Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Couple killed because they were of the same 'gotra'

This was not incest. But because there is a feeling that a boy and girl of the same gotra could be blood relatives, they were killed after they were married. Does this ring a bell ? In a shocking, nay, horrendous event depicting the callousness of life in rural India, a couple was killed after they had legally got married and had returned to their village.

Residents of a Haryana village defended the murder of a couple for marrying within the familial gotra. "Humne theek kiya (we did right)," the accused said as villagers proclaimed before TV crews that the killings would be a deterrent to coming generations not to marry in the same gotra.
Babli and Manoj ran away from their village on April 6 and went to Chandigarh and applied for a registered marriage on May 31. Armed with a court order that provided them "protection", the couple came back to their village, knowing little what was in store.

The village, indeed their own relatives were the ones most involved in this horror. In this age, a couple, who are not direct blood relatives are killed most brutally for letting their most base of impulses, a love for each other decide their course of actions.
It is a matter of great disgrace that such things happen in this country. When we hear of honour killings happening in Islamic societies, it fills me with a great repugnance. And yet, the same things happen in this country of ours. Caste panchayats order people to be killed because a couple married each other since they were of different castes. It is also a reflection of the value held to women in rural areas. They need to follow the diktat of their elders, or else...
We need to change this culture. How can we do it ? Getting proper education to the villages that explains the value of life, liberty and the rights of the individual. But whom am I kidding? In villages, when schools are ramshackle single room sets and most teachers play truant, such an understanding is very difficult to bring about.
The other major problem is the concept of law and order. Symbols of state authority are present in most places of this country, but they do not do what should be done. It is their fundamental duty to propagate the Constitution and its ideals, chief of which is the rights of an individual, which encompasses the right of an individual to marry whosoever he / she likes (subject to a few constraints such as explicit familial links).

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:45 AM