Where is Humanity? Pranay murder redicules the Honour of this Country!Sep 18, 2018
We have seen sarcastic status updates and trolls on Facebook recently where people talk about how Section 377 has legalized the LGBTQ community and yet India continues to grapple with inter-caste marriages. The ugly episode of Peramalla Pranay Kumar being murdered in broad daylight proves the dark truth in those status updates. The 24-year-old Dalit youth was attacked by an alleged hit-man in Miryalguda on the 15th of September. The sequences of events that have allegedly led up to this murder seem grotesque.
Pranay is married to Amrutha Varshini and that fact is what has wrecked havoc in their lives. Amrutha Varshini belongs to the Vaishya caste that is considered to be a higher caste while Pranay is a Christian belonging to the Mala caste that is categorized as a lower caste. Oblivious to all these malicious caste differences, Pranay and Amrutha have been childhood sweethearts who decided to become man and wife even as both the families voiced their opposition to the match on the grounds on differences in caste.
Amrutha’s Facebook page paints a picture of happiness with videos and pictures of her and Pranay happily enjoying each other's company and then later she has posted about motherhood. It is heart-breaking to see that the 5-months-pregnant Amrutha had to see her husband being hacked to death in front of her eyes while walking back from a routine gynaecologist appointment.
If this is a case of honour killing then what honour does it bring to the killer? Isn’t the term ‘honour killing’ oxymoronic by itself?
The background is that while Pranay’s parents accepted their relationship and took them in after some opposition, Amrutha’s family continued to oppose it. It is being said that Pranay and his family felt continuously threatened even before the murder due to some suspicious visitors to their home. The Police officers who were invited to their wedding reception that took place after Pranay’s parents blessed the couple had also warned the couple that they would have to be careful. The main threat in the scenario was Amrutha’s father, Maruthi Rao, who is a realtor and a businessman with a lot of high-profile contacts in Nalgonda district. Maruthi Rao’s house is just a few streets away from Pranay’s house.
Amrutha’s father and her uncle are now the main suspects of the case and it is alleged that they have confessed to their crimes even though the official word is not out yet. They have been charged and are being investigated. It is alleged that they paid the hit-man 10 lakhs to kill Pranay. Amrutha has also told reporters that her father had forced her to abort her baby and live without a baby for three years if she wanted his approval of the marriage. She suspects that he had said that because he was already planning to kill Pranay at that time and the baby would be a hindrance for him to take Amrutha back after killing Pranay.
Maruthi Rao already has a history of criminal records for land-grabbing and forgery. The Police are also digging into leads of Maruthi Rao using the ‘Nayeem gang’ to close business deals using violence. The same gang is suspected to be involved in this murder case as well. While Maruthi Rao is known as a rich and influential businessman in Miryalguda, his illegal connections are coming to surface only now.
Is ‘honour’ something that stems out of the credibility and purity of your actions or is it something that a certain caste name can give you? While Pranay’s devastated parents are saying that they will take care of Amrutha like their daughter and fight for justice, Amrutha’s parents have chosen to claim honour in their daughter’s widowhood.
Who is more honour-worthy among these two sides? Amrutha’s father has said that he was prepared to go to jail for the murder and he felt that his honour is definitely more important than his daughter.
Ultimately, it all comes down to respecting the choices of fellow human beings. Whether it is the LGBTQ issue, the rise in rape cases or the honour killings, the common problem is that one person is not able to accept the choices that another person makes. As long as our choices do not affect another person’s well-being, it is every individual’s right to do what they want. This basic fact has been completely ignored in our present society. While we continue to support Amrutha’s fight to bring justice to her murdered husband, let us not forget that we are a part of society too. The smallest things that we say or do can affect bigger things. Let us use our voices to wipe out extremism and violence and propagate a more accepting society for the generations to come.