Honour Killing - An "Honoured" Crime?

Honour Killing - An "Honoured" Crime?


Honour killing, considered as an ‘honoured crime’ in most of the communities in India is said to have its origin from the nomadic people. Honour killing is killing a member of a family for dishonouring the family, in the name of caste, religion, honour etc. Most of the times the victims will be women, sometimes it will be men too. The reasons for the honour killings are disagreeing for an arranged marriage, disobeying family customs, rape victims, asking for divorce, marrying person who belongs to different caste, adultery, etc., Honour killing is seen in almost all parts of the world, but majority of them take place in the Middle East and South Asia. Various methods are used for honour killing, it can range from stoning, stabbing, hanging, acid attacks, poisoning etc. Most of the cases will be reported as suicides or accidents.

Defending the ‘honoured crime’!

- It is quite saddening to accept the fact that honour killing is considered a ‘honoured crime’ among the people who practice it. The Khap Panchayat has been subject to lot of criticism now-a-days for having initiated murder threats and violence to married couples who have defied the traditional norms of the caste system.

- Caste system is one of the 3 main pillars of the Indian society. There are communities and people who strongly believe in the concept of caste and think that it is their duty to defend and continue the system to future generations.

- Considering the role of caste in the past and the present system of reservations and the active role of caste in politics and the state has in many ways led to conserving the system of caste and the pride associated with one’s own caste.

No honour in ‘Honoured Crime’!

- There is nothing called honour in Honour killings. Killing in itself is a barbaric thing. The word ‘honour’ is just to glorify and defend the crime. They are sometimes committed in public just to show other members of the community that the same punishment will be given if such atrocities are committed. It just reflects their typical mindset in the present day.

- In India, honour killing violates the Fundamental Right – The Right to life. Indian laws clearly say that no one is given the right to harm the life of others.

- Honour killing places a big question mark on whole idea of Human Rights. It also creates certain amount of ‘fear psychosis’ in other members of the community, which is also one of their hidden agenda to keep the community members under check.

- Every nation claims that they give equal rights to women but honour killing proves that it is only on papers, because in most of the cases it will be female member of the family who will be killed. This shows the patriarchal nature of the society.

- As the Supreme Court upheld, there is nothing honourable in these killings and they are illegal. It is a very shameful murder. It reflects barbaric and feudal mentality.


Honour killings are acting as a new form of threat to the society today. The Global organisations have to take serious steps to avoid this and follow the principle – Live and Let Live. The Human Rights Organisation has to formulate few laws which should be accepted and implemented globally. Honour Killings should be replaced by Killing of casteism, hatred and ego. In India Honour killings are mainly found in the North India, especially in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The main reason is caste. The literacy rate can also be the other reason. In South India Honour Killings are rare. Considering this point, it can be said that it is the mindset that needs to be changed, that essentially comes with education.
Post your comment


  • RE: Honour Killing - An "Honoured" Crime? -Deepa Kaushik (07/16/15)
  • Killing means murder, there is no need to add the term 'honour' to glorify the brutal offence. If countable number of culprits commit the offence, we call it crime; if the same is done by a crazy mob, we call it an accident and close the case without punishing anyone. Is that all what our law and order mean for murdering an innocent for living their life according to their own wish?

    We term a murderas honour killing on the basis of caste, religion etc. etc. But what is the point punishing the rape victim. Something done to her against her will in an unescapable manner, and putting her to death bed for all the physical, mental and emotional trauma that she beared; is this what is the way to keep up the honour of the family. We cannot even say that education would change such brutality,as we can visualize many cases where much learned people get involved insuch brutalities of honour killing.

    No doubt, it is all in the mentality which comes from the upbringing. We should change the mind-set of the people and ask them to educate the young minds against such offense happening in the society. This could be the only way to change the coming centuries and save them from such cruelities. It is not the Indian judicial system alone to come into play, but this brutality calls for the Human Rights Commission to take some major step to save the world and innocent people round the globe from these cruelities.