A Battle Lost

Arshid Malik

On the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, a woman in downtown area of Srinagar City set herself ablaze after her husband and in-laws allegedly harassed her over dowry. What kind of torture must she have undergone at the hands of her in-laws, I wonder, that led her to end her life on Eid ul Adha – “Festival of the Sacrifice”, and gruesome is the only word that comes to my mind. What must her in-laws have been demanding from her – a luxury car perhaps; money or maybe bricks of gold? They must have been abusing her verbally and physically, perhaps taunting her over her helplessness.

As for the people who tortured her nothing is left for me to wonder about for I know the assumedly inherent diabolically demagogic proclivities that all Kashmiri people possess and how aptly they know how to exercise such “paradigms” under the garb of religion and an assumed morality in order to terrorize women down here.

While cops have reportedly arrested the tyrants who drove her to end her life, another case has been reported from Nishat area of the city where a woman has set herself ablaze over alleged harassment by her in-laws. Some reports even say that she was set ablaze by her in-laws and I am not sure which story to believe but the fact remains that another woman’s story has ended on a very sad note and we, yes we all are to blame for her death.

We are a population of killers over the fact that hundreds of us have been murdered in cold blood by Indian security forces over the pretext of a fire that we ourselves started. So we get killed and we hunt, prey and kill for the heck of it. What kind of a vicious circle is that?

The united majority of Kashmiris is Muslim. We consider ourselves part of the Ummah. And we “lynch” our women to death. That is quite a paradox.

Kashmiri men are filthy brutes when it comes to their women, I am led to conclude, and the sad part of the story is that there are women in the family who are affiliates to the crimes men commit against women here – I am talking of the all-too-enigmatic Kashmiri mother-in-law who steers the course of the whole generation of women married into their homes away from all kinds of normalcy and this is after she has been tyrannized her entire life by her in-laws over the course of her married life. A vicious circle indeed. And to top it all we are Muslims.

The war we started against our enemy state, which has deprived us our debatable rights, was an open round for “freedom” from oppression. We failed and we failed miserably no matter how high we get on the “freedom” spire every now and then, especially our separatist leaders and try to eventuate that the battle is yet to be “won” we have lost it all out. We Kashmiri Muslims can make very decent fools out of ourselves. And why did we lose? We lost because we “had no road-map”, “India and Pakistan both played foul”, “erstwhile Governor of the state, Jagmohan, played foul”, “militancy was exposed at a stage where it sought dormancy” and all; we have thousands of lame excuses and what we do not have is the truth and that is because we never look beyond our arrogant noses. The truth that we never had is that we lost because of one simple reason – we lost because people who take away other’s rights don’t deserve rights. We, all along, deprived our women of their rights and that in turn became our destiny – we never got the rights we demanded and perhaps never will because the battle was lost every day in entirety when a woman was murdered by her in-laws or ended her life to get away from the curse that we Kashmiri Muslims have become.

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