A budding journalist is allegedly killed by her own family for falling in love with a boy from another caste.
A young man, allegedly killed for having a relationship with a politician's daughter.
Scan the headlines,and there are growing numbers of honour crimes every day.
So is our better educated and liberal society of today indeed as brutal and archaic as it always was?
Has empowerment of women done nothing towards sensitising traditional patriarchal systems?
Shame and honour are still the only two important words to judge women?
In India still the honour of a household is inextricably linked to the reputation of the women who live there.Shame is an index of female reputation, just as honour is an index of male.
The concept of honor used to rationalize abuse and killing of women is founded on the idea that a family's honor depends on the behavior of it's women; behavior that must be controlled.
Women do not have a claim to honor as individuals, separate from their roles within a family, clan ,caste ,community or tribal unit. Any breach or suspected breach of sexual codes by these women is viewed as a potent assault on the "man's honor", the "family's honor".
To be rid of "shame" and restore "honor", the woman offender must be punished. Submissiveness in these cultures is considered equivalent to sexual purity.
Today when we send our daughters to study and work are we also ready to give them the right to make their own decisions.
The recent Nirupama Pathak's gruesome murder has only brought a mirror to us, to moms especially.
We have to view our shame and honor in new contexts and break the silence and the need to be accomplices in eradicating our own daughters.
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