Our society is heading towards a disastrous end. The actions that we are indulged in day in and day out will put an end to the very concept of a society that we live in today. One such crime in which a good chunk of our population has indulged in of late is the gender discrimination. We can, however, make amends if we take measures to curb this menace right now. If it remains unchecked it will pollute the entire valley and the result will be more catastrophic than September 2014 floods.
We may be literate but not educated. We have information but no knowledge. The story begins with the birth of a female child. In fact even before that. When our mother, sister, daughter or wife is expecting a baby, the entire family starts counting days and start suggesting names for the new comer. But unfortunately, most of us can only imagine of masculine names, as if we are sure that the new one is a male child. This mindset is poisonous.
A pal of gloom befalls on the family when the news of the birth of a female child echoes around. The Holy Quran aptly describes such people: “And when one of them is informed of [the birth of ‘] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.”– (Surah Nahal 16:58).
If such is the attitude of a Kashmiri Muslim, then there is no difference between Makkan Mushrik fourteen hundred years ago and a 21st century Kashmiri Muslim.
The irony, however, is that it is the women folk who are not happy with the birth of a female child. You may laugh at it, but this is the reality. How come on this planet a woman will not feel happy and blessed by giving birth to a girl child? The answer may startle you. Since we suffered throughout our lives, they say, we don’t want our girl child to suffer the same way. So to end this, what they call as ‘pain and agony’ they don’t want to have a girl child at all. Amazing!
Will this mindset help our society in any way? I guess not. In fact it is disastrous. The only solution to end this menace is ‘real education’, religious in particular. When you will tell them that on the day of Qiyamah, those who buried their girl child will really be in great trouble. “And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked, for what crime was she killed.” – (Surahh Takwir 81:8,9). They may listen to your words and may mend their ways. The Makkans buried her alive in earth and today Kashmiri Muslim is burying her in her mother’s womb. Disgusting!
Imagine this: the baby did not commit any crime; it was her parents, who committed the heinous crime, yet she will be asked rather than her parents (consider the verse carefully) why? This implies they will not be even worth coming in front of Allah. They will be so despised that they will not get a chance to plead their sinful case.
We can see our society changing drastically from past two decades from bad to worse. Our conflict-ridden society was further torn apart by social evils and the worst hit are women. We read in newspapers almost every day about the acts of violence committed against women. At times she is molested, at times forced to commit suicide—the list is endless.
Be it a baby child, a girl or a women, she has suffered in each and every form. Her emotions were trampled under the thick sole of boots of men. She fails to find a respectful place in the society and lives under constant fear.
Who will give her, her rights? No one; she has to fight for her just rights. She has to stand up and proclaim that they are the daughters Adam and Eve and have got the right to live a respectable life: with dignity and honour.
We all know what respect Islam has given to women, but we seldom apply its injunctions when it comes to respecting the women folk. We must start a campaign against gender discrimination which is in vogue and educate people that we can move forward only when we give due respect and honour to the women folk.
(Uzma is an undergraduate student studying Humanities)