BISMAH MALIK SRINAGAR, Dec 20: Shopian incident probably would never be written off in the history of Kashmir. No matter how accurate and fact oriented the supreme investigation agency “CBI” claims its report to be, the truth of the matter is that there was actually nothing to be investigated as far as the nature of incident goes. Kashmiris in general and Kashmiri women in particular who have no political affiliations, no selfish interests and no hassled lives have received a huge setback with this incident, which has only invigorated their old wounds of feeling insecure , helpless and trivial.
No one else other than a common Kashmiri woman knows what it takes to be a Kashmiri woman in troubled times like this. Very gradually, the feeling of being silent victims was fading away amongst women in last few years and then came the “Shopian incident” with a bang to expose those killing fears which were subdued in women here.
With this report, bounced back the nostalgia of those fearsome dark evening hours when walking by a paramilitary bunker or a gaze at a man in uniform will spill the fright shivers inside you.
Consents, Sheyla Mushtaq, “ We were yet to come out of that dark period when walking alone on any road in the valley would signal danger for a woman and working outside homes was at the stake of your honour and life. Things were seemingly improving, women were gradually breathing a fresh lease of life but Shopian incident definitely served as a strong reminder of the fact that things are not completely fine now and a Kashmiri woman cannot afford to be relaxed and independent.”
Without a doubt, the women who are less aware, least responsible for any untoward incident are the worst sufferers and this holds true for women from rural areas and the ones who are marginalized.
“Women living in the rural areas of the valley have mostly borne the brunt of the negativities of this twenty year old tumult period because their cries of concern were restrained due to societal, political and life risking fears. The irrational thoughts of taking whatever comes their way further alienated them, suppressed their voices and dragged them within a vicious circle of brutalization, dehumanization and insecurities.”, says , Muzafar Khan , a social activist.
But the Shopian incident certainly broke one of those demoralizing clichés of rural women being the silent crime sufferers when women from the villages surrounding the towns of Shopian, Baramulla and Kupwara battled out for their rights.
Though one cannot question the courage upheld by woman of Kashmir especially shopian women by taking out on streets and raising their voice in the open, the so called “literati faction of Srinagar based women “ have on the other hand observed quite a quiet stand ever since the CBI report came to the fore.
Dr.Hameeda Nayeem, a subject expert at University of Kashmir explains, “When crimes are legitimized, redressel mechanism is suppressed and moreover the so called defenders of moral principles violate their own duties, women suffer the most unavoidably. It is no hidden a fact that over these years of turmoil period, women have been the most insecure lot particularly in the wake of incidents they were subject to which instilled in them a sense of insecurity. But what is more unfortunate is, that women who receive the best of education, have know-how of societal and legal rights are more distant from airing the same. They as such are not that vulnerable to the insecurities which a poor woman is, but their insecurities are even more dangerous because they fear the wrath of so called “power holders” if they open their mouths against them. “
But amazingly, the effect of a shocking incident like Shopian which should have shaken the soul of every Kashmiri woman was limited to the Shopian women alone.
“Though we all knew how gross and malicious this incident was , women were particularly expected to unite together and fearlessly ask for justice they were denied especially the educated and urban centric ones, but they preferred ambiguity and anonymity,” believes Muzafar Khan, a social worker.
“Cutting across the regional, religious and educational lines and uniting on a front which is dear to the morality of a woman has become imminent, no matter how difficult the task seems “, asserts Sheyla.