I was born both as a blessing and a curse respectively for my two grandmothers. What wonders me is that why my maternal grandma was not happy with my birth was perhaps the reason of my being a female (a vulnerable one). Anyways, from past many years whenever I go through any of the Indian newspapers I frequently find one or more cases of rape. Especially from the Nirbaya rape case of 2012, the year when I journeyed outside Kashmir for my studies at AMU. I started evaluating things through a sociological perspective (since I’m a sociology student). All this helped me to observe things very minutely and gave me the reason to understand the matters in a better and comprehensive way. The feeling that my state is safe in comparison to rest of the Indian states was a point to ponder upon. But equally I was apprehensive of the fact that if ever this ‘Indian rape-tide’ landed to my valley someday. A feeling which rips you apart and shakes the earth beneath the feet. But my consolations persuaded me that we have a unique and distinct society with a syncretic culture for which we are proud of. Alas! In course of time my apprehensions proved right . Various major and minor incidents of molestation and rape came to fore in Kashmir over time. The brutal rape case of an eight year old girl was afresh in our memories, that we witnessed this extremely barbaric one of a three year old girl of on 8th of this month. Unbelievable! How on earth even one could imagine such heinous act. What kind of a sick pervert would even think of it? The (mis)belief among the people that women invites the unwanted attention is grossly exposed by this horrific incident where this three year innocent kid was made victim.
The outrage and protests across all sections of the society and the shutdown are very much justifiable and bound to happen. After all this is not a minor incident. But does that mean the justice is delivered or the matter is over? No. This incident is a black stain and a serious bolt on Kashmir’s social fabric, and on the face of humanity altogether. As a Kashmiri one feels hanging his/her head in shame for being the part of this society!
Since the tragic incident has happened and people are seemingly back to their work leaving the victim and her family at the mercy of the so-called law. The question(s) arise whether the justice would get delivered to the victim and the culprit would be handed over with some exemplary punishment? Are we, as part of this society, supposed to introspect and locate the problem(s) by making the menfolk realize that they should be responsible beings who too have their mothers and sisters at home? Are they supposed to behave and act like animals? The answer lies in the fact that first and foremost is the moral obligation of parents to educate and teach their wards the lesson of ethics and morality. Secondly, to imbibe in them a sense of Islamic spirit and the moral principles envisaged by Islam. Ethics are not taught at school or college, they are taught at home and the social grooming of a person depends on one’s family background. If things are not dealt with seriously it is for sure that our society would turn out what it was not known for.
Some would insanely argue at times that such things are caused due to the female attire, but this incident is an eye opener for that misleading class. At a time when our three year innocent kid is not safe, how could the elders ones feel safe while going to market, school or to duty. Is this the indication that we are no safer now even in our own vicinity? Does it mean anything at any time could happen with us, with our dignity and honor? These are some terrifying apprehensions in almost every female’s mind, deeply frightened and shocked to core by this tragedy.
The politicians and the authorities (whose political interference have ruined the whole social and political system here) need to take a strong lesson out of this incident and they should make sure that the punishment to the perpetrator be exemplary. Besides giving the culprit a stern punishment, the structure of our society needs a quick and substantial overhaul so that no other tulip gets trampled by the beasts in this society. The sooner, the better. The author has masters in Sociology from Aligarh Muslim University. She is a Gold Medalist.