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The so-called "Khandan ki Izzat"
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The so-called “Khandan ki Izzat”

The wedding festivities continued with great hype as Mr. Khan married off his only daughter Kinza to one of his close friend’s son. A young, handsome and decent man, an engineer by profession, he seemed like a perfect match. The groom’s family, being highly educated and honest, didn’t allow Kinza to bring along any kind of dowry. Kinza was treated like a daughter as days followed after the wedding, this made her feel at home. Kinza was grateful for being blessed with such a loving husband and understanding in-laws. It was as if she got to live a “happily ever after” – nonetheless, the perfect life.

But that perfect life seem to call ends only a month after the wedding when her husband developed a terrible temper. At first, it was just verbal abuse, but one day, getting angry at some very petty issue, he slapped her hard on the face. Kinza was shocked as she had never expected something so cruel from her husband who had been so loving and caring. However, being embarrassed he apologized at once. Kinza decided to let go of it, but the incident repeated a few days later and became frequent over the passage of time. He would rebuke her and sometimes hit her as if taking out his day’s frustration on her. Having enough, one-day Kinza decided to tell it to her mother-in-law. Telling her everything, she was simply told that it wasn’t anything uncommon in their family and that her son had always been like this by nature. Kinza agreed, as her mother-in-law focused more on ‘Apne pyar se usey badalne ki koshish kro’ (Try to change him with your love).

As if Kinza hadn’t tried that already. Not once had she reacted to his short temper, but continued serving him and loving him as she did before, but it was of no good. In fact, his behavior only worsened. Kinza would hide her bruises and marks or lie about them when someone would ask. One day, after he hit her with a frame, which left a big wound on her forehead, Kinza couldn’t take it anymore and left for home. Up till now, she hadn’t told her parents about the trauma she had been suffering just because she didn’t want to upset them. But this time she told her parents everything, adding that she is now considering to calling this relationship off. Her father agreed to support her, but her mom being a typical Asian Ammi, told her not to let this little issue break their relationship, saying that ‘Aurat hi ghar banati ya bigarte ha’ (It is the woman who either makes or breaks a home). ‘Loag kya kehenge ge agr beti wapis ghar beth gae’ (What would people say if you split ways with him and come back home). As if others’ views mattered more than their daughter’s life and safety.

Nonetheless, they convinced her to go back to all that torture to protect the so-called ‘khandaan ki izzat’. They promised and assured her that they would strictly warn him and will take this matter seriously if he did urging of the sort ever again. If only they knew that there was never going to be a next time. The following week, he aggressively shoved her to the wall, which led to internal bleeding, and she expired shortly after being taken to the hospital.

As for those who killed her, it was not her husband alone, but her parents as well as her in-laws who didn’t support her, despite being aware of the entire scenario. Why doesn’t the society realize that marrying off your son to a girl hoping that she would miraculously reform his character and bad behavior isn’t justified? How can we expect a newly wed wife to teach him the morals and values that should have been instilled in him at a much younger age? I only wonder how many more girls need to be sacrificed before the society learn and understand!

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