Change is the law of nature and it is said to be the only constant thing in this ever-changing world. It may happen for good or bad depending upon its consequences. Like every other thing surrounding it, mankind too has advanced far ahead from when it was considered underdeveloped, superstitious, irrational and unscientific. We now reside in a world of technology and advancement, where material progress has become imperative.
However, in the pursuit of progress, the world has lost its moral compass. Values like morality, ethics and human development have been hit badly. With the sky-touching material development, our societies are being spiritually devastated with each passing day. Growth and GDP have become the only yardsticks for nation development, while human values and ethics have been subsided and wrecked into debris.
Nevertheless, man has an innate moral quest to route his life towards greater consciousness. Ethical principles, which an individual inherits by birth, provide a system of natural accountability for rights violations and injustice and thus tend to deter violations of human rights. Morals ingrained in culture establish an order and protect freedom in a way that law of the land doesn’t need to frequently intervene or in certain cases when it does they ensure that the power is not misused. It provides a secure atmosphere in which kids and families can grow effectively. Without ethics, we can’t have effective relationships, communities, or civilizations.
Back to the lamentable situation as pointed towards above, to this global trajectory of moral waywardness and diminishing ethical values, our Kashmiri society has remained no exception. The society which evolved in the greatly illustrious tradition of Islam and had a glorious past in terms of cultural ethos as well has now put itself in a scandalous checklist.
Few incidents which transpired in the recent past and made it to headlines have stained our societal face with a paint of degradation. The incident of Baramulla where a mother of seven children was raped and murdered in the hospital and her body was later recovered from orchards of Baramulla, the rape and murder of a little girl in Kathua and recent sex scandal, just to name a few.
Another heart-wrenching incident was that of a newborn found abandoned, earlier in March this year. The picture, in which the lifeless baby was lying on a wet muddy road, was said to be taken in Srinagar’s downtown area near Gunj Baksh Public Park, Nowhatta.
In another shocking incident, a tiny tot was left to die in thorny bushes within minutes of being born in Khag township of Budgam. Though these incidents have sent shock waves around Kashmir, as was evident by the reaction of people on social media, but with the passage of time we tend to forget that this moral corruption resides here. People in present times boast of being educated and advanced, but if not all of us, we harbor a bunch of criminals devoid of human values.
Our culture in general and our religion in particular, if turned towards, contain much inside to reform this society and promote its character of harmony, safety, welfare and tranquility.
o be specific to the growing incidents of abandoning new borns, Prophet of Humanity (S.A.W) has said children are a great blessing from Allah and the flowers of the gardens of heaven. Islam has categorically forbidden the practice of killing children due to fear of poverty. It considers children to be an amaanah (trust) given to the family and says it is fardh (obligatory) for the family to raise a child in a righteous manner.
The gift of universal male-female literacy, across races and classes, is one of the most profound ways in which Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) changed the world. He set human beings free and gave them the most honored title of “the people”. This was even appreciated by the likes of Arnold Toynbee, a great historian and philosopher, who emphasized that there is a crying need for propagation of Islamic virtue to restore the humanity.
Islam holds that moral positions are not relative, and instead, defines a universal benchmark against which actions may be deemed moral or immoral. The love and continuous awareness of God and the Day of Judgment enables man to be moral in conduct and sincere in intentions, with devotion and dedication. Islamic moral principles therefore, appeal naturally to the human intellect, while elevating the pursuit of morality to the level of worship. This is because Islam holds every action that is done with the goal of attaining of God’s pleasure to be worship.
We, the youthful cohort of Kashmir, need to stand against the institutions and practices which are, in one or the other way, becoming the reasons of these heinous crimes. We should hold and flourish the values of religion to build a peaceful and righteous society.
— The author is a student of Accounting and Taxation at Government Degree College, Baramulla. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org