What is wrong with some people? – India’s most talked about crime comes to an end

An Indian couple have been convicted of murdering their daughter Aarushi Talwar and their Nepalese servant, Hemraj Banjade. The 14-year-old only daughter of dentists Rajesh and Nupur Talwar was found with her throat slit and a fatal head injury in her own bedroom, next door to her parents’ room at their home. Suspicion initially fell on the servant until his body was found on the Talwars’ roof just one day later. Investigators said the Talwars killed Aarushi in a fit of rage after finding her with the 45-year-old servant in an “objectionable position”, suggesting the double murder was a so-called honour killing.

The prosecutors argued that Aarushi’s throat was slit in a manner indicating someone with medical skills, and that the two victims were hit by a golf club that was initially hidden by the Talwars. The Talwars’ denied murder, destroying evidence and misleading investigators. This is the one of the most talked about crimes in India due to the sexual rumours and allegations of investigative mishandling and media bias. Today the couple was finally sentenced to life in prison rather than the suggested death penalty.

What is wrong with some people? You can imagine my reaction immediately after reading this article. I was appalled after reading this and had to write about it. Being from the U.S., I found this honor killing egregious. If many of you do not know, India’s culture has strong patriarchal views about women and their position in society. In traditional male dominated societies, such as India, women are dependent first on their father and then on their husband, whom they are expected to obey. Women are viewed as property and not as individuals. Honour killings were deemed acceptable all through India’s history but, in today’s age, there is no room for such heinous acts. I am certainly in no position to judge anyone, but after reading numerous articles about this crime, I believe that the parents actually committed this murder as an honour killing. I also agree that giving them a life sentence was a better punishment than the death sentence. Only then will they be able to pay for their horrible act by having to live with the consequence of their act for the rest of their lives.

 

I invite any and all of you to read the articles surrounding this crime and the sentencing and let me know what you think about this. Do you believe that, given the facts, the sentence was appropriate? Do you believe that the parents actually committed the crime? Feel free to express any opinions about honour killings and women’s rights in India.

 

Sources: BBC; Telegraph; The Guardian

Pictures: Times of Oman

 

3 comments

  1. While this is such a heinous and disturbing crime, it is good to see India’s authorities making sure this crime does not go unpunished. Other countries, such as Yemen, do not punish fathers who commit honor killings with murder convictions. Instead they get six months to a year in jail. This past October, a 15-year-old girl from Yemen was burned to death by her father because she contacted her fiancé before the wedding. In some extremist countries, these honor killings are considered somewhat justified, which is terribly troubling.

    I do think that the Talwars committed the crime, a lot of the evidence points to them. While the article claims that it was “the rarest of rare cases” these honor killings happen all over the world. Hopefully the publicity of this case will send a message to those families who may consider such horrific acts. Seeing such a punishment will hopefully deter their behavior. It must take a lot for someone to murder their own child over a mistake or misunderstanding that they made.

  2. I do believe that the death penalty for some people is an easy escape. These people deserve to live the rest of their days with the shame haunted by disgusting and devastating manner they slaughtered their young daughter. What is truly disturbing is that initially reading this post reminded me of a particular case in New York when a Middle Eastern man honor killed his daughter for being too “Americanized”. After searching for 10 minutes or so I realized that there were far too many of these killings to find the particular one that I initially thought of.
    The sheer notions of honor killings also strike me as the epitome of a misnomer. There is an honor aspect because there is a belief that the perpetrators had brought dishonor or shame upon the family or community. The question remains is where is the honor of killing one’s own daughter? How is that acceptable? How is it okay to go through life knowing that you killed your child just because she wasn’t living up to your warped expectations?

  3. I agree with the sentence given in this case. For a crime as hideous as killing your own child, the criminals should face the strictest sentence. Making these people suffer in jail for the rest of their lives will probably have more of an effect than giving them the death penalty.
    Although it has been India’s culture to conduct these honor killings, in this day and age, they are completely unacceptable. There is absolutely no excuse for parents to kill their own child, regardless of what that child does. These types of killings are prevalent in many other cultures as well and have deep roots. However, they should not continue, especially when it involves parents killing their own child. This horrific event should be a message not only to people in India, but to the rest of the world that honor killings should not be looked past and that the killing of a child by a parent should never occur.

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