Of faith and of healing!
Faith is a beautiful thing and the proverbial statement that ‘it can move mountains’ may be a little exaggeration but it does have the strength to heal people from both physical as well as spiritual yearnings. People of Kashmir have traditionally been ardent believers in faith based healing and there have been great spiritual saints who would help people come out of distresses and discomforts by stressing on the idea of ‘surrender’ to the almighty.
But where there is good, there is bad too and Kashmir’s, particularly Kashmiri women, owing to their innocence and ill knowledge, often fall prey to deception and treachery of those who aren’t spiritual healers but deceivers and posers out there to exploit the innocent. From thugs and rouges to fake faith-healers, women have been highly vulnerable and susceptible to the acts of victimization.
As mentioned earlier, visiting faith-healers has been an ages old tradition and belief of majority of Kashmiri people in general. Faith healers are respected and honored by people as if they have been descended from heavens with divine endowments to serve the mankind and are not confined to any particular religion only as they have tremendous tendency of accommodation and respect for other faiths as well. That is probably why faith healers are found in almost every religion and every society.
Faith-healers are believed to heal people of their pains and diseases. Visiting a true and God-fearing virtuous faith-healer solaces one’s mind and heart as such people, most often, connect their visitors with the righteous path and draw them closer to the almighty. They often remind people about the temporary nature of life and the world and reject gifts, perks or cash from the visitors and if they accept anything, it is to be served back to people. They would arrange free meals for poor and destitute. Allah SWT bestows them with power to relieve people off their miseries and agonies.
But, beware- there are many fake faith healers in the garb and attire of real faith-healers and leave no stone unturned to exploit and loot people. Some demand heavy amounts, some ask people to prepare Wazwan cuisines while some order the needy to visit them in solitude. Women have been the worst hit victims of these fake faith healers and, as we know, many have been arrested on serious charges like rape and corruption and amassing unimaginable wealth by looting the people.
But the fact is that stringent and exemplary action was never initiated so that others would have been discouraged and reprimanded to resort to such acts. Very recently, a dastardly act committed by a fake faith-healer tore apart the trust of a mother at Delina Baramulla when he molested her young daughter. The young girl was writhing in pain, her mother called him (the fake faith-healer who resided in their neighbourhood) to arrange a vehicle so that she could take her daughter to a nearby hospital. The devilish beast who happened to be her relative as well, asked her to send her daughter to him claiming that he could help for he knew that she needed faith based healing.
After sensing the criminal intentions of the fake faith healer when he made physical advances, the girl began to scream loudly alerting her mother who was nearby. According to the statement of the victim’s mother, the door was closed from inside and she somehow managed to enter the room where she saw her daughter raped and molested badly. She showed courage to inform the police and media about the incident- it is pertinent to mention that not many victims or families of victims come forth to register their cases fearing social stigma and shame.
The writer is a Teacher, columnist, Poet, Orator and Social activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org