It was hard to believe, a kind of bolt from blue. I was soaked in the sweat of shame. As a girl, I could only hide my face presuming myself not to be identified with the disgrace. Immorality has limits, but what we saw at Bandipora by all standards was limitless and shameful. Everybody shook heads to check that if the news in contention was a typo error. But it was reality. It was a dreadful incident, a shameful act and an existing truth. A father tormented the innocence of his daughter. It happened in Kashmir. A valley regarded as valley of saints and Sufis, the valley of Lal Ded and Habba Khatoon. A protector became a tormentor.
Father is synonymous with faith, trust and a shield for his daughter. But, its meaning was shattered brutally by the incident at Bandipora. Now, a girl has to run for safety even in her own homes. We have become morally corrupt. We have lost our moral fabric. Our culture has been bombarded with a shameful blot. The incident pierced our souls and the sky screamed. A sense of disbelief sprouted. A beautiful Kashmiriyat was bruised. A seed of discontent was sown in the valley. These episodes were alien to our culture. But now disgraceful tragedies have hit our Kashmir. Where are we heading? This remains a million dollar question.
Our blessed traditions, our cultural legacy, our morality, our moral values, our societal discipline are lost. What we have now is destroyed social eco system. Our self esteem and self respect have been dashed to dust. That is the problem with the attitude we have adopted. We chase immorality and lose morality at the speed of light. Our decency has gone on a long leave; we are on unethical rampage.
Keeping everything apart, we badly need to inculcate ethics and morality in our society in every breath. The pious relationships should continue to represent the sense of trust and faith. Mere assigning of sacred names to the relationships won’t make them sanctified. Respect and dignity for the girls should be encouraged. We need to change the mindsets; we need to change the society at grass root level. The beautiful essence of Kashmiri culture needs to be reconstructed and renovated. The valley of saints and Sufis should be decorated with the flowers of our real and glorious traditions, sooner the better.
—The author is teacher by profession and can be reached at: Shaistamasoodi32@gmail.com