Documentary: The Immoral Daughters in the Land of Honour
Location: Alliance Française auditorium
Date: Thu, 2012/03/15 - 6:30pm
In partnership with Vikalp Film Archive
The Immoral Daughters in the Land of Honour, by Nakul Singh Sawhney (93’)
“Those who threaten our traditional code”, says Jai Singh Ahlawat, the Head of the Ahlawat Khap, “… are the educated youngsters, the Dalit officers, who want everything to be equal…and, of course, our “asabhya betiyan”, (immoral daughters) who imagine equality like animals and want our age-old customs to die out…” Voices like Jai Singh Ahlwats’s belong to the patriarchal and casteist pillars of a feudal society -- the Khaps; those who oppose “self-choice” marriages and deny young people the right to love.
There’s Seema of Haryana, whose brother Manoj and his wife Babli were killed for marrying in the same gotra. There’s Mukesh of Rohtak, who almost became a victim of an “honour” killing herself; how she fought back and and created a new life for herself. Geetika, a student of Delhi University, directs a street play on “honour” crimes. Monica, a Jat girl, who married Gaurav Saini, from Delhi. Anjali sees education as a way to break out of the arranged marriage and domestic life her family wants for her. Her M.Phil thesis, on honour crimes, is her answer to the voice of tradition.
In Izzatnagari ki Asabhya Betiyaan, we have the stories of five young Jat women who dared to resist. These women take on the powerful Khaps and in the process confront “honour” crimes, injustice and social boycotts. These multi-narratives of women are intercut with that of the Khaps. Through these stories, Asabhaya Betiyaan exposes the fissures, hypocrisy and violence in a supposedly modern and democratic India.