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Posted at: May 25, 2017, 12:20 AM; last updated: May 25, 2017, 12:24 AM (IST)

No honour in these killings

Rahul Dahiya, whose film G Kutta Se draws attention towards the topic of honour killings in Haryana, believes every woman should have the right to choose her partner

Amarjot Kaur

Had filmmaker Rahul Dahiya not overlooked the futility of ‘information overload’, which, he says, is often popularised by television channels that offer ‘hundred news items in one minute’ capsules, he would never have zeroed-in on a significant, gruesome and rather repetitive crime trend — honour killings. The subject has now become the central plot around which his 103-minute long film, G Kutta Se, revolves. “Honour killing as a news story is often bereft of sensitivity and complexity that the nature of this crime involves. What is honour, anyway? Patriarchy’s ego?” he soliloquises.

Born and brought up in Haryana’s Jind district, Rohtak and Sonepat, as a child Rahul would often visit his mother’s maiden village Ikkas. And it was a visit to this village, as an adult, that propelled the idea of making a film about honour killing. “As a child, I would visit my maternal grandmother in Ikkas with my mother and would often see a neighbour, a girl, who I never interacted with. Years went b and on one particular visit to Ikkas, my mother told me that the girl was killed. The story goes: she was electrocuted in the tubewell, her corpse was dressed up and seated in a bullock cart to show the villagers that she’s alive and then she was burnt at night.”  

Rahul recollects. “Initially, I thought I’d make a short film about it. Later, I wanted to talk about the auxiliary issues skirting the very idea of honour killing,” he says.

Core issue

Produced under the banner SFE International, the film has been screened at Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festival, Chicago South Asian Film Festival, 16th New York Indian Film Festival and has also been conferred the social impact award by YES Foundation. “It will hit the screens on June 9,” he confirms. Considering the data of census 2011, the sex ratio of females per thousand males in Haryana is 861 per 1000 males. Though reports claim that the number of females in the region is increasing, Rahul’s observation of society’s intrinsic character takes him to explore the general rapport between males and females. He says, “Well, honour killing has a lot to do with casteism, economic status, ego and patriarchy, but the core of it lies in the way society snubs any interaction between females and males. This often results in pent-up sexual urges, which often result in rape, murders, etc. That’s the sexual psyche of the society.”

To observations that mark a clear distinction between people in rural and urban spaces, their aspirations and traditions, Rahul shares that “the act of honour killing at the grassroots level is that of taking law into one’s hands. It’s like a personal issue more than a social issue...with youth looking at liberating themselves from the clenches of age-old traditions to finding love and the older generation securing their customs. Why can’t a woman have the right to choose her partner? Is that not woman empowerment? That’s what my film sets out to discover.” His film features grey, yet bold characters in parallel stories. Watch out!

amarjot@tribunemail.com

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