A young girl was allegedly burnt alive by her parents in Madurai in Tamilnadu on Gandhi Jayanti Day ( 2.10.2014 ) for marrying a dalit boy.
The only way to eradicate such monstrous acts is giving death penalty to those found guilty. I have said ( with Justice Gyansudha Misra ) in a judgment ( Bhagwan Das vs. State of Delhi, 2011) that 'honour killing' must have only one punishment, death. We must strike terror in the hearts of these barbaric, feudal minded, killers by hanging them. That alone will send a message that such horrendous acts are simply unacceptable in the modern age.
In Bhagwan Das vs. State ( NCT 0 of Delhi, 2011 we observed :
" In our opinion ' honour killings ', for whatever reason, come within the category of 'rarest of rare' cases deserving death punishment. It is time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on our nation. This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilized behaviour. All persons who are planning to perpetrate ' honour killings ' should know that the gallows await them "
It is so tragic that although more than 200 years have expired since it was declared in those memorable words in the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 which are still ringing in history : "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal--" many Indians still regard a section of our own people ( the dalits ) as inferiors.
When I said that we are still largely a very backward country, full of casteism and communalism, I was furiously attacked by some ' patriots '. But do such horrid deeds not show the truth of my statement ? How many of us are willing to accept their daughter marrying a dalit boy, even if he has a good character and is financially well off ?
I said in Lata Singh vs. State of U.P.that if the parents disapprove of their daughter marrying someone, the maximum they are entitled to do is to break off social relations with her. But they have no right to threaten her, confine her to a room, beat her or murder her. If they do that, they, and others involved, must be given harsh punishment, for then they are taking the law into their own hands.
But who listens to me ? I have been accused of being a maverick, a publicity seeker, a person with a foot in the mouth disease, a crazy person, a person with a hidden agenda, and even ( by one Chief Minister ) a dog, when all I have been trying to do all along was to spread rationalism and scientific thinking to take my country forward