No honour in honour killing, Aamir reiterates in Satyamev Jayate

Last Updated: Mon, Jun 04, 2012 05:49 hrs

We are a country of passionate people: passionate about God, tradition, culture, cricket and, of course, honour.

And if something upsets the balance of the things we are passionate about, we turn into savages.

This is a truth we've known, and something Aamir Khan brought back into focus in the fifth episode of his show Satyamev Jayate.

Rizwan, a cheerful and caring software engineer from Kolkata, was murdered and his body dumped on the railway tracks because he fell in love with and got married to a Hindu girl named Priyanka. The love match had 'destroyed' the izzat of Priyanka's family and murder was the way they righted the wrong.

Babli, 18, and Manoj, 21, two Jats from Haryana fell in love. But the fact that they belong to the same gothra proved to be their death knell. Shortly after they got married, Babli's family poisoned her and brutally murdered her husband.

And when Manoj's family decided to fight the crime, and give the couple justice, albeit posthumously, they were ostracised by their friends, family and fellow villagers at the behest of their khap panchayat.

These are not isolated cases. Honour killings happen with more frequency that we want to believe or acknowledge.

Though statistics were missing on the show this time, Aamir did bring us several sides of the story: how the police, instead of upholding the law, take sides; how the khap panchayat, which is not even an elected body, decides it is above the law and 'punishes' the 'offenders' - even with death; how oftentimes, though the parents are OK with their children's actions, the society at large forces them to take steps to protect their 'honour'.

Watch Satyamev Jayate: Is love a crime?

Like female foeticide, dowry, and child sex abuse, honour killing is an issue we've all known about but preferred to sweep under the rug, thinking we'd never do it.

Though some films - like Dibakar Banerjee's Love Sex Aur Dhoka - have shown us how brutal honour killings are and how they aren't practised only among the illiterate and poor, we've not really woken up to the truth.

Even Aamir's show may not be as much of a wakeup call as it wants to be. Proof: the attitude of the members of the khap whom Aamir interviewed. Entrenched in their patriarchal beliefs, they can't even understand another point of view.

But the show did give us a ray of hope; that someone somewhere is trying to make a change.

Sanjay Sachdev is the chairman of the Love Commandoes, a voluntary organisation that is dedicated to helping young lovers do what they feel is right.

His argument is simple: "If an 18 year old girl can choose the prime minister of her country, then why can't she choose her own partner?"

We agree. Unfortunately that isn't enough.

Before we sign off, here are some of the reactions from people after they watched the show.

Raj Narayan ?@OnlineObelix
We are religious by nature but hate love unless it is approved by us! Truly a WTF moment

Shaili Chopra ?@shailichopra
Really? Didn't know India's northeast states believe people should be in love before marriage. Wow. Progressive. 

Anil Wanvari ?@anilwanvari
When Indian society accepts inter-caste marriages only then will it be really #civilized. @smjindia #satyamevjayate

Saumya Kulshreshtha ?@Saumyakul
By that lack of melodrama, and that worldly experience along with composure, Rizwan's mother projects a touching image.

Jyotsna Mendon ?@JMeDon22
Its shocking that police side with the parents in such cases. Corruption or prejudice?

Faking News ?@fakingnews
Khap Panchayat's favorite movie is "I Hate Luv Storys"

The UnReal Times ?@TheUnRealTimes
Aamir Khan is making the chaps from the Khap Panchayat look like the bunch of jokers that they are #SatyamevJayate

raghu ram ?@tweetfromRaghu
I hope those who talk about society and indian culture are watching #SatyamevJayate. Shameful! Only today's generation can make India better.

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