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Renuka Gupta ( Gender Researcher )     07 September 2010

Now, honour killing rocks TN: Father attacks daughter

CHENNAI/MADURAI: If you thought honour killings are confined to northern states, here's a reality check: a Tamil Nadu girl, who eloped with her boyfriend after she was married off to a man 15 years older to her, paid a heavy price for it. She lost her lover and was brutally attacked and ostracized by her family and community. 

Megala decided to follow her heart. And paid a heavy price for it, losing her lover and being attacked and ostracised by her family and community in Mana madurai. 

The latest in a series of such attacks on women in the state, the Megala case dispels the popular notion that 'honour killings' are confined to Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the north; southern states such as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh too witness similar incidents periodically. Many of them are sparked off when educated single women walk out of their homes and choose their own partners, sometimes from another community or caste. 

Honour crimes and killings take place when young people challenge accepted norms of marriage, according to a study commissioned by the National Commission for Women (NCW). Megala, 20, and Sivakumar, 24, were told they couldn't marry as they were related. Her family married her off in June. Ten days after the wedding, she ran away with Sivakumar. Her family tracked the couple down and attacked Sivakumar with 'aruvaals'. Sivakumar died on the spot, and his killers, who included her father and brother, have been arrested. Megala, now in hospital, says that everyone in her village, including her mother, feels that the punishment is justified as she brought shame to her village and the Thevar community to which she belongs. 

The accusation against her are virtually the same as those made against victims in north India. The NCW study, still underway, shows that of the 326 cases of conflict surveyed so far nationwide, 72% were because the couple crossed caste barriers and only 3% were because the couple were from the same gotra. "Women are making their own choices and in a patriarchal set-up this causes problems," says Ravi Kant, Supreme Court advocate and president of Shakti Vahini, the organisation that is conducting the study for NCW. 

Activists in Tamil Nadu endorse this view. "Honour killings are not unheard of in TN. The basis is usually caste, more often than not a Dalit boy marrying an upper caste girl," says U Vasuki, general secretary, All- India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA). 

Read more: Now, honour killing rocks TN: Father attacks daughter - India - The Times of India


 5 Replies


Is the problem of honour killing every body's cup of tea or Gordian knot?

Is elopement fine ?

Sameer Sharma (Advocate)     07 September 2010

This is the modern age of equality, which is also provided for in our Constitution, vide Articles 14 to 1 8, 38(2) and Inequality can be created/perpetuated not only by treating equals as unequals, but also by treating unequals as equals.

Such incidents widely occur in Pakistan, but we will not tolerate such acts to take place in our country with impunity. 'Honour' killing is nothing but cold blooded, brutal and ghastly murder, and there is nothing honourable about it. Those who are found guilty of committing it must be given death sentence by the Court, treating it as rarest of the rare cases.

In fact, there is nothing honourable in this, and this is an abominable, disgraceful and shocking practice which must be suppressed by the States.

1 Like

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     07 September 2010



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ALSO honour killing is not a violence aimed at females, these people usually attack the couple. mostly girls parents abet attacks. and this problem has more  to do with opposition to breaking of social customs rather than gender inequality, also these acts shud be included under a law similar to 498a .


@ Ms Kaur

I disagree "honor killings" are not related to "social custom" at all but despite the conventional sociological wisdom, a significant rise in the age of marriage has not been accompaied by any significant enhancement of the younger generation's "right to choose" their (primary) marriage partners. Though it is true that "modern" fathers now seek their child's 'acquiescence' (it can generally be put no higher than that) to the spouse he has selected for them, it is in secondary marriages that individuals have 'traditionally' been permitted a more meaningful autonomy. But these are now increasingly discountenanced. All these have answers in "rural India" which is much more advanced than Urban India believe me just for this take purpose.

What this father in the news item did was right thing I will say based on above anti-thesis. Shortly I will place here my findings on errant wife, rural marriages in the customary sense, s*x (believe me adultry in rural India are encouraged as part and parcel during gauna and shadi phase)  and impact of industrial townships (especially the Personal department / Floor shops role as custodial of local Order situation in present day competitive industrial worship order and over and above the Judicial wisdom untouching them) all within rural India settings which will be an eye openner as a "case study" to de-mistify all that is being rattled here by "feminists" as eye wash. 

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