A story of a daughter killed by her family.
The term honor killing appears very frightening and bizarre, but I could never imagine I was going to experience it through one of my loved one leaving a long-lasting impact on my memory. But the question arises that who has right of taking someone’s life and what is our law and order doing in the face of this brutality? It appears really difficult to live the fact, but life seems to be a difficult journey for the people who are surrounded by society whose mentality still rests in stone age where killing or massacre is no big deal. Or should I say, it has been made difficult by our bigoted society that has no relation with the formula of “live and let others live”.
I want to share a story of my own friend who became a victim to this cruelty act recently. I am not able to get over this incident and decided to write about it. You can say, I am only as strong as writing an article about it, may be a weakest tool, but only weapon to let my inner human calm down.
It was a pleasant day with dull sunlight and sky was turning cloudy as dusk was approaching. I was heavy eyed due to hectic exam days and ready to fall asleep in no time. Meanwhile, my room’s door knocked. I got out of the bed with drowsy steps and opened the door. Here was she standing. A broad smiling faced black ninja wearing a permanent big smile, she met me with the same enthusiasm and love as she used to do before. She came in and found me restless. She was so kindhearted that she always showed care and love. Now I was relaxed that she was finally there to help me out with my restlessness. She made tea and to help me get rid of this tiredness. We kept going with a gupshup session with a cup of tea and biscuit She made my perplexed mind so relaxed. I could never realize the one who was so helpful for others will be so empty inside.
I remember, I used to meet her in university on and off. She was my neighbor in hometown, and we came to Lahore to attend university. Though she was not my classmate, but we lived in the same hostel. She was my schoolmate’s sister. Her name was Maria. We spent good time together. What I can't forget is her beautiful smile and sparkling eyes.
Advent of 2020 — Corona virus was on its peak. University ended during the advent of Covid-19. Online classes era started. It was the last semester of my degree. All of the students went back to their homes because universities were not entertaining students anymore. Unbeknownst of the future, I was meeting her for the last time while we were leaving for homes.
Mid of 2020 — I woke up in the morning and we intended to go for shopping. I, my sister and mama got ready on time and left home. We came back home after three hours of tiresome experience. My mother is very choosy about shopping things, and we got to spend three hours ending up with finding only one dress suitable for us. Anyways, we entered home. I hung up the home keys on the key stand and put my bag on table. Suddenly, my mother’s phone bell ranged. Mama picked up call. It was my aunt. “Hello how are you Asma?” mama said. “I am fine” she replied, and conversation went on. Then she told her something that was not palatable.
I paused for a while looking at her astounded face. She was totally blank and said, what are you saying? Is it a right news? She could not talk much and hung-up phone. To my surprise, I went close to her and asked what happened? “Your friend Maria has been murdered” she replied. A chilled wave went through my spine, and I started looking at her with bulging eyes. I was feeling as if I heard something wrong. “What are you saying mama?” I exclaimed. She continued “Yes, she has been murdered by his own parents because she married someone without his family and later on, she was killed by them.”
I just could not believe her words. There was a long pause after that.
Not only this, but thousands of brutal stories are also on waiting list to be heard and noticed. A girl who was married 28 years ago against parents’ will was axed to death along with her 4 children. Cases have been reported where family killed their daughters to purify their honor for, they were being raped.
Just a conflict of belief is a thing that can persuade someone to kill another person. The social stigma of honor killing has left our tongues frozen and we are totally helpless in the face of this ever-increasing crime. In present world where people are deficient of food and water in some areas, there are also some people who are void of awareness which is as important as water to live. Such unlawful act in Asian countries like Pakistan and India is always on the top and thousands of people specially women become a major target to this animal act.
In Pakistan, 1000 women are murdered for honor killing a year. Honor killers mostly belong to village areas and are less educated who live only for their so-called honor. They also practice gender inequality which is a leading cause of it.
Honor killing cases have also been reported in United States, Jordan and Afghanistan. The far-fetched areas where writ of government is poor, the matter is taken into hands and considered as a matter of community and bystanders. Law should never allow the killers to get away as it is the first and foremost thing to minimize this act. People really need to realize that there is no honor in killing.