by Rafi Ramzan Dar
Has anybody ever thought sincerely about how many hours these daughters and daughters-in-law work for just to make our homes as well as our lives beautiful and worth living that too unpaid for their entire life?
The tragic ‘death’ of Kausar Jan of Shehlipora Anantnag on January 19, is an eye-opener for all of us. In fact, it is not only the death of a young woman but also the demise of millions of her dreams in addition to the innumerable hopes and aspirations associated with her life by her parents, relatives, friends and neighbours. Whatever may be the reason behind this shocking incident, time will unravel everything.
The point that strikes one’s mind the most here is what gives birth to such heinous crimes so much so that precious human life is lost that too in the blink of an eye.
Human life doesn’t exist out of blue. The life that is eventually born is first fighting a battle to survive only after nature passes through the survival of the fittest test. That is what happens in the mother’s womb.
Once the time arrives to welcome this life in the world, different thoughts and preoccupied notions begin to make rounds and occupy both inside and outside of our minds and hearts. To a sheer disappointment, when the news of the birth of a baby girl comes out, the hitherto smiling faces become gloomy all of a sudden as if dark clouds have shrouded the whole atmosphere and the lightning and thundering have just stricken down the whole family where this life opens its eyes.
What leads to this topsy-turvy state is nothing but a poor and pathetic mental setup backed by the patriarchal society towards our females who are none other than our daughters, sisters, mothers, wives and daughters-in-law. There is not an iota of doubt in the fact that in our male dominant society females are always treated as second-order citizens at almost every stage of their life.
Once a girl attains puberty, her natural cycle becomes a question mark. She can’t openly ask for a sanitary pad in our markets. When it comes to her education, she is again victimized to a subordinate approach wherein boys are considered to be breadwinners and girls to be homemakers.
A time comes when this girl attains adulthood and become mature enough to take part in decision making in her family. Here, again she is treated as a passive being and not treated at par. Her choices become limited and her area of exposure shrinks, which in long run shrinks not only her mental horizon but also makes her approach meaningless towards life.
Then she migrates from her paternal home to a new and hitherto unknown home. This is the home of her in-laws who most often prove to be masters of this newly owned slave. Alas! What a beautiful legacy we carry forward from generation to generation.
On one hand, this young girl leaves her parents, her family, her childhood memories attached to every bit of her mother’s home. While on the other, we as in-laws leave no stone unturned in making her life miserable by letting her down and feel subordinate and inferior to our own sons and daughters. Has anybody ever thought sincerely about how many hours these daughters and daughters-in-law work for just to make our homes as well as our lives beautiful and worth living that too unpaid for their entire life?
What do these unpaid workers get in return from us except extra work, malnourishment, suffocation and diseases? In order to preserve the sanctity and beauty of their conjugal relation, they hardly disclose anything untoward to their paternal side. However, taking advantage of this subordination, we keep on increasing their mental pressure through various weapons of torture and timely demands for gifts like cars and gold etc.
All this saturates a common human being. Once that point reaches, we get a shocking outcome in the form of our daughters-in-law’s suicide or mental collapse leading to cardiac arrest and ultimate death as seemingly has taken place in the above-mentioned tragedy. In this way, we lose a precious life- a life with millions of unfulfilled or half-fulfilled dreams with a dying wish to live long.
It is time to wake up and introspect morally and ethically at our individual as well as collective levels and ask ourselves this question. Who is responsible and who is to be blamed for such a type of well planned and properly architected murders? Let us pledge firmly and wholeheartedly for not being part of such acts anymore. Let us not wait further and act now. Tomorrow it will be too late.
(Author teaches Geography at Government Degree College, Kulgam. The opinions expressed in this write-up are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the views of Kashmir Life.)