Five Bollywood Movies That Took A Stand Against Honour Killing In India

Honour killing in India and the the larger Indian subcontinent rears its ugly head every now and then. A look at movies that revolved around it.

The murder of Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch confirms that the practice of ‘Honour Killing’ is still prevalent. Here are 5 movies on this social evil.

A girl In The River is a short documentary created by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy which won the coveted Oscar award. The movie exposes how every year, thousands of women become victims to the horrific practice of ‘Honour Killing.’

The movie traces the life of eighteen year old Saba, who was attacked fatally by her own father for falling in love and eloping. She survived to tell her tale and talk about this ruthless exercise.

Saba’s story can be found in many villages of India as well. While this practice is more prevalent in some states like Haryana, it is not limited to that state alone. This barbaric exercise is practiced across the length and breadth of the country.

There have been a few movies made on this topic, which brings out how the patriarchal society try to control every aspect of a girl’s life and any deviation by her may have chilling consequences.

Some of the most notable movies are shared here.

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The movie tries to portray the stark contradiction that exists between the cities and the villages of India. A city couple out on a trip are caught in a web of intrigue and horror when they unknowingly witness an honour killing.

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The movie also portrays how powerful women who know their mind scare men and hence they try their level best to crush them using physical power and aggression.



Though not a commercially successful movie, ‘Khap’ was praised for showcasing a brutal reality. A socio-political drama, the film was based on the Manoj-Babli honour killing case and the supremacy of Khap Panchayats in the villages of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which order honour killing to prevent marriages within the same gotra.



The movie is based on the real incidents that had taken place in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The movie showcases how at times, the police are hand-in-glove with these killers so that there are no witnesses or proof of the committed murders. At times, even the outside agencies, which are sometimes sent to investigate matters are unable to crack the case due to non-cooperation of local agencies.



A national award winner, the Marathi film ‘Sairat’, revolves around a love story of a boy and girl from different communities. The movie registered a record performance at the box office in the first week of its release. The film brought to the fore unpalatable reality of ‘honour killing’ in the otherwise progressive state of Maharashtra. It also received criticism from the Maratha community.

Honour Killing

A lesser known film that showed that this practice is even prevalent among the NRIs. Though these Indians have left their country, they have still not given up what they feel is their custom.

There are a few other movies as well which touch upon this issue like ‘Rahsya’ and ‘Talvar’ which are based on the infamous ‘Aarushi murder case’. There is no honour in ‘Honour Killings.’ In the name of honour, the crime has been increasing at an alarming rate.  In spite of judgments and expressions of outrage by public across India and in media, the government has displayed criminal negligence in their approach to them.

Shockingly, there is no definition of this crime or any legal recognition of the various aspects of the same, few measures to prevent them, no accountability, no punishment. A strong law (and implementation) is needed that provides protection to self-choice partnerships and to live life on one’s own terms while punishing those who in the name of honour and tradition seek to obliterate that right.

Image Source: Wikipedia  and  Youtube


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