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Posted at: Apr 15, 2019, 7:41 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2019, 2:14 PM (IST)ON THE FRONTLINE

Do not kick these questions down the road

Do not kick these questions down the road
Photo for representational purpose only. iStock

Arun Joshi

The brutality of a father allegedly raping his daughter and making her end life is a tragedy that has no parallel in Kashmir. The media, as per the law, will hide the name of the victim and her family to save them from shame that is bound to visit them and the place they live in, but the heinous crime speaks of a larger social problem in the Valley of the 21st century.

Seemingly, it is an individual’s story. It is not. There have been instances of abandoned infants, something that Kashmir has not heard of ever.

What does it tell us about Kashmir — the land of Sufis and saints has been polluted by social evils? The more troubling question is, what next? There has been a selective outrage over this shameful incident and that will not end the emerging collapse of familial values. This virus can infect society to endless limits.

No administrative measure or any fresh law would help stem this evil, because laws have their own deficiencies. Laws are not an end and solution to a problem. The solution to this problem has to come from within society.

Rape is considered a shame, and that it is. And most of the time, as it happened in this case, the crime is not spoken of, because of the fear of ignominy that it would bring to the girl or family. The perpetrator, in this case, father, takes advantage of such helplessness of the victim.

Rape is not just a word. It changes and destroys lives forever. What Bandipore village father has done to his daughter is home invasion. This must have been a crystallising moment of shame and terror of her father for the victim. It is the hardest thing to speak of. And the fact is that the victim never spoke of it, she preferred to end her life or was made to do so. It were her sister and uncle who spoke, but they also spoke quite late. By that time an innocent life had been sacrificed at the altar of dignity of family and shame that it would have attracted in society.

Such critical questions about the decline in Kashmiri society cannot be just kicked down the road.

An attempt to forget such episodes has wider implications. That is a real horrifying concern, because speaking aloud about this and calling for the corrective course in society doesn’t bring them political advantage. Their condemnation of such crimes in homes and society finally become individual matters. They look for the political gains. Cases like man raping daughter, don’t bring them any such political dividends. Such silence will bring more misery to society, and Kashmiri ethos of the past threatens to tear itself apart.

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