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Should You Get Killed For Celebrating Diwali?

November 3, 2010
diwali, festa della luce

© Marilena. All Rights Reserved.

The village of Kaluvas in Haryana boasts of being the home-town of one of India’s famous athletes — Vijender Singh who won a bronze medal for India, at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Two months after Singh won his medal, that year, in November, during the Diwali festival, two teenage girls became victims of a brutal gang attack by the villagers of Kaluvas.  They were stoned, and hacked with machetes and axes.  As they lay unconscious and bleeding, they were doused with gasoline and burnt alive.  The entire community then participated in a conspiracy of silence to hide their crime.

What was the “crime” of these girls that warranted such a gruesome attack? Their “crime” was that they had visited the homes of some boys to celebrate Diwali, to share sweets and to light crackers.  In a community where girls and boys are not supposed to even speak to each other, this harmless act of celebration on the part of the girls was considered to be bold and shameless.  And this  apparently had brought dishonor to their family and community, and so for that they had to die.

Every few days girls and women are killed this way and it argued (even in government circles), that there is an inherent, justified “cultural logic” to such so called “honor killings.”

How many more such girls and women must die before we say – “That’s enough.  No more!”

Every one of us who stays silent on this issue, or gets defensive about it, is conspiring with those who commit these crimes.  So join us in breaking this wall of conspiracy and silence by sharing this story.

This Diwali (The Festival of Lights), while you light crackers and share sweets with your community and neighborhood, we request that you remember these girls. That you keep their memory alive.

Share their story with all who don’t know it, or have forgotten it. And when you do, do also tell them that Diwali is the festival…

Of Light.

Of Good over Evil.

Of Widom.

Of Consciousness.

Of Enlightenment.

Of Truth.

Of Spiritual Victory.

Of Revolution.

We wish everyone a SAFE AND HAPPY DIWALI!!!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 6:49 am

    This is pity to know the story of two poor girls. I am shocked to know this inhuman story. We hope this will not happen again. Wish a happy diwali.

  2. Vandana Sabharwal permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:23 pm

    Izzat! Hamari izzat tab badhti hai jab hamara success hamarey apney karyon sey naapa jaayey, na ki beta-beti ney kya kaha, padosi ney kya kaha, wagehra. Jab hum koi bhi kaam saaf aur sachhey dil sey karengey, to kya bachhey nahi seekhengey? Merey khayaal mein inn ladkiyon ki missaal deni chahiyey – kyonki inhoney kisi aur ke festival mein shareekh hokar unki izzat badhayi thi. Indians have always been proud of celebrating every religious festival- giving / sharing all they have under the same roof. Let’s re-commit to respecting each others’ values. Ek-doosrey ke dharmik vicharon ko shraddha sey dekhkar hi hum ek hain; hum aagey baddh saktey hain.

    • November 3, 2010 2:03 pm

      @Vandana — the boys were Hindu’s just as the girls were. The reason the girls were killed was because they had gone to visit the families of the boys unescorted. That was considered a shameful act.

  3. Ananda permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:47 pm

    The act this family, this village, have committed against these young girls should cause them immortal dishonor. It is so wrong, wrong… It is not the girls who have brought dishonor, it is the community for doing something such as this..

    I wonder where the Indian Government is, do they not provide education to the people of India in these matters? Why is this going on today?? Have they no brain.
    There is a sure lack of maturity…
    These people should be educated what dishonor is.. and how they are dishonoring the human race, this community is a disgrace to humanity, it is a dishonor to all of humanity..

    It should be broadcast loudly over all the media in India.. and they should be shunned by all of society… When they talk about this athlete they should always tie the shame of what this community has done… shame shame shame

    • November 5, 2010 6:04 am

      @ Ananda, Unfortunately, it is more an issue of culture than education. These kind of lynchings for apparent “honor” takes place even among the wealthy. Take the Rizwanu case for example, which the police etc. all covered up for. People know that it is a criminal act — which is why in every case they try to cover up and hide their crimes. They do it — because they have the power to do it. And they know the justice and criminal system in India is too ineffective to stop them. It is not lack of education. It is power play. A lack of human compassion.

  4. November 5, 2010 7:36 am

    I am shocked hearing this story. I want to understand this culture but I cannot.

    • November 5, 2010 7:46 am

      @ariniaina — it all boils down to a power hierarchy. It works the same way as power hierarchy by race or religion does. Why did the Jews get killed in Europe ? Because the rest of the population had the power to kill them. In the end when one section of society has the power reigns — they don’t even need justification to kill. They believe they have the right to kill! It is a call to a society’s conscience when it says — we will not allow such barbaric abuse of power. We will not allow the persecution of any section of society. That is what every Indian and every citizen of the world must say about the female genocide in India.

  5. TITI permalink
    November 5, 2010 1:56 pm

    I was shocked with this type of act .This is violence against women especially girl-child.It just have to be stopped by the perpetrator.You can only do this by putting all machinery in motion.This group of people should be thought on the benefit of keeping their girl -child to enhance their productivity.This is inhuman and this barbaric abuse of power should not be allowed at all among the citizen of the world.

    • November 5, 2010 2:30 pm

      @TITI — we agree that killing of any form is a criminal act — and when it occurs across the spectrum of society like this it is basically because of lawlessness. The government “machinery” as you point out HAS to take responsibility for its failure to maintain law and order in society, and protect the rights of citizens. However, we also believe that we should not decide whether or not a person has a right to live because of how productive he or she is perceived to be. That again puts power into one groups’ hand. Usefulness is very subjective. Anyone then can decide that they are going to kill someone and use “productivity” as an excuse. Ultimately the right to life is the birth right of every citizen of the country. We must never have to justify why girls should be allowed to live. That is their birth right, their right under the constitution of India.

  6. November 5, 2010 3:38 pm

    No words…

  7. Von Shaheed permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:39 pm

    Hi! I found your blog on Yahoo.It’s really well written and it helped me a lot. Continue the good work!

  8. November 29, 2010 11:00 am

    we all should be more understanding to others beliefs, We can say I told you so or oh you were right when we all get to the other side :o)

    • November 30, 2010 6:31 am

      @diyer — the girls were killed not because they were of a different religion. They are all of the same religion. But it was considered shameless that they visited other people’s homes unescorted and celebrated Diwali with boys! The girls families felt that in doing so they had dishonored the families, so they killed them.

  9. Krysten Herzfeld permalink
    December 11, 2010 11:12 pm

    I appreciate you sharing this post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  10. emery permalink
    January 30, 2012 11:41 pm

    these are the sort of crimes you expect out of the Taliban. the Indian media often covers cases of honor crimes in Pakistan and Afghanistan but never mentions the massive problem they have with them on there own soil. the truth is that honor killings are a form of terrorism and for country which claims to be at war with terrorism to allow this type of terrorism to thrive on its own soil is a major disgrace. if those responsible were charged with terrorism than maybe family honor would stop being so important.

  11. emery permalink
    January 31, 2012 12:13 am

    the best way to stop honor killings is to charge those responsible for them with terrorism. these are the types of crimes you expect the Taliban to commit. we cannot allow such acts to go unpunished. just because the ISI was not involved doesn’t make what happened that night in that village any less an act of terrorism. maybe if people started being convicted of terrorism for honor killings than family honor would stop being so important.

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