Braid Chopping: A Woman Speaks

Braid Chopping: A Woman Speaks

By Sabahat Muzaffar

Whenever and wherever conflicts emanated -either political or social, I became the victim. From the Gujrat riots to the Kunan Poshpora mass rape I became food for the criminals. I won’t remain mum now for I have had enough. I am a woman. For I am the half of the world , the delicate , the honourable, the one under whose feet lies paradise, the one who completes half of Din , the owner of 70 percent of love and respect. I am the pride of nations. I am most importantly the one about which Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said : “Treat them with tenderness for they are the pearls”. I am equal of procreating life.
The honour of human beings in general is sacred and holy , and in particular the honour of a woman in Islam is higher and more pure. She enjoys a highest and equal ranks but obviously not identical , because of obvious and apparent gender differences. Everything related to her is honourable and noble.
I remember once I said to my mother that I am fed up with my long hair so let me cut it up to my shoulders. She reprimanded me as if I had uttered words of infidelity and I still remember her words , “ it took me years to nurture your hair, to clean it, comb it and make it,”. This is a notion of every mother of our valley . The hair of a woman is considered as Awrah , the thing that is should be covered and treated as precious gift. The literature in any language defining women will be undermined without brushing the hair. If this honored part of a woman is chopped, it is not just chopping of hair but an attack on her modesty , liberty and the collective consciousness of women and it may take toll on the psychological well-being whole women folk, in general , and in particular to the victim.
The victim may develop the symptoms of frustration , emotional pain, feelings of guilt , shame , post traumatic stress disorder and all this may affect her interpersonal relationships. The increasing number of braid chopping incidence in our once called ‘ valley of saints’ is alarming and a challenge before every sane person of our society .Our law and order and security departments are clueless about the incidents and to nab the culprits. One wonders that each day, the news of CASO is being witnessed but they have not nabbed any of the braid choppers . It makes us think braid choppers appear to highly trained commandos with whom they fail to fight , or think like they are of them creating new anarchy and turmoil via new tactics to traumatize the innocents of valley and create a sort of psychological imbroglio among women .
It is pathetic that our first woman Chief Minister is enthralling her soul with the musical concert at the banks of Dal Lake while her fellow women are getting their dignity and chastity destroyed at the hands of criminals . it is very grotesque , rather an act of shame, that she is not paying any serious attention to this grave and serious issue. We have to be united to fight against any oppression and challenge and should act boldly against the enemy that attacks our dignity and our honour.

—The author’s surrogate email is: [email protected]

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