Since the outbreak of coronavirus the lives of people have been at stake all over the world, but in Kashmir we have witnessed a number of cases where human lives have been less given less importance than land, property, and money. Disputes over land and property have even led to killings of human beings. Such killings are no less than death of humanity, moral values, brotherhood and mutual love.
On October 4, a scuffle between two brothers resulted in the death of one of them in Pampore area of south Kashmir. 19-year-old Burhan Aziz sustained injuries and later died in hospital. On September 6, a government school headmaster was killed during a brawl with his neighbours over a land dispute in Poonch district. Before that, On July 9, a youth was killed during a fight over a land dispute in Vailoo area of Kokernag. His name was Ishfaq Ahmad. He died on the spot. Another strange case had surfaced on March 24 when an elderly woman was killed by her brother-in-law and four others in village Dengiwara in Rafiabad Baramulla.
Such horrific incidents make people lament over the state of affairs but it makes no difference. Instead, disputes among family members have only increased, with more and more violence being reported. One can clearly envisage the future of the society in which close relatives fight over a piece of land or some other dispute and end it with the killing of one or the other.
The main reason for such disputes and violent behaviour is the degraded sense of morality among people. The brawls that have kept occurring in the past few months in Kashmir represent the collective degradation of moral values and the ascendancy of greed and materialism in society. It is the result of less and less adherence to good education and the teachings of Islam. Progress in material knowledge has driven man into the deep sea of spiritual ignorance. Now man is hell bent upon gaining profit from all aspects of life.
I am not blaming any particular sect for this but this is our collective failure and the result of the way of life we are living currently. Our children know the fundamental rights mentioned in the Constitution but are unaware of the relation between father and son, brother and brother, and how disputes should be sorted out with love and respect.
The problem with the modern way of life is that while people are more aware and have more luxuries, they lack moral values and know not the distinction between right and wrong. Islam teaches us to hold good behaviour in high regard. It is moral conduct which is key to harmony and peace in society. Our society is sinking deeper and deeper into the bog of disharmony but no one bothers to find a solution to it. Rather, the tendency is to inflame a situation whenever confronted with one. The cases mentioned above are all examples of “to cry over spilt milk”. All the families are now regretting the tragedy that happened. They have lost their loved ones over minor disputes and now they will have to live with a lifetime of grief.
What these incidents teach us is that we should never let anger or greediness dictate our moral conduct and state of mind. We should sort out all disputes with calmness and find their solution within the family. In extreme cases we should involve the Masjid Committee (Auqaf committee) or elderly persons of society. On their part, neighbours and elderly persons must try to calm down everyone who seems to break out into a fit. If we do not act as wise and responsible neighbours or friends and relatives, the time is not far when our society will descend into animalism and brother will thirst for the blood of brother.
—The writer is a student at Aligarh Muslim University. email@example.com