Raging April is over and May is currently on the lookout. Speculations might come further until the rest of the year. Meets, talks, internet ban, pellets and militancy all are flashing in the news. Deep in those lines and words are cries of helpless and desperate people for attention on the oppression happening in Kashmir.
On April 29, a news went viral about a woman who committed suicide in the Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir. Another woman set herself on fire on April 15 in Kangan. Earlier in May, an employee of the HDFC bank gave up her young and youthful life due to harassment by hands of her boss.
Saiqa Wanchoo, a young school teacher’s death anniversary is coming along who was poisoned by her in-laws. Eight years ago, Romana Javaid was beaten to death by two harassers on the street. Another woman in April was set on fire by her husband. However, this woman is now recovering from the burn injuries.
All of these murders and harassment cases are not spoken about. Why?
All of the murderers were known by the victims and the society recognizes them well. But why the silence?
What could possibly be the reason behind killing Kashmiri women?
Honor? Pride? Lust? Dominance?
Once you start listing down the reasons you will be astonished to see the outcomes. You can’t settle for a single reason for the killing of the Kashmiri women. Some people understand this as modernization, some attribute it as a forever continuing conflict but only a few of them really understand the problem and pull the binaries to pieces.
Conflict is something that ignites unnecessary complications and frustration, even in the simplest things. For instance, a girl wanting access to the internet. Here, you will always be ready to have backup connections and adding a comprehensive study on the security of using the search engines, right?
How the conflicts turn into torture for the women and then reaching up to death is not discernible. If a conflict arises, discussion and call to action are understandable. But killing someone for the sake of proving your worth or being right isn’t justifiable.
Only being politically involved can add value to the life and death of somebody. Otherwise, it’s a no show. The meeting of a Kashmiri actress with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is a bigger issue than these women losing lives on petty conflicts.
The political issues gathered many responses while issues like these are dealt with silence. No hartals, no state defense, no storms on social media, no Prime Minister debates, no demonstrations and plainly nothing on this. You didn’t see any TV anchor talking about it and no Kashmiri panelist addressing the issue. Overall, nor was there any recognition or solution to the problem.
Discussion and call for action is supposed to be done for violence against women.
No matter how remote the incident is, it needs coverage just like other political incidents. When Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front went to see the injured college girl, only then the coverage on the injustice was made. The girl could not even recall what hit her. If it had come from a CRPF camp or from the protesting male stoners. Whatever the reason was, this was a chance for the girl to speak up on the issue as all the attention of the media was on that girl.
Even on a sensitive issue like violence against women, it never catches somebody’s eye until or unless it has a political relevance.
How many leaders would visit the families of the women who took suicide as a way out or were brutally killed by their in-laws?
The hurting truth is that the issue of violence against women only gets attention when it’s related to some political act. These incidents are only kept alive in memories if they are followed up by NGOs, defending groups or the media. The women of Kupwara and Anantnag will always have no recognition.
However, the police revealed, FIR has been filed and investigations will be followed. But what about the political leaders now? Where is the media at this point?
Women who have lost their lives due to injustice and harassment deserve all the commemorations. Protesting is needed against these crimes with or without the perpetrator.
Stories like these should stand out in the crowd and make the society see with a clear eye. We don’t want more women to be hurt, burnt, killed or committing suicide due to pressures put on them.