If an honor killing is committed by Muslims in North America, chances are you won’t read about it in the mainstream American media, except perhaps locally, and briefly. However, if the honor killing has been perpetrated by Hindus or Sikhs, and in faraway India, the crime merits prominent treatment in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and of course, in The New York Times.
For example, on Saturday, July 10 the Gray Lady ran a front page article about a caste-related honor killing in Koderma, India.
The murdered young woman, Nirupama Pathak, a journalist, was a Brahmin, considered the highest caste; for more than a year, she was secretly engaged to a “top” fellow student who belonged to the “middle upper caste.” Ms. Pathak was also secretly pregnant. For her, there was no going back. And, unlike the law in many Muslim countries, the Indian law was on her side: Despite tribal tradition, inter-caste marriages are specifically permitted. Poor Nirupama was found dead in her bedroom in her family home. The family told the police, variously, that she had either electrocuted or hung herself. They produced a suicide note. However, according to an autopsy, it seems she had been suffocated. Since only her mother had been at home with her, her mother was arrested.