Love Mania and Family Honor

Posted: May 1, 2011

It was shocking to hear of the brutal murder of a 17 year old college student in Ranchi – a girl who had just answered her 12th boards and was emerging from the examination hall. The act was pre-meditated and carried out by her spurned lover who simply chopped her head off with a dagger as if she were a banana tree. What drives young men to commit such heinous crimes, I wonder. It was all the more shocking because the boy belonged to Jamshedpur and was residing in a locality very close to where I live. I kept thinking that the boy could have been anyone of the promising high spirited young men whom one meets on the road. I wonder how his mother failed to read his mind I mean there ought to have been warning signals and even if she did identify them did she not take them seriously? It was mentioned in the newspaper that he had told his friends that he planned to kill her for spurning him and had even bought a dagger for the purpose but they did not take him seriously.

This brings up the next point. There are conflicting reports about the girl s interest in the boy. Some say that she was interested but gave in to family pressure and agreed to marry a boy of their choice. Others say that it was one sided romance and the girl had rejected his proposal to marry her. Either way, should not one respect her wishes and step aside? Like child sex abuse, I feel this is another area that needs to be discussed and debated. I would like to see our society mature and accept the fact that arranged marriages are soon going to be phased out and instead of reacting negatively to a teenager s interest in the opposite sex, parents need to tell them that they need to be self dependent before deciding on an important event in their lives. In the above mentioned case a little understanding on the part of the parents and timely counseling might have been helpful.

We all hope that our children lead normal lives. Yet we consider their interest in the opposite sex abnormal. We love to believe that parental inadequacies and improper upbringing is the cause for children to fall in love outside their community. More so if it is a neighbor s child that is the subject of gossip. Honor killing is very much prevalent in our society, much as one would like to pretend that it doesn t. In most cases it is the girl who is threatened of dire consequences by the very men that are supposed to protect her. If young men and women have faith in their parents and are assured that they would have a say in their marriage at an appropriate time and age such crimes may not take place. I hear that the boy is now repentant and says that he does not know what came over him for him to resort to beheading the girl he loved immensely. When he was produced in court he was all alone, family members preferring to stay away. Their shock is understandable. One does not expect this of a college going son.




I also wonder what the girl s family may be going through. She was to be married on the 27th of this month. I suppose family honor was of prime importance. They probably expected trouble since the girl was escorted to the examination centre by her grandmother who was waiting in the campus to escort her back after the exam. The boy s parents may get over their shock and plead for a milder sentence considering his age. With time the boy may learn to get on with life having truly repented his action. The girl s parents have lost their daughter for ever. Could this have been averted if they had explained to the children that they were young and needed to concentrate on their studies? That they would get her married to a man of her choice provided he did well in life. Should they have had a discussion with the boy s parents and asked them to intervene?

These are questions that are bound to haunt me for many days to come. I may sound uncharitable but I feel that a parent s role in gauging the mood of a teenager/youth ought not to be undermined. True, children tend to distance themselves from their parents around this time and prefer to bottle up their frustration or to share their agony with their friends. Friends for their part need to refer the matter to an older person if they find it difficult to handle it themselves. However, these are just thoughts that come to me when I think of the unfortunate incident. Psychologists and counselors may be better equipped to answer them.

The Hip Grandma lives in a small industrial town called Jamshedpur and despite all its

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