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Crime and Society

Post by on Monday, May 30, 2022

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Last week, in a shocking incident, a woman was allegedly bashed to death by a self proclaimed ‘faith healer’ while performing ‘exorcism rituals’ on her.  This incident occurred in South Kashmir’s Shopian District. During the initial investigation police have arrested three persons so far including the faith healer, husband and the brother of the deceased women. The news of this incident spread like a wild fire and was followed by severe public outburst demanding exemplary punishment to those who are involved in this heinous act.  Other than fair investigations, these type of incidents calls for a thorough scrutiny of social apparatus, institutions and lacunas amidst the changing face of the society. In the last three decades, changes have been observed in almost all societies throughout the world, the UT of Jammu and Kashmir being no exception. In many states, traditional societies and modern communities continue to coexist. Now consider the situation in J&K, which has a population spread all over as traditional communities, predominantly dwelling in countryside and the modern society living in and around important towns and cities. It would be wrong to assert at this point that social evils and diseases that plague the whole society are non existent in modern communities and prevalent in traditional societies only. However, it can be verily proved that a certain social disease flourishes better in a given strata. There is nothing wrong in a traditional lifestyle and in fact it is a legacy, a heritage that reflects our roots. At the same time there are certain practices and beliefs, followed by the city and diligently by country folks, which have propensities of resulting in social disasters. Ideally, the government and the concerned authorities should mobilize resources and check institutions wherein exploitation and abuse are rampant. One may ask the question, how do these incidents happen in our society on regular basis? It is a fact that rather than addressing social and root causes of the problems, most of the times we are engaged in muckraking and performance checks. Leave alone the administration; we have a strong parallel order of headmen, spiritualists, preachers, educators and even reformists. What has been their contribution to eradicate these social evils that have been lurking for decades? Has the traditional society really been empowered or even educated to defend itself from all tricksters who keep on exploiting them? Cases like the recent alleged killing of women in the name of ‘exorcism’ is not to be viewed as the dark side of one individual, but the overall failure of the society.               

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