Atrocities and cruelties against women have become a necessary custom in our society. With every passing day, the graph related to crimes against women is mounting. The lusty predators pounce upon Binti-Hawa to butcher her innocence like a jackal trampling a lamb under its feet. Least fearing the wrath of God, she is not spared even in a hospital on her death bed. We have scores of examples when women patients were raped in hospital premises. Our own motherland is no exception to it. We witness horrendous and horrible episodes of barbarism and animality against women. Somewhere, she is left to die unattended in a hospital, carrying a fetus in her womb. Somewhere, her innocence is spattered by fake faith-healers in the name of charm. Somewhere, her chastity is torn to pieces, on roads in the broad daylight. Somewhere, she is subjected to taunts for being intellectually and academically deficient which is far away from reality. Somewhere, she is considered as a mere machine to produce children. Somewhere, she is used up as a toy to fulfill the lusty libidos. Somewhere, she is subjected to physical torture by her in-laws for either insufficient dowry or giving birth to a baby girl. Somewhere, she is denied the right to education. Somewhere, she is treated as a mere domestic help. Somewhere, she is teased in a moving bus. But, very recently, in an ignominious and infamous episode of brutality against Binti-Hawa at Shadipora village of district Bandipora, an innocent father of a daughter was killed by his son-in-law. When the deceased went to his daughter’s in-laws home at Shadipora, to settle some bilateral issues between the couple, the son-in-law of the deceased, namely, Waseem Ahmad Bhat S/O Abdul Salam Bhat and his other family members pounced upon him with Lathis. The culprit hit his father-in-law with a pressure cooker on his head, leaving him in a pool of blood. And finally, he succumbed to his injuries in a government hospital. Tahira, the unfortunate daughter of my land, who is just a six months old bride, whose hands are laden with bridal Henna, who is too innocent to curse or abuse the killers of her father, is seen mourning the cold-blooded murder of her father, at her ancestral village, Wazpora Naidkhai. Tahira was married to Waseem Ahmad Bhat of Shadipora on November 3, 2019, with all pomp and pride. Like every daughter, Tahira also would have been aspiring for a caring husband and a polite in-laws home. But, fate had something else in store for her. She was taunted, tortured and subjected to physical atrocities, since the day one of her marriage, by her husband and other family members at her in-laws home, for inadequate dowry and other things. Despite the fact that her father had arranged good amount of dowry items for her, and had left no stone unturned to please his daughter’s in-laws. But, her shameless in-laws would demand new things periodically. Thus, she was physically tormented for not carrying out the wishes of her husband and mother-in-law. How can a poor or a middle class father fulfill such demands frequently. Even, rich and affluent can’t manage it.
Narrating her ordeal with tearful eyes, Tahira said in a video which has gone viral on different social media platforms, “My husband is a drunkard. He would often return home late, and would beat me up for petty reasons. My brother-in-law, mother-in-law and other family members were no different than my husband. They are a bunch of crooks and liars. None among them is compassionate and caring. I had a pledge to bear all the hardships with a firm resolve, hoping that time will mend my husband’s behaviour. But, it is well said that “a dog’s tail is crooked for ever “. He continued to inflict pains on me. I never tried to flee my in-laws home because it is said to be the permanent abode of a daughter. But, with the passage of time, my patience began to refuse the inhuman treatment meted out to me . When the cup of my patience overflew fully, I rang up my father and brothers who advised me to bear it with patience. “Such issues often crop up between a husband and a wife, your husband will mend his ways”. Said my father. But, no, he is a beast, and continued to behave like a rabid dog. He and his family members banned me to visit my father’s home. In the beginning of this Ramadhan, I somehow persuaded him to allow me to visit my father’s home for few days, and I managed to come here. After some thirteen or fourteen days, on that fateful day, my husband paid a visit to my ancestral home, asked my parents to take me with him. My parents readily agreed. My brother bought some fruits and bread from the market for me. I sat behind my husband on his two wheeler. After riding a solitary kilometer or so, he began to abuse me. I kept mum. When we reached the Shadipora bridge, he pushed me down off his two wheeler, snatched my belongings including my cell phone, rode his bike straight to his home, left me all alone at the mercy of Allah. It was almost getting dusky, and it was iftaar time. People were caged in their homes amid lockdown. I began to cry, to my good fortune, a passerby biker noticed my tears and stopped his bike. He enquired if I needed any help. I request him to lend me his mobile phone for a call to my parents. I rang up my brother’s number and told him that my husband has left me on the road. My father and brother reached their within some thirty or forty minutes. Instead of taking me back to their home, they took me to my in-laws home with the hope to make reconciliation between us. The moment I opened the door, all the family members including the women pounced upon us, and began to beat us with pegs and other available things in the house. My husband took hold of the pressure cooker and thrashed my father on his head multiple times. He collapsed on the spot. And this is all I remember vividly”. The story is not ending here. There is yet another tragedy for Tahira. She is expecting a baby, she is pregnant. No doubt, the culprit is behind the bars but I fear if he will get the capital punishment or not. Tahira may see herself in another controversy in future when the expected baby will grow up. Law should take cognizance of the matter so that the tragedy hit daughter is not embarrassed in the future. Legal heirs of the expected baby should be declared prior to her birth so that any future eventuality is evaded. And the culprit should be hanged publicly with other conspirators. The incident has sent shockwaves among the common masses in general and among the fathers of daughters in particular. Believe me; I broke down into tears while drafting this piece. I saw Tahira in the eyes of my four year old daughter who was frequently asking me, “Abujiya, Tche Kyoh Lekhaan “(My father, what are you drafting ). Today, it is Tahira, tomorrow; it will be your daughter or my daughter. If our daughters will continue to meet such fate, then who will marry off their daughters in future? We all should demand capital punishment for the culprit and others involved in the gruesome murder. Parents and elders should rear and bring up their children in accordance with religious teachings and principles. Children and grown-up young men should be taught the basic human ethos and values. Imaams should sensitise masses from the pulpits of Mosques about the growing menace. May Allah SWT free Binti-Hawa from the clutches of cruelty and prejudice?
(The Writer is a Teacher by profession. Views are his own, [email protected] )