Frightened Roses!


 Ay Chaand Yahan Na Nikla Kar!
Yeh  Des Hai Andhe Lougoo Ka!

(O! moon. Do not Rise here!
Our’s  is a country of Blinds!)

         These verses of Habib Jaalib are a fair display of our contemporary world. The recent bone-chilling episodes of girl-child abuse, that occurred in Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir have ripped off the clothes of humanity. Girls are a true blessing of GOD. The coolness of the eyes of Baaba and Ami. Last night while scrolling down my facebook screen, I came across an interesting post. The particular stuff described an extra-ordinary fact that is often brushed aside. I would like to reproduce the core fact here, with necessary illustrations:

“A father-son duo was playing in a lawn. The father was deliberately losing to make his son win. Again and again! Each time the small victory would illuminate the face of his young son. Bubbling with joy over every win. The father would find a unique source of solace and contentment in every loss. His daughter, whom he had brought along too, was seated over a nearby bench. She was watching the entire scene with her eyes locked on the duo. While the face of her father would brighten with every loss. The same would make her face grim. She could easily read the solace on the face of her father though, who was losing deliberately and laughing over every smile and win of his son. Suddenly the girl child got up. Thick tears rolling down her rosy cheeks. In a broken voice she cried to his father, ”Baäba!… Please….. let me play now and make you win..again and again”.

That is the girl for you! who grows but not without the distinction of sacrifice. Seven year old Zainab was not dissimilar for her parents, who were on a holy pilgrimage to perform Umrah. Princess Zainab was abducted, brutally molested, killed and thrown into a heap of garbage.     Like a mutilated rose. The images of her devastated father that appeared on the TV screens were heart-breaking.  An upset face that seemed to be hanging between a pair of groping shoulders. Dried eyes, bereft of tears, pleading for justice that still eludes till the time I am typing these lines.

Heart-rending images of ill-fated Zainab were shared on social media as a mark of solidarity and sympathy. The wound was still fresh and bleeding, when another similar spine-chilling news broke out. An eight year old girl, belonging to a poor nomadic community (Bakerwal) of Kathua district of  Jammu province met the same fate. Asifa Bano was forcibly abducted, molested and killed, leaving her parents in the same shock and trauma as that of Zainab of pakistan. The girl belonged to a marginalized community of not more than 40 households, with least privileges. To borrow a line from  the world famous author, Arundhati Roy, yes! She was perhaps one of the “children of lesser GOD”. And perhaps  for the same reason the selective condemnation brigade was almost invisible, who had created the storm nearly a month before. When the Bollywood sensation of Kashmir, Zaira waseem had suffered on account of inappropriate advances in a plane. While her story hogged the TV screens and the social media as well. The tragedy of ill-fated Bakerwal girl was brushed aside with criminal ease.

Zainab and Asifa were borders apart. Albeit joined by the union of tragedy. A brutal one. The bubbling eyes of both the girls had  harbored colorful dreams. All of whom were shattered. Beastly and mercilessly. I pray to GOD that these goriest crimes be the last of it’s kind. The conscience of an average human can not afford to see such heart-rending incidents to develop as a disturbing trend. Like the mob-lynchings that have become trending in the heart of the largest democracy of the world. Much like a political craze, that is consuming innocent lives of marginalized minorities.

As of now both Zainab and Asifa are nestled safe in the lap of GOD. Their bruised souls flying over our heads must be mocking at the plastic democracies and our paralyzed justice institutions. We have failed them at all the three levels, which are debatable in the context of problem-diagnosis and the subsequent solution finding:-

Governance Level :- In the case of Zainab, people expressed their resentment against the heinous crime and demanded stern action against the perpetrator/s. Like any other conscious citizens they did not limit their solidarity and sympathy to the social media only but the continued delay of justice prompted them to hit the streets too. Worse than the crime itself, the control apparatus of Pakistani establishment showered bullets on the protesting people, killing two of them on the spot. Given the gravity of crime and the majestic structure of Pakistani establishment, the culprit/s should have been booked immediately or after a few days. Nearly two weeks now, the elephantine government is yet to trace out the perpetrator/s, leave aside the justice.

In the case of Asifa Bano, State Govt has made a  news of having traced out and arrested the accused. However, as a police state, we share an unparalleled history. Each page of which displays the naked murder of justice. Asiya and Nelofar and the entire village of kunanposhpora are only the recent pages. Drenched in blood, laughing at the fake towers of governance. Lingering and dancing to the tunes of the remote control, lying in the hands of New Delhi.

Late last night a video surfaced on face book, wherein the devastated parents of Asifa were interviewed. An upset mother made a shocking revelation in the footage, that none of the so called leaders(I reiterate None!) have visited the family so far for mourning or expressing solidarity. Are they any different from the vultures of Hell? There was neither a rich vote bank nor a political event and so the political parasites did not bother to pay even a ceremonial visit. At this level, the highest one, justice is a beautiful word imprisoned within the politically victimized books of law.

Community  Level:-Schools, colleges, universities and  Masjids and madrasas  are the pillars of learning and character building in any Muslim territory. Our contemporary educational scenario displays a grim picture. The business-centric educational set-up that we have allowed to groom over our heads, stands reduced to the factories of making robots. Devoid of character, morality and human values. Our  Masjids and madrasas share the brightest history of being the centers of moral education, love, peace, progress , prosperity, welfare and solutions. Most unfortunately we have ourselves victimized such collective avenues of inspiration to our blind lust for sects and tanzeems. Such a deliberate misadventure is not reduced to Mohalla level Masjids only but it has contributed largely to the plight of entire Muslim world, which displays a grim picture. Like never before. Dear Zaniab! and dear Asifa! Now my Mulla (most of them) lectures sects. Not Islam.

Individual Level: – Few days ago I came across a picture shared by a Pakistani comrade on social media. In the picture a father could be seen shouldering a gun, whilst holding his little daughter hand in hand. A message was displayed in bold letters on the image, “Take care of your Roses yourselves now. Man is wild and Justice, a dream”. Perhaps he was aggravated by the naked failure at the top two levels. However, the heart-breaking failure at the top two levels does not free us from our individual responsibilities. We need to introspect into ourselves too. We are the best judges of ourselves and no one can judge our moral and human credentials better than us. We need to re-look and contemplate at our own conduct towards the gender community, who are with us at schools, tuition centers, colleges, work places and even in our homes.  A society is born out of individuals. It is we who decide and contribute towards the formation of a particular world around us.

Twin innocent souls of Zainab and Asifa, flying through the vast chest of heaven are mocking at our failure too. A Revolution is born out of an idea, backed by internal energy.  Which arises only  from internal purity and sincerity. Let’s make the planet a better place. Let’s start a revolution. Let’s be better.

Muhammad Muzaffar is a Sopore(J&K) based freelancer. He has pursued Post Graduation in Computer Sciences from Kashmir University and can be reached @ [email protected]


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