Should You Get Killed For Celebrating Diwali?
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 Good over Evil.
Of Spiritual Victory.