The Sorry State of affairs and the women in Kashmir
By: Nazima Hassan
Kashmir, as they say, is ‘Heaven on Earth’! It may be true perhaps to people who come from other countries or for that matter rest of the states of India also. For an ordinary Kashmiri what Kashmir is all about is perhaps a question that hardly needs any answer. Being a student of philosophy I may not be able to debate the politics and political horror we live in. Nevertheless, being an ordinary Kashmiri I can narrate the mayhem that have ruined one and all. The political chaos; Kashmir is passing through for the last seven decades of fraud, treachery and deceitful relation is no secret to anyone.
As the quote goes, “Politics is the art of looking troubles, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”. This is what actually Kashmir has witnessed. There was/is visible disease [read Kashmir conflict].Since the days of partition, the irony is that the problem was never diagnosed by political establishments in order to find a lasting solution. Instead what we saw was the political experiments and wrong remedies and policies that compounded the problems much further.
The political mess has given birth to horrible face of tyranny from the last three decades and so on. The everyday killings, torture, search operations and harassment of people are known unfortunate facts. Since the birth of this tragic conflict;parents have lost their loved children. Rapes in Kunanposhpora [two villages in North Kashmir Kupwara district] or Shopian victims and hundreds others are still awaiting for justice from this unjust rule. The disappeared persons are no more secret. Thousands got disappeared and their loved ones are still waiting, vainly hoping for their return someday. Thus in one way or the other every section of the society has suffered but women were/are the worst hit by this tragedy.
Women that constitute half of the population have been on forefront since this catastrophe unfolded. The role played by this section cannot be forgotten as women have given everything from their adoration to dignity. Alas! What is not that they sacrificed?
The pallets guns have been used to snatch eye sight of many girls/women lost eye sights and were injured. There are hundreds of Iqras and Inshas, who were blinded by these lethalweaponry.
Nevertheless, the fact is participation of the youth [especially the girls] in present day Kashmir struggle is a known fact to one and all. From the last half decade the presence of girls in the social networking sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, twitter etc. has changed the old discourse when girls were restricted only to their housebound duties. The moment you use the social networking sites you will find how girls have become active participants vis-a-vis Kashmir conflict. Globalization has defeated the state narrative. Now the fast faced life in the present age has made this section of society more participative. Due to Modernization, increase in female literacy rates, access to information and increased participation of women in the political sphere has reshaped the politics and society in Kashmir.
Womenfolk are in deep psychological trauma and are sometimes unable to carry out their responsibilities and the fact is they are now less available to their loved ones psychologically and emotionally.
UN Plugom for Action(1995) describes how girls and women are especially affected by armed conflict because of their unequal status in society. Among the specific effects experienced by women of all ages are displacement, loss of home and property, loss or involuntary disappearance of close relatives, poverty and family separation and disintegration, victimization through acts of murder, terrorism, torture, involuntary disappearance, sexual slavery, rape, and sexual abuse. If one intends to destroy a culture, women are tactical targets of special significance because of their important roles within the family structure. Compounding these gender-specific effects are the lifelong social, economic and psychologically traumatic consequences of armed conflict and foreign occupation and domination (UN, 1995).
Kashmir is not any different when it comes to crimes of rape. Rape has been used not only as a tool of war but to implement a policy of impregnation.
In conclusion I recall the prophetic words of Julinda Abu Nasr, a celebrated voice of Lebanon, who once said, “If a child, especially a girl, grows up with the idea of violence, that you get what you can by force, what kind of world will this be?” Ours is not a different story indeed.
Author hails from Baramulla, has a degree in Philosophy from Aligarh Muslim University and can be reached at [email protected]