In my previous post, I mentioned that watching the last few episodes of a talk show had an impact on me. This episode of Neeya Nanna was aired three weeks ago. The debate was on accepting ‘Love’ marriages. There was a father who said that, instead of allowing the marriage, he would behead his daughter and throw her in the river if she ever fell in love with a guy (Read: with a guy from another caste).
One could make out by the look on his face that he meant it. Also, he was 100% sure that his daughter would never fall in love and bring his family shame. If what he told was true, there could be only two possibilities: either he is very ignorant or his daughter is a saint.
What would he do if his son did the same thing? He would probably disown him from the family; no one would ever attend their family functions, not even if it’s his funeral. He is a guy and so, you cannot kill him or killing him does not do any good. A daughter, however, should be beheaded and thrown in the river or else it is a shame on the family.
I was livid watching all this!
To justify his argument, this is what he had to say – One of his relative’s daughters fell in love with a guy from some other community. They got married after facing too many hurdles from both sides of the family. However, it was not a happy married life thereafter. Both sought divorce and the life of the child of the couple was at stake.
Now, this is a serious problem. Even very close family members severe relations after an inter-caste marriage. After taking all the trouble for the marriage, imagine the plight of the parents when it ends in a divorce and with a kid, too. The society in which we live is a cruel one. People can talk negatively about your family. This could hurt to the point of the death being preferred over shame. The end result could be suicide of the entire family.
It was understandable that the man had been through a lot. Probably, this is yet another reason why parents are so against love marriages. Having said all that, I still find it hard to justify honor killing. Not all love marriages end in a divorce and not all arranged marriages guarantee you a happy married life. If only parents could understand that. Just because she is his daughter, it doesn’t give him the license to behead her. As any other normal person, she has the right to choose her life partner; she has the right to live with him.
If your community, your culture, your practices are more important than that your daughter’s life, then do not accept them. Do not accept their marriage but let them at least live their life somewhere far away from you and your family. Ignore your daughter the way you would ignore your son. What purpose does killing your own daughter or your sister in the name of honor serve?
The problem is not that the parents do not love their daughters. As a matter of fact most families in Tamil Nadu pamper their daughters with more love and affection than what they bestow on their sons. They encourage them to study well, choose a career they are passionate about and to be independent. However, when it comes to choosing a life partner they are so stubborn. For the sake of ‘Honor’ they kill their daughter and also get themselves killed. People do all this just because they were born and raised up in their so called community?
I fail to comprehend.
The host of the talk show, Gopinath also condemned him. He was asked to apologize to his daughter and he did that. He is not the only such father. There are million more fathers like him who are blinded by the so-called honor that they kill their own blood.
Will they ever transform?