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Whose Honour is it Anyway When Couples are Killed for Pride?

Nothing justifies killing in the name of honour, writes Naved Ahmad on the age-old practice prevalent in India.

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Yesterday, I was the tacit testimony of their restlessness, I was the helpless witness of their helplessness and I was the avid audience of their careless whispers and sweet nothings. I was the onlooker of their adorable disagreements; I was the settee where most of their romantic settlements took place, I was the smiling spectator of their giggles and laughter.

Today, I am a grieving attestant of their dried tears and muted melancholy. The ash of their boisterous love still rests on my chest, waiting for the winds to taper it off. My fears are reciprocated by the chill afloat around me; I have a feeling that they won’t be back again because someone’s honour has won the bullfight against their meek love.

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I am the cradle in which their infant dreams lie dead. I am the testifier that there is no honour in killing. I am the bench on which sat a love which now rests in peace.

Gravest Sin

From tomorrow till eternity, I will always be the beholder of the beautiful legacy of their love. I will be singing elegies of their love which was murdered mercilessly. As I glance upon the world outside, I see that across all the faiths, traditions and practices, taking a life has always been the gravest sin of all.

Ever since the civilisations grew into social systems and the idea of justice was harnessed, killing has been the most heinous crime of all times and has invoked the hardest punishments possible. Not just because of the loss of a life, but because of the gloom left behind, the sentimental baggage aggravated by the fact that lives have been taken. They asked if love was a crime or not, today I have come to believe that it is, but not bigger than killing for sure.

Nothing justifies killing in the name of honour,  writes Naved Ahmad on the age-old practice prevalent in India.
The lovebirds which always confided in me were killed, for death was their destiny either way, but the pain remains because I didn’t die. (Photo: iStock)
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Honour Killing Not Justified

Killing in the name of honour is sheer cowardice; those building a reputation on it must question their souls if there is any honour in it. Mortar might be my flesh, be sand my blood and iron my arteries, but I am sure that I don’t have a heart of stone. The lovebirds which always confided in me were killed, for death was their destiny either way, but the pain remains because I didn’t die. I wasn’t killed because I am nobody’s honour. I am just a bench by the banyan.

Post-script: In the year 2000, the United Nations had estimated that there were 5,000 honour killings every year on an average, as stated in the State of the World Population published in the same year.

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(Naved Ahmad is a Delhi based blogger who identifies himself as a writer by instinct, sports coach by profession and a harbinger of universality. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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