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Honour Killing Of Homosexuals

The advent of civilization construed making certain social laws and norms to be adhered by the members of the group. These rules and regulations were made to bring about certain uniformity, order and discipline so that the society would coexist peacefully and harmoniously. Over a period of time these same rules and regulations attained social rigidity, so much so that when someone did not heed to these norms, it was believed, that they have brought disgrace to their family and were liable to be punished.

This disgrace gradually became synonym with the word 'honour'. When honour was at stake, harsh punishments began to be meted out. One such common form of punishment was killing or slaughtering the accused person by his or her family members. India has been a witness of such killings since time immemorial. Unfortunately, despite laws being present socially still honour killing is quite accepted and justified in some parts of our country.

The general understanding of honour killing is homicide of a person committed by their own family members or perhaps by the family they are married into, to maintain the purity of family's name. Honour killing is usually associated with either inter-caste or inter-religious marriages, however honour killing of homosexuals still goes unacknowledged to quite a large extent.

Statutory Provisions:
A crime as heinous as honour killing takes away a person's right to be treated equally by law, for they are discriminated by and against others, difficulty in expressing themselves freely and are deprived of decent life and liberty. Thus, violating certain pertinent Fundamental Rights, those being, Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 as guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) too provides with definitions and punishments for offences like Criminal conspiracy under Section 120 A and 120 B, Culpable homicide under Section 299 and Murder under Section 300 and 302. However, there is no specific Section that makes honour killing a punishable offence.

In 2015, a bill was introduced:
"The Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2015", after a draft legislation was suggested by the National Commission for Women in August 2010 to amend Section 300 of IPC with a view to include Honour Killing as a gruesome offence. Thus, this Bill focused on honour killing of the ones who married outside their caste or religion or intended to marry someone outside their caste or religion.

Later in 2019, "The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019" was passed whose applicability was confined only to the State of Rajasthan. This Bill, prohibited honour killing of those who decided on inter-caste, inter-community and inter-religious marriages.

Recently, another Bill was passed "The Freedom of Marriage and Association and Prohibition of Crimes in the Name of Honour Bill, 2022" which again prevents honour killing when marriage outside caste and religion takes place.

Rebuttal To Accept:
With recognizing the right to gender identity, decriminalizing Section 377 of IPC, passing of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights Act), 2019 and the on-going issue on legalizing same sex marriage before the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, the country has, indeed, come a long way in conceding rights to the third gender. However, the mind set towards accepting a same sex couple or homosexuality still remains far-fetched.

Despite the 2018 Supreme Court verdict on decriminalizing Section 377 IPC, homosexual couples continue to be physically, mentally and emotionally abused. There have been incidences in the recent past where same sex couples allegedly received death threats from their own respective families after they were discovered to be in a relationship.

Even more horrifying incidences of homosexual couples being brutally beaten-up and tortured by their family members or neighbours were reported. Sadly, many are unable to cope up with such barbarity that they are driven to a point of committing suicide.

Certainly, enactment of a law that protects the homosexuals from honour killing is the need of the hour but to educate the society and to make them aware about homosexuality, for the latter to get duly acknowledged and accepted as a part of social milieu is equally important.

Therefore, to bring a notable change in the society it is vital for each and everyone to understand that as there is diversity in our cultures, customs, languages, caste and religion, there is diversity in genders and sexuality too. Undeniably, there can never be one of anything but surely oneness in all.

  • Indians, Pakistanis most likely to back anti-gay "honour" abuse
  • Comparison: Honor Killings & Anti-LGBTQ Homicides
  • Instances of queer couples at the receiving end of abuse and fatal endings
  • Lesbian newlyweds flee honor killing threats in India
  • Honor killing by Neelam
  • Udaipur couple murder: Police say duo thrashed with stone, later stabbed; honour killing suspected

    Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Srishti Prakash
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