Taking away the bitterness from failed relations!

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By: Aabid Shahin

Life is uncertain and even bitterly uncertain for those of our daughters and sisters who suffer pos marriage relationship hiccups and troubles. The terrible reality of our so-called civilized and educated society is that we disown our daughters when it comes to rendering them a shoulder to sigh and cry on during hard stages of their married lives. We fail to extend a hand of support and consolation and therefore contribute to all those mental, spiritual and physical bruises that our daughters suffer. Domestic violence, suicides, rapes, chemical attacks and verbal abuses have become a norm now in a society that was boosting of its compactness and sweetness of relations. The disowning is equivalent to collaborating with the victimizers and most of us do the same depriving our daughters the last support they deserve.

Suicide rate is high among married women in India and according to a Lancet study India accounts for 40% of the global female suicides.  Why housewives are killing themselves or getting killed is the question long ignored and least attended. Kashmir too is catching up; incidences of suicides or forced suicides and murders are increasing. Many reasons like being widowed, divorced, boycotted, forced marriages, child marriages, dowry and inter family physical/sexual violence feature the Indian woman at the top of global suicide index. Housewives feel imprisoned in marriages that turn out to be a nightmare mainly due to demands of dowry leading to physical and mental tortures.

Kashmir is witnessing an alarming increase in cases of this nature and we need to understand that our daughters are our daughters as long as we live here and for the next world too. They are not less than sons and they are never a burden on us. If marriage is not working for any reason and they struggle to get out of it, we should understand their dilemma, support them, and stand by them for better solution. Isn’t the divorced daughter better than a burned, dead and tortured one? Divorce is far better than ending a life or suffering silently who the entire future.

Let’s play our part in ending this steadily surging multidimensional havoc and rise against the violence perpetrated against women by anyone.  The issue needs to be well attended by making the use of legal options available well within our Personal law (Shariah) and eradication of this menace is to be achieved by garnering public opinion, a support structure and ending certain customs including late marriages, forced marriages, marriages without the consent of both the partners etc.

It is also pertinent to uphold religious teachings and mobilizing the young generation to take up the issue, raise awareness, fight the terrible crime and transform the public attitudes for strengthening the support system. Abilities of the women by empowering them with skill based education and trainings is also one crucial advantage.

We must have a proper channelized system to respond to the victims who disclose the ordeal of violence inflicted on them. Encouragement and support can bring effective difference.  We must ensure safety for survivors and accountability for the perpetrators- it is our duty and we need to speak up against the objectification of women.

Above all, we need to address the issue from the very beginning and teach our youngsters that men and women are equal even if they aren’t identical. We need to teach our children to respect and honor the opposite gender.

The writer, a student of Mass communication and multimedia productions at the University of Kashmir is author of “Undead Fantasy” [email protected]

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