I recently appeared as a guest on the Al Jazeera English program AJ Stream talking on the issue of Honour Killing. The program was in the context of the 2016 Tamil Nadu Honour Killing case in which Kausalya’s parents brutally attacked her and her husband Sankar because she married a Dalit man. Sankar was killed in the attack but Kausalya survived and bravely vouced to get justice for her deceased husband. She went on to be the prime eye witness in the prosecution of her parents. In December 2017 a Trial Court held 8 of the 11 accused guilty and awarded death sentence for 6 of them including Kausalya’s father. Kausalya now bravely fights for the right of young men and women to marry whom they love and ensure nobody is killed for falling in love.

The AJ Stream program mainly discussed the various reasons responsible for the heinous crime of honour killing. I spoke about patriarchy being the overarching reason behind these crimes. Though most other panelist focused more on the caste bias in Indian community being prime reason. But the fact is daughters have met with family violence even when her marriage/love affair was not outside caste. Sometimes she’s been killed even when it was not marriage but reasons like speaking to someone on the mobile phone. I say this based upon the honour killing cases reported in media which I keep track of here -https://twitter.com/i/moments/928977157979639809

Besides this there is not much data available, since it has been only since 2014 that the National Crime Record Bureau of India even keeping a statistics of #HonourKilling cases. In 2017, the NCRB data revealed that there was a shocking increase of 800% in the number of honour killing cases. It is hard to tell what’s been the reasons in most of these cases, whether marriage outside caste or marriage against family wish.

You can watch the full program here: