What Will It Take for India to Stop Honour Killings?


What Will It Take for India to Stop Honour Killings?

Illustration: Akshita Monga


onika Godhara remembers her wedding night well. Earlier in the day, she and Vikramjeet Singh had registered their marriage at the Punjab and Haryana high court in Chandigarh. Exhausted from the pressures of the day, they retired to their friend’s home in Bijjuwali village of Sirsa district. It was well past midnight and everybody was asleep – except Monika, who was in the grip of a strange fear.

It was not unfounded. The silence of the night was pierced by a ruckus, but in that melee was a familiar voice. Monika looked out of the window to see her brother leading a group of men: Armed with sticks and sharp-edged weapons, they were baying for the blood of the newlywed couple. This was their cue. Monika woke Vikramjeet, and together, they scaled the rear boundary wall of the house and ran through the pitch blackness of the night, refusing to look back and face the demons following them.