SATYAMEV JAYATE 5 – Is there any honor in Honor Killings?
Aamir Khan has kept the custom alive – the custom of shaking the latent conscience of our society and civic system..
He has openly questioned the guardians of barbarism to step forward and answer the question – Where is honour in HONOR KILLINGS?
Ishq par zor nahi, hai ye woh aatish ‘Ghalib’
ki lagaaye na lage aur bujhaaye na bujhe!
With these lines, Aamir Khan began the show.
The fifth episode touched the draconian traditions that revolve around the caste system in India, questioning whether falling in love was actually a crime. The guests included a couple who are facing the danger of death for eloping and getting married, relatives of those murdered for merely loving a person, members of a khap panchayat and the chief of ‘Love Commandoes’.
While each episode opens with Aamir questioning the audience on their opinion about the relevant issue, this Sunday’s episode started on a different note. A girl from the audience counter-questioned the superstar about his opinion on Ishq i.e. love. Aamir was quick to answer with a touch of humor.
Khap panchyats / honour killings is an issue that was never given its due space in the news. Although individual cases are brought to light, unlike female foeticide or sexual harassment, there have been no concrete steps taken against honour killings.
Fehmeeda and Lokendra who eloped from a village in Jhansi and got married revealed how they have been living in fear since over two years. A surprising fact that they highlighted was how the servants of law, the cops, play a role in supporting families who threaten to kill their own daughters/sons in the name of honour. Lokendra described how he was beaten up by the police despite having a protection order from court. The couple has been shifting houses for over two years to escape Fehmeeda’s family that refuses to accept their relationship.
The next guest, Kishwar Rahman spoke about how her son was ruthlessly murdered by his Hindu wife’s family, that was astonishingly ruled as a case of suicidal death by the cops.
The third case highlighted a gruesome end to a love story. The case of Manoj and Babli has been in news since past four years. This well-known case of khap panchayat has initiated a number of debates on the issue of same-caste marriage. Manoj and Babli, a jaat couple belonging to the same ‘gotra’ went against their families and got married.
The couple fought in the court to prove that Manoj had not kidnapped Babli (as explained by Babali’s family). Despite being legally under police protection, the couple was brutally murdered. Manoj’s sister and mother Seema and Chandrapati Banwala, decided to raise their voice and are till date fighting a legal battle, in which, two accused have been astonishingly convicted and the others have been awarded life imprisonment. On Satyamev the mother-daughter duo described the horrifying murder of the innocent couple.
Aamir also interacted with members of a khap panchayat in Haryana who refused to accept the Indian law and claimed that traditions were the rule of land in their state. Surprisingly, even after a numerous cases have highlighted the vicious acts by khap panchayat, the members present on the show claimed that no panchayat has ever ruled murder as a punishment for a couple that goes against ‘societal norms’.
Aamir questioned the power of khap panchayats in framing their own laws when the government allows people over marriageable age the freedom to choose their life partners.
The most interesting guest of the morning was Sanjay Sachdev, head of Love Commandoes, an organisation that supports couples who are facing threat to their life for having married against the ‘socially-accepted norms’. One of the very few human rights organisation that works towards protection of such couples provides them legal support and shelter. Quoting the yesteryears song “khullam khullapyar kareinge hum dono.. Iss duniya se nahi dareinge hum dono”, he described his motto: “Premi-premika mein vishwas ho, prem-virodhiyon ka naash ho”.He also highlighted how Rajasthan government managed to eliminate the cases of honour killings, while Haryana government, caught in petty vote-bank politics, failed to implement a strict rule.
Aamir also highlighted the story of a family who overcame the societal pressure and accepted their daughter after she got married to a boy from another caste.
One can certainly hope the media takes the hint and pay more attention to cases around the country that have been conveniently slipped under the rug.
Watch the video of the show here: