Whose Responsibility?

Whose Responsibility?
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The father of a new born baby was found attempting to bury the child at Malkhah. The man, caught by locals and later handed over to the police, claimed that he was too poor to afford treatment and care for the new born. The attempt as torpid, terrible and appalling as it is must and should be condemned in the strictest possible terms. Children, no matter their gender, condition or health, are gifts from Allah and should be treated as such. But, this high minded assertion, would sound academic to the man in contention who attributed to poverty his despicable act. No matter what one may think of the man and his vile attempt, there is merit to his plea. Poverty, the scourge of mankind, can not only be crippling but also can retard the moral and ethical compasses of people. Generally speaking, after controlling for many factors, even crime can be attributed to poverty. In terms of Kashmir, where there is relative poverty, as the man in contention’s condition attests, the region is free (in relative terms) from crime, because of the faith and thereby people have in the great religion of Islam. But, this very fact cannot and must not absolve those who can do something to alleviate the burden of poverty on individuals and families, that is, society. However we, as a society, have unfortunately become self absorbed and even a tad selfish, so much so, that we hardly care about the needy and the vulnerable. This care is enjoined upon us by our religion but we pay a modicum of attention to this cardinal principle of Islam and carry on, oblivious to the poor and the vulnerable. Among other things, this, to a large extent, explains the man’s desperate attempt to bury his child alive. The man in contention is not to be entirely blamed; the onus is on society too which must muster up its will and resources to alleviate the burden of poverty on the vulnerable and needy sections of society. In the final analysis, life is a gift from Allah Subhaana hu wa taala. It then is in the nature of a trust too is the obvious corollary. If we are neglectful towards life and care thereof of the poor, then we are neglectful of our duties and abdicating these. It is about time then that society rises to the occasion and do the needy to help the poor and the vulnerable!