On the Reaction(s) to Braid Chopping

On the Reaction(s) to Braid Chopping

By Mufti Jameel Farooq

The drama, which is taking its toll for the last few weeks or a month, is lacerating and traumatizing for the Kashmiri women folk , in particular , and for the whole of Kashmir , in general.
The obvious reference here is to braid chopping incidents incident whose roots lie outside the J&K state. There have been different morphemes allied with this drama since its inception, some named it as ‘distraction’, some called it mass-hysteria, and some use other terms, but the prosaic reality is that that we , as Kashmiri, are encountering yet another catastrophe.
The fear-syndrome of braid-chopping is mounting so much that a day ago, my friend, who works in SKIMS—Soura, told me that she has to call her brother routinely at the stop to accompany her home, which ironically is not far than 100 meters from her bus stop; not only this but also some elders have both suggested and advised their off-springs to offer ‘Fajir’ and ‘ Isha’ at their dwelling due to this syndrome.
Now , the other thing which really is a matter of concern ,is that some innocents have been mistakenly beaten and trodden to death while considering them as braid-choppers- which again is a matter of concern. Beating and punishing an innocent is no courage at all.
A few days ago, I met a person in a Tavera passenger vehicle, whose cousin was beaten somewhere around south Kashmir for being mistaken as a braid –chopper, the person as per his cousin’s statement is ‘languishing’ now on the Ventilator at SKIMS, Soura.
The horror of braid chopping has taken so much root into our minds that it has made us indifferent to think about rest of mundane things. Wherever one goes , one encounters this topic-be that social networking sites, print media or electronic media.
I met a psychologist, who was working as consultant before joining the university, with whom I discussed about the same happenings. On being asked what this ‘mass hysteria’ was, he , without any second thought said that this all is a drama of ‘distraction’. When requested to elaborate what he meant by ‘distraction’? He replied, “Since government of India is well acquainted with the fact that for the last few years the Kashmir uprising is emerging like a red hot rod, which can take any turn, so for that matter, they’ve started using this tool to distract the Kashmiri mob form the burning issue to other thing.”
The women folk of my vicinity do not understand the politics behind this drama ;they simply and straightforwardly say one thing, “Its better to die than face this.” When I tried personally to encounter few of them and hear their ordeal, they , while being incomplete anguish uttered, “We are traumatized by this, we don’t know what the conspiracy is all about but one thing is certain that, this is against over values and ethics, we warp our hairs as act of modesty. Our society and religion considers it immodesty if a women is seen without scarf ; it’s worse than shame to see this day when a girl’s hairs are chopped and becomes a laughing entity on mass media while leaving society and people clueless.”
After hearing the statement of a girl, I left for the place to hear some more statements from others, especially from the women folk, the lady whose statement I took then said, “ the jewellery of a lady is not gold but the true jewellery of a women is her hair.” The lady who was in her late 20’s, further added, “You see the women when bathed for eternity are bathed with wrapped cloths, this braid-chopping is against all the religious teachings and morals.
Some old and elderly people of society, who follow and adhere to ‘conservatism’, see this as a wrath and damnation form eternity. When I tried to know their view about this braid-chopping drama, they said, ‘our sins have risen to a large extant and this is undoubtedly a wrath and rage from Allah (SWT) ; we need to seek His penance, so that He (SWT) may shroud us in his blessings and benediction “.

The author hails from Hajin. He can be reached at: [email protected]


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