It’s no longer happening elsewhere — in Pakistan, Haryana or Bihar. Honour killing has reached the Capital’s heart. There is shock and outrage over the murder of a teenaged couple in northeast Delhi’s Gokulpuri.
On Sunday night, Asha Saini was killed along with boyfriend Yogesh Kumar, allegedly by her parents who objected to the alliance.
“Oh, my God,” says boxer Vijender Singh, who is from Haryana. “Honour killings have become a regular feature in my state and now it’s happening in our country’s Capital. It’s horrible. Mera khoon khaul raha hai (my blood is boiling).”
“Thank God! I’m not Asha Saini,” says Priya Bhattacharji, a researcher with a Gurgaon-based MNC. “Thank God! I was born in a liberal household but that is what I assume. Asha must have also assumed the same, perhaps.”
While Delhi boasts of a rapidly modernising society, honour killings over caste or class comes like a blast from the past to hold the new generation at ransom.
“I’m so angry. If we keep depending on caste system, we’ll never progress,” says Jai Kumar Chautala, a social worker in Valmiki Sadan colony. “Our society must protect people in love and not kill them for being in love.”
Nita Sharma, a Dwarka resident, whose Brahmin daughter married a Kayastha boy in 2008, says, “When your child falls in love with someone outside of your community, you have two choices — either to make the society happy or make your child happy. I opted for the latter.”
Social activist Aditya Kaul cites his family’s example. “My parents are from the same gotra (the reason for honour killings in Haryana). I exist today only because some narrow-minded people didn’t kill them. So why is the new generation being a victim of honour killing? It cannot be tolerated.”
But what can the angry people do? “I really don’t know,” says Bhattacharji. “My friends are expressing their anger on Facebook and Twitter, but will that help?”