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August 11th, 2015

Killed for wearing jeans and a T shirt

Ignore the slightly purple prose, and focus rather on the horror.jeans 5.8.15

What on earth makes a young man think he has the right to kill his sister for wearing jeans and talking to boys?  Actually, let me rephrase that: what on earth makes a young man think he has the right to kill anyone?

Yes, you’re right.

Stop being so naive, Christine.

We all know this happens all over India.  It’s just that this particular story made it to the press.  What hasn’t made it to the newspaper (and probably never will) is what happens to this lowlife murderer.

Until severe and swift punishment happens, and is seen to happen, these kind of outrages will continue.  But in a country when the gang rapists and murderers of Jyoti –  the young girl brutalised on a Delhi bus – are still awaiting sentencing, what hope is there of swift retribution in a non-high-profile case like this?  The Delhi gang rape rattled India, and was covered by the world press.  And still…

I despair.

4 comments to Killed for wearing jeans and a T shirt

  • Jane

    As depressing as the father who refused to let lifeguards save his drowning daughter in Dubai because she would be dishonoured if men touched her!

  • jai

    ” But in a country when the gang rapists and murderers of Jyoti – the young girl brutalised on a Delhi bus – are still awaiting sentencing, what hope is there of swift retribution in a non-high-profile case like this? ”

    Even those who commit the most heinous crimes are allowed to have a fair trial. Sentencing to death and execution of death sentence is done only after the individual has exhausted all options. The judiciary regards the principles of justice as being over and above us and our very own emotions of anger, despair, etc. . So it does not matter if the public wants a hasty trial, it is just not going to happen. Otherwise what would be the difference between Indian judiciary and Taliban ?

    While many may disagree, I believe that it is necessary for us to allow the law take its own course, unaffected by public opinion that in this case, matches your own, however long it takes. The judiciary would cease to remain impartial if it were to be affected by the public opinion in any way.

    Now coming to the report on which this article is based, I must point out that in several cases, the reason for murder or rape is just a trigger or a pretext for the execution of crime. The crime may also just be an aberration, committed by a mentally unstable man. Articles like these don’t hold much value since

    1) They are published even before a trial is held.
    2) They are just opinions of people who the reporter could contact

    I have stayed in India for so long, and I have yet to personally come in contact with individuals so deranged as described in this article.

    Having said that, I am not denying the existence of the social phenomenon of honor killings but only questioning the tone of reporting, report’s reliability, the contradictory statements in the report about the motive of killing and most importantly, the generalization of the incident to pass a judgment on the whole Indian society.

    Believe it or not, we ARE rational humans, with brains, who can think and are not brainwashed to act in certain ways just because we were born in India ! And a large majority of us – 99.999% don’t make it into the news because we are level headed enough to not go to any such extreme, despite what we may personally believe.

  • christine

    Thanks Jai, for such a nice, detailed, balanced reply. I know, I know, I know. Shouldn’t generalise. I am married to an Indian, so tell me about good, level headed, decent folk 🙂
    But there is an ugly underbelly of sexual violence & of men trying to dominate women, which we can’t deny.
    And yes, of course, the law must take its course. Agreed. It’s just that it is so agonisingly slow here, that any immediate deterrent effect is dissipated.
    Once again, thanks. And please keep me grounded with thoughtful replies like this.

  • jai

    Justice is not for retribution. Otherwise, it would be an eye for an eye…..
    It is also not a deterrent. Otherwise it would amount to injustice to the individual being tried ! Justice means justice for all, even for the sentenced.

    The retributive vs restorative debate carries on and in its ambit comes the debate on capital punishment itself ! So things aren’t really that simple. However, the society does hold primacy in the Indian legal system as death sentence is handed only in the rarest of rare cases which may have shaken the conscience of the society.

    As far as underbelly of crime and sexual violence is concerned, it cannot be denied, needs to be looked into. However, it is not exclusive to India. Nothing changes in the nature of sexual violence as one crosses over the border from India to Pakistan to Afghanistan to Iran to Turkey to Bulgaria to Romania to Ukraine to Poland to Germany to France to England. What changes are statistics. Hence it must be talked about in a global context.

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