than we can think of.  What we need is to understand each other's difference, have little patience towards each other. For me I learn to be aggressive, hard working, confident and helping nature from my Haryanvi friends while they learn from me about my culture, problem in my hometown and how much you need to be radical and engaged to bring a change in your own family at first, then to the society.

 I do not hesitate to share the problems I faced in Delhi about my responsibility, financial problems, security and how I even sometime go against my parent's wish when I think something is against my will. But I do not expect they also go home and rage a war against their parents but I do tell them to keep a habit of discussing about the change we need with parents. So as one of my friend usually discussed with her mother about the dowry harassment to some of our friends who recently got married and she said her parents said now they will not let her marry even if they do not find a man who is not ready to marry without dowry. I think that's how we can bring the little change at our end. It's we who can educate about the changes in the society to our parents, otherwise they are no longer in a age to do all the homework.

When one family is changed, half of the society is changed. That's what my dad always taught us. Even I'm born and brought up in a place where no girl studied beyond class XII. Either parents would ask them to stop further study or they will voluntarily think that it is of no use. But my parents took the challenge to even send me in Delhi after my class XII though we were facing acute financial problem in the home after the big fat Manipuri marriage of two of my aunts. My dad always wrote me that we live with your hope and you will not bring us down. All my dad's friend told him that why are you spending so much money in your daughter when she will be married to a stranger's family. My dad was different from the rest and told them boldly that she will always be my daughter whether she lives in my house or in her husband's house. No one can ever take a place of being her father and I will be proud if she become first post graduate or Scientist than just being any girl in the locality. My dad taught us to think differently from the rest, so I would learn to have a different outlook towards my friends unlike others. A little patience, more engagement and more time is what we required to bring a change and I will always be there for them so as they are for me so far in a strange city where I have started from a scratch, and unlike other I will not bully them calling their community. 

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