I'm turning to write down this article after I have read the letter which was written by my friend to his three months old daughter. The letter that stifled me to a magnitude that I could not remain tight-lipped, the letter, was slushy and discussed at large the plight of a father who has spun eunuch to protect his daughter from the wolves that he sees around him. The father is seen beseeching his daughter in the letter with folded hands while trying making her comprehend his state of vulnerability. He piteously appeals her not to consider her father as a mere scaredy-cat when she attains the age of thoughtfulness. The tears tremble down from my cheeks while I read the letter, since it was not a letter but the reflection of my society and my surroundings.
Today, I don't want to discuss theories and references. Today, I don't crave to cite the books I have read. Today, I don't desire to tell you; what is right and what’s wrong? And, what's good and what's bad? Because, I had countless times asked my Nana, why doesn’t he preach; when he is supposed to? His answer would always come with solemn tone, “I’m 90 years old man and have comprehended this creation better than you have; I have observed that people can effortlessly extricate between right and wrong, since they have been preached prior to me by those preachers who were better than I am; but still, they follow what they like . My Nana has passed, but, his saying is engraved in my heart, as time has proven that knowledge with experience surpasses the knowledge of book and theories.
Few weeks back, in the broad day light, in the outskirts of Srinagar which is crowded with people and is considered the busiest places of Kashmir witnessed an incident in which the 24 year old, young and pretty girl became the target of the one whose offer she had declined some time back. However, it’s pertinent to mention that sprinkling an acid onto the faces of young girls is not a novel incident in the valley; which however, is called ‘Solemn Garden’ ---Such occurrences have been seen prior to the recent one. But, when the crime reaches at its heights and spreads like a wild fire to make others fear and quake then it is understood that the fault lies in the system of law and judiciary.
To quote Nirbhaya rape case, 16th December 2012,the perpetrators were not hanged and justice was not done until last year, after almost a decade, and may questions were raised and law was challenged by many in favor of the committers given one among them was a juvenile but most brutal and inhumane according to the statements. They say, justice delayed is justice denied but in this country this seems monotonous and mundane task; otherwise, we would have not seen incidents like these happening again and again. The first incident was reported in 2013 at Baghat Srinagar, in which the girl had turned down the proposal of a shopkeeper, who then in his frustration had dotted acid on her face, the next was in 2015, in which a girl from ‘Law college’ at Nowshahra Srinagar become the victim. I mentioned only three incidents which were highlighted and came into public domain, but many of the incidents are unheard and remain shrouded in dark corners of the victims and get buried with the soil that is put on them.
When such incidents are repeated again and again, then one must understand that the fault lies in the commandments of that country; had commandments been tougher to give these wrongdoers the sternest sentence then the repetition would have long back been stopped. There is saying, “In a country where a persecutor gets mercy there innocents die in abundance that too unpityingly. Crime is inborn and convictions cannot be changed, for values come with upbringing and background plays a pivotal in grooming the behavior a child. Moreover,different families have different approach of life; when I write it, I don’t mean to say that a family will be motivating source behind such incidents but this too is true that an undisciplined and valueless family shall be biased and can go to any extent to safeguard their family member who has done crime and is declared shamefaced, and such families are cankers in a society for all the families are not angelic in its nature as I have seen many professors, lecturers and others with highly designations and others whom society weighs with high esteem as characterless beasts and wild creatures.
Back in 2014, a girl from woman’s college M.A road Srinagar, while interacting with me narrated a horrible tearjerker, “I heard a young contractual lecturer in the same college whispering ‘this is a cloud nine on planet earth and with how many girls I shall romance’.” The girl asked me then, what morality and goodness shall she expect from the meanest teacher like these.” The teaching profession which is considered the profession of sainthood has downgraded to such an extent that girl-students dread to come next to a male teacher who was considered next to father once. Moreover, I feel it worth mentioning that once my write-up had gone against a senior Urdu lecturer of my village, in which I had discussed at large the importance of sports; as I consider sports equally important with academics and to be frank, it makes me not only pleased but contented to see young boys playing in the playground with smiling faces and charming looks, for I consider it not only makes them healthy but away from narcotics and wrongdoings. The Urdu lecturer, who had read humanities as a subject had commented so much vulgarity as comment on my write-up which even cannot be written here after having evidence too.
So degrees, designations and affluence are not scales to measure a person’s character as character come with right nurturing--- the roots of which are found in the families who sacrifice everything for their right doing and stand by their values not only in their darkest phases but also during the time when everyone turns against them. As the saying goes “even if a man can move a mountain still he cannot escape his upbringing.” Upbringing plays a crucial part in the life of a man as psychologists say that man is an outcome of his surroundings. Which means every creature of this universe is not meant to teach the lessons of morality and teaching moral science, some are for stern punishments which will create fear- psychosis for the rest to follow these callous actions time and again. The laws need not only to be strict in writing but also in application, besides that timely justice need to done unlike in case of Nirbhaya, 2012, whose mother had to knock door after till she was given justice that too after a decade.
Not only are there cases of acid victims but others as well such as deliberate car- hitting like Romana Javaid, 3rd May 2009 and eve-teasing which has become a mundane task for which society needs to work collectively to uproot, otherwise, we may come in a juncture where no one will desire to raise a girl child.
(The writer is a regular columnist. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org/)