It seems the worst possible curse is to be a girl in this world. To be a girl or woman is to always suffer the choices of men, whether personal, political, social, economic, or cultural. It was hard to believe, a kind of bolt from the blue, when I read news of what happened at Kulgam. It was a dreadful incident. Again someone’s beastly nature had tormented a daughter of the valley, a valley regarded as the valley of saints, Sufis, of Lal Ded and Habba Khatoon. Have we degraded to this extent that those who claimed to be protectors have become tormentors? That now girls have to run for safety even in their own homes? We have become morally corrupt. We have lost our moral fabric. Please don’t chant “Pir Vaer” when you don’t know how to respect women. Our culture has been blighted with a shameful blot. The beautiful Kashmiriyat has been bruised. These episodes were alien to our culture. But now disgraceful tragedies keep recurring in our Kashmir. It has become a new normal. Where are we heading?
Our blessed traditions, our cultural legacy, our morality, our values, all are lost. What we have now is a destroyed social eco-system. Our self esteem and self-respect has been dashed to dust. That is the problem with the attitude we have adopted. We chase immorality and let go of decency. We badly need to inculcate ethics and morality in ourselves and in our society. Relationships should represent trust and faith. Mere assigning of sacred names to relationships won’t sanctify them. We need to change mindsets; we need to change society. The beautiful essence of Kashmiri culture needs to be restored. The sooner, the better.
—The writer is a teacher by profession. [email protected]