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Violence against women

The recent acid attack has sent shivers down the spine of every conscientious soul. The diabolical act has saddened us all

Post by on Sunday, February 13, 2022

First slide

Humanity sank deeper into the river of obloquy and ignominy when a 24 year old daughter of Kashmir suffered a brutal and dastardly acid attack, in the downtown area of Srinagar, which is abode to many renowned saints, whom we consider our spiritual mentors and bulwarks. We the so-called heirs and custodian of the cherished mystic traditions have brought disrepute to the glowing ethos and morals of our ancestors. The rich legacy of our old value system has vanished into the thin air. Pirwair is now confined to books and speeches only. The land was famous for its genteel and sober inhabitants, but now, things are getting from bad to worse each passing day.

The recent acid attack has sent shivers down the spine of every conscientious soul. The diabolical act has saddened us all. Condemnations are pouring in from different sectors. And every heart is aching, every eye is moist, every tongue is numb, every face is dejected, every creature is mourning, the blue sky has turned redder in the grief; because the hapless daughter has been subjected to barbaric and inhuman treatment. It has brought a collective shame to our existence as a nation. It has shaken the foundations of our social setup. We are not only grieved, but worried and perturbed as well, because the future of our coming generations is looking bleak. God forbid, if the growing social evils are not checked in time, we may end up as the beasts of the jungle or even worse than those. The onus is on us to nip the evil in the bud, before it is too late to douse the fire.

Masculine hegemony has shrunk Binti-Hawa to a mere toy of amusement and recreation. She is being treated as a mere slave. Her rights have been usurped by her own people. She has no role in decision making. The scenario is even bleaker in our rural setup, where women work parallel to men in agricultural fields and other spheres, but she hardly possesses any ownership rights of common assets, she shares with her siblings. Even her own toil and labour brings no solace and comfort to her. She works like a domestic servant in her in-laws home, but never gets the acknowledgement, love and sympathy she deserves. She is being denied the right in ancestral property by her own parents and siblings. She is abused, cursed and mocked for giving birth to a female child. Eve-teasers and road-romeos have narrowed her paths, and a sense of insecurity and fear makes her scary everywhere. Now, the serpents are spitting venom against the fairer sex in the broad day light. Acid is the latest act of pain inflicted upon the daughter of Hawa.

The horrendous acid attack has put several questions marks on our way of parenting, educational system and our way of preaching and understanding our religion. Lap of a mother is very rightly considered to be the first school of a child. Both the mother and the father are the first teachers of the child. A few decades ago, most of the parents were illiterate, they had no big degrees and certificates to their credit, but they had the abilities to carve out beautiful human beings from their cradles. They had different priorities, expectations and interests than their successors. Materialism was in no way ruling their thought process. Hoarding and piling up wealth was not their manifesto, rather they would believe in apportionment and distribution of their assets among needy and destitute. They were the embodiments of modesty. They would hardly dare to look at any women, other than their sisters, wives, mothers etc... Compassion, empathy and decency was not taught through sermons, rather they would set glaring examples of human values and morals, by leading pious and virtuous lives.

Our ancestors were the epitomes of modesty and humility. Daughter of a neighbor was considered one's own daughter. Alas! We as good parents have failed. We have failed to create virtuous benchmarks for our children. We are not the true ideals whom our children should idolize. We emphasize upon the material requirements of our children, and ignore their spiritual, social, moral and ethical upbringing. Well, I am never against modernization and urbanization, but it should not be at the cost of our moral fabric. I wonder how parents, brothers and elders watch intimate serials and films with their sisters, mothers and other women folk of their families. Watching amorous and obscene serials and films has exhausted our faith. Internet has proven the last nail in our coffin. Easy access to internet, that too without any proper vigil from the responsible stakeholders viz parents and elders, has landed us into the oblivion. The evil has intoxicated us. The deluge of immodesty will sink us all and sundry. Parents must rediscover and revisit the parameters of the parenting. We must not teach by rhetorics, but by being pragmatic in our approach.

Our educational system has miserably failed on the moral front, because literates are leading the numbers, as for statistics of crimes and evils are concerned. Most of our drug addicts are college going students. And most of the eve teasers are the students, who are part of a big educational system. Something is terribly wrong with the system. It is either the fault of teachers to groom the students well in accordance with our social and moral ethos, or the curriculum is somewhat devoid of it.  Time has come when our policy makers must include moral education in our curriculum, because education has been confined to reading and writing only. If educational institutions cannot elevate our social and moral ranks, then we must go for their immediate revisions and amendments. Values and ethics are essentially important for the sustenance of a civilization and a cultural legacy. And education is the best possible way to transmit values among our young generations. There must be a substantial weight-age to the moral character of a student when it comes to passing an examination. I mean, students with upright characters must be given some extra marks to elevate their examination grades. It will definitely help in the inculcation of values among children. And there must be regular seminars, symposia, workshops, awareness programmes regarding the moral education.

Religion is not something to be meant for hereafter (Aakhirah) only. It is undoubtedly something beyond beliefs, rituals and worship. It helps man to establish a value system without the help of any law enforcing agency. Every religion emphasizes upon values, morals and ethics. Here, our Imams, moulvies, preachers and orators must enlighten people about their religious obligations regarding human values. We have probably restricted our religion to some mere rituals and institutions. Let preachers aware masses how the Uswai-Hasana ( An excellent model of conduct ) of prophet Muhammad (SAW) ushers us to beautify the world with values and ethos. We must appraise masses how the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to treat women. The Holy Prophet was the most compassionate and the kind human being to women. On the farewell pilgrimage, the Holy Prophet (SAW) cautioned His followers to become the true trustees of the rights of their women. Entire mankind will fail to produce a single similitude of such great veneration for women folk.

 

Women are their own defenders and guards. An Islamic dress code reduces the chances of a woman to fall prey to molestation bids, as compared to women who make exhibition of their bodies, though being dressed. Decent outfits add volumes to the real beauty of a lady. But, we have misunderstood and misinterpreted the meaning of decency. Vulgar costumes mean decent for our daughters, albeit exceptions. Thus, we have invited the trouble for ourselves. Let women not cross the boundaries of feminism. Most of the literate women are ostentatious in their approaches. If our education is not adding decency to our behavior, then, it is not the education, but mere wastage of time and resources.

As Allama Iqbal (RA) rightly said:

Jis Ilm Ki Taseer Se Zan Hoti Hai Na-Zan,

Kehte Hain Ussi Ilm Ko Arbab-e-Nazar Mout

 

(The Author is a Teacher and Rising Kashmir Columnist. He can be reached at mushtaqhurra143@gmail.com)

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