By: Sheikh Jamsheed
Srinagar: In modern times, the social conscience has become very dissipated due to which social evils are born alarmingly. As a result, these social evils disintegrate our relationships and people often get entangled in several social enticements. These social evils pervade our society and cause the deterioration of social standards. Debasement of social ethics and values poses a serious hazard to an egalitarian society, social standards, economy, integrity, stability and all other such parameters.
Social evils are problems in which members of society are morally affected. Social evil is anything that afflicts our society. It can be drugs, domestic violences, alcohol, abuse, racism, child abuse, crime, inequality, etc leads to disintegration of stability and morality of social values in a society.
According to a report of the United Nations violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.
Unfortunately, The Kashmir valley once known for its cultural values, traditional virtues, societal morals, ethics and standards has now shown and adopted the colours of hierarchical nature of social structures viz (Men, women) gravely. This Article will represent a catastrophic view of domestic violences being raised in the valley.
According to a report, Domestic violence is increasing alarmingly in the Kashmir Valley while the studies carried out revealed that more than 40 percent of Kashmiri women are physically or mentally abused by their husbands or by in-laws which sounds so cranky. It has been perceived that women are the grave victims of domestic violences in the valley of Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Women has registered 1600-1700 cases of domestic violence occur annually. Most of the cases come from the Kashmir valley. Domestic violence against women is increasing disgustingly. Research and reports have shown that the Kashmir valley especially Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, Budgam and Srinagar witnesses massive domestic violences while Jammu region witnesses a fewer case comparatively.
Apart from this, there is also a formidable rate of women who commits suicide due to harassment. One of the most immediate reasons for such incidents is dowry. “Dowry is one of the most responsible factors of domestic violence due to which women are often suppressed and subjected to harassment terribly.
According to a report submitted by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Crimes against women goes up by 15.62℅ in a single year. “The persuasion rate remained low as only 95 people were awarded sentences, while cases under investigation touched 6,275 by the end of last year, the National Crime Records Bureau said in its latest report”.
As per the 2011 census, there are 64 lakh women in Jammu and Kashmir and the crime rate per lakh population in 2021 stood at 61.6,” as per the report. The report also said that 315 cases of rape, 1,414 incidents of attempt to rape and 14 dowry deaths were lodged in 2021, and incidentally, 91.4% of the accused involved in rape were known to the victim.
The increase in cases of rape, impressment, molestation and domestic violence systematically degrades the harmony and morality of a society which in turn has led to the valley experience disequilibrium in the social standards distressingly. Honestly, no one would have ever imagined that the valley of Kashmir will face such kind of heart-wrenching incidents.
But it’s a reality that the valley has now turned into a hub of crimes and domestic violences, where humanity is not left anymore. As per the reports, a 32-year- old woman ended her life at her in-laws’ house in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Last year a 28-year-old, mother of two kids was set on fire allegedly by her in-laws in the same district.
Another tragic case was witnessed in Kashmir’s Bandipora district in which a 27-year-old- woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Numerous incidents are taking place every day around several parts of Kashmir where humanity dies. Women’s who are often subjected to harassment and oppression by the opposite gender has always been a debatable matter. No doubt, Women are the backbone for a progressive nation, and thus deserves to be respected and treated equally like those of men. She is the symbol of valour, spirituality, strength and intimacy.
Rights enshrined in Islam for gender equality and women’s rights
Undoubtedly, Islam has bestowed gender equality and women’s rights in almost every sphere of life. In Islam a woman is not allowed to be forced to marry whom she doesn’t want to marry, that’s very clear. If a woman in Islam wishes to work. She can do so. There is no such content in the Qur’an or a Bonafede Hadith which restricts or prohibits a woman to do any work, as long as it is not forbidden and is under the sphere of Islamic Shariyah.
In Islam, a woman is a completely independent person. She can make any contract or will in her own name. She is entitled to inheritance as a mother, wife, sister and daughter. She has full freedom to choose her husband as her own will and Islam strongly prohibits the forced marriage of women.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah (SWT) be pleased with him) reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah Azza Wajjal Prophet Muhammad (May Peace be upon him) and asked: “O Messenger of Allah, who is the person who has the greatest right on me with regards to kindness and attention?” He replied, “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied, “Your father.” This is the beautiful teachings of Islam and it clearly speaks about the women’s rights entitled in Islam to an amazing degree.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said that “Among my followers the best of men are those who are best to their wives” and Islam strongly castigates any kind of oppression to woman in terms of Sexual harassment, domestic violence or any such kind of act’s. Undoubtedly, there is no disparity in Islam between men and women as far as their relationship to Allah Almighty is concerned as both are promised the same reward for good doings and the same punishment for evil doings.
Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: – “And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.” (2: 228). Islam does not allow the domination of men over women, rather it upholds the rights, reverence, esteem and position of women by ensuring gender equality and equality of rights for both men and women in every sphere of human life.
To figure out the privileges of women in Islam and to get the awareness of Women’s position in Islam and also to eliminate the contemporary misunderstandings regarding the rights of women in Islam and to change the authoritarian character of men it’s important to legitimate the Islamic information about women and awareness in this context is essential and necessary.
Various important measures to tackle domestic violence
I have pointed out some controllable measures against domestic violence as under:
Education: It’s been said, “education is a weapon, which can be used to change the world.” Mostly the women who are subjected to harassment and cruelty are illiterate; they are unaware about their rights and privileges due to which they face such heinous treatments. They are often suppressed brutally or burnt alive due to the lack of knowledge. Hence, educational training can help us to learn how to stop domestic violence. High illiteracy rate has been identified as one of the factors that harshly affects domestic violence to an amazing degree. Thus, quality education can be a significant way to combat this evil.
Enactment of strict laws and regulations: The government is required to adopt strict laws in order to tackle and prevent domestic violence. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The said law is a civil law that provides protection to women, from men in the household. The Sexual exploitation of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
So, these are some laws under the Constitution of India which clearly defines the women’s rights and prevents exploitation of theirs. While discussing these laws, we again come across our first factor, which is education. By spreading more and more awareness of these laws especially in rural areas (where illiteracy rate is soaring) can help us in preventing domestic violence.
Active participation of community members is also required in order to overcome this devastating concern. If anyone finds that someone is being brutally exploited, he/she must contact the nearby police station or should contact the concerned officials regarding the matter. This gesture can assist in the eradication of this matter.
Most importantly, in Kashmir parents must ensure that they provide their children’s worldly education and also at the same time Islamic knowledge as well. They need to educate their children about the beautiful and mesmerizing teachings of Islam. It’s been said, “If you want to spread the light, so be that light”, it means we need to start this from our own”.
The writer Sheikh Jamsheed is a social and peace activist can be reached at – firstname.lastname@example.org