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By: Mushtaq Hurra

The recent gruesome incident at Hajibal Baramulla, where a mentally challenged teenage girl fell prey to the brutality of a beast when the victim was helping her mother in the fields to fetch fodder for cattle. The devil-minded hound tore apart the chastity of the innocent who was already battling some mental woes.The shocking episode has sent shockwaves among the masses in general and fathers of daughters in particular.

Her poor parents particularly her father was persuaded by some locals not to inform police.He had been reconciled to make a truce.Another criminal might had escaped the clutches of law, another victim might had been denied justice, had not the victim’s mother gathered courage to inform the local police.

Many rape victims keep silent and bear the pain of the atrocities and sexual assault till their death.They fear humiliation to them and to their families.This pain snatches their peace of mind and pushes them to unending dejection and sea of pessimism.Many parents force their daughters to keep mum in the name of honor and social status as they fear the rejection of their daughters in marital affairs.

Sexual assaults are not alone when women are harassed by men. Both in heterogeneous and homogeneous societies, Binte Hawa has been facing the tantrums of masculinity. From domestic abuse to the atrocities, sitting in different chairs, she has been reduced to a mere source of amusement and pleasure.

The trend is extremely alarming in the urban societies, where woman is exposed to the high-handedness of men. With the increasing number of rapes, molestation bids and domestic abuse, her plight is deplorable.

According to ThomsonReuters foundation, India is the most dangerous place for women in the world. According to this foundation, India has become unsafe for women than Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia where women faced the brunt of brutality of the occupational forces. According to official figures and data, four rapes are registered every hour in India by police. The number may be higher because many fear insult and bad name by informing others. Mutiliation of female genitals and acid attacks on women are increasing. Child marriage, though has been abolished and banned by the Constitution,  but ironically, the prevalence of child Marriage is still very high in India.

According to UNICEF, 27% Indian girls are married before their 18th birthday.

In conflict zones like Syria, Afghanistan and Kashmiri, she is the worst hit victim of war and violence. Death of her son, brother, father or husband, puts her to acute trauma and unending difficulties in life. Stress, depression and misery has become her fate.

In many parts of the country, she is still sold like a cow or a goat.She is badly treated at many workplaces like brick-kilns, cement factories and other places.where are civil and human rights activists? Where are the Constitutional provisions and rules to safeguard her? Many unfortunate innocents turn up to be prostitutes who are sold by brokers to adorn the brothels.

Though our rural setup is somewhat different than our urban lot but the poison is spreading at an uncontrollable rate. Post marital atrocities at the hands of in-laws is growing.The scenario in metropolitan cities is extremely bleak. She is beaten, tortured and even handed over to the flames for insufficient dowry items.

In many families, she is condemned for giving birth to a female child. Any misfortune in the family is attributed to her. She is cursed for a failure to any individual in the family.

Though Constitutions and religious scriptures have banned gender discrimination but many ill-minded people still consider boys Superior to girls. Fact of the matter is that girls have been outshining boys in elite examinations for last many years. Many so-called civilized and advanced people still stigmatize her education. She is considered blunt-minded for many jobs though she has proven the notion wrong.

Many parents force their daughters to give up their studies as they believe in the dogma that daughters are only fit to carry out different domestic chores.This myth has perished many daughters.It is completely against the basic teachings of different religions.Even prophet Mohammad SAW has ordered Muslims to seek knowledge irrespective of genders.Even women education is considered more vital than men’s education.A lady’s education is believed to be a family’s education and the education of a man is considered an individual’s education.

Eve-teasing is emerging as a major challenge in our society which needs to be tackled immediately and wisely. Our new grown up boys need to be groomed in accordance with religious and moral teachings. Who can forget Romana Javaid who fell prey to the menace of eve-teasing. Very recently, four sisters in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut city were teased and harassed to the extent by the local thugs that they stopped attending their school.

Is woman so weak that she can be treated like this? How can the world continue without her? Although we have different legislations to address the issues that are harming a woman in any manner, but it doesn’t seem that sufficient measures have been taken to eradicate such crimes. Our religious scholars, Imaams and orators have a big role to play. Let us all ponder over it.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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