Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Victimized by Their Own Gender

Rafia describes cases of "silent tyranny" of life of women after their marriage

Daughters or Daughter-in-Laws

Rafiya Munshi
(Assistant Professor of State Agriculture University)

After going through the bloodshed news of our state my eye caught the attention of khurram saba’s real emotional outbreaks. It acted as a hammer to my embedded thoughts of anguish stored in my brain looking for a vent. It is often said, life changes after marriage. In honest truth, and upon a more candid revision of this institution, I have found many married hearts wrung with pity and fellow-feelings and reflecting miseries in lot. So, yes! life changes. I confess I used to hate all cold conceptions about women being the endangered species in the hands of her in-laws, as I was known for my optimism and joyous nature. But when I also got in to this painted scene of my life, my natural sharpness has got blunted and my struggle with the concepts of happiness and grandeur is still going on. In any household where a man is at peace with a woman, even the heaviest of the metals in their hands are lighter than a feather. But when the opposite exists they start making bargains even for the expression of feelings. There are many families where unquestionable authority is given to all the members to show their discontent towards their daughter-in-laws in any manner possible. For them It is her duty to work under almost insuperable obligations and still sustain her sufferings quietly and smilingly. Every moment new experiments are made to keep all her working organs awake but her senses and the best part of blood asleep. And if unfortunately her organs get some setback for a while, she is blamed and believed of having a manufacturing defect and this product is sent back to her producers for repairs. She starts doubting her own talents, good natured patience, and her motherly instructioned tones and manners. Now what this daughter of eve can do, instead, locking up whatever she perceives in her torpid heart.

In my opinion, majority of the girls enter their in-laws household with a thought of generosity and goodwill, as they leave behind all the sweet courtesies of their parental home to join her husband’s family. But every now and then she is expected to make a new miracle and her spectators never give her a room to breathe. She should be able enough to make the delicacies to delight everyone’s stomach but if she proves to be too perfect and gains the rare syllables of appreciation from a luckily single kind heart of the family, the poor daughter of eve will be put under scanner again but this time in a cruder manner. Her every path is made too rough for her feet or too steep for her strength in order to imbalance her whim, sense and seriousness. And for the mother-in-law a feeling of insecurity towards her son after his marriage compels her heart and refreshes her brain with all the new ideas of making her son’s head clay-cold and heart Luke-warm towards the feeling of his beloved wife. And once this mother achieves this goal she becomes the mightiest ignoring even the almighty. And if the daughter-in law is wise enough to understand all this, attempts are being made to make her weakness of being shy and polite, an insult to her own wisdom. Even after getting inflicted by all this, and confining herself to her own inner world of despair and anguish; some daring but foolish souls like mine still try to set ways to make situations cordial. But she knows her dreams are getting mortified and she starts losing the handle of patience at the slightest provocations and often at lonely times bursts into a flood of tears.

In the same family there will be different set of rules for their daughter and daughter-in-law and so will be the treatment. The common phrase-blood is thicker than water, often crowds her imagination of how she is related to her in-laws. Every member of the family especially the women folk enjoys the right to show discontentment towards the daughter-in-law even if she is in the excellent frame of her personality. She has no right to involve herself in any decision of the family; even she cannot cook the feast of her choice. And if she turns out to be a working one, then she should carry with her the sheepish inferiority for not being available for the service during the day. Why she will bear such things which no single pair of shoulder in all religions and countries can, and still balance her sentiments? Why will be she expected to sense such things which are beyond her strength and limits? These types of treatments with the women will only expose the sanctity of marriage to more risks. We have to agree to the god’s justice for this relation. It is this relation of Adam and Eve which gave rise to all the blood relations. Women are suffering not because they want to, but it is her love and fear of losing her institution of marriage that makes her life more miserable and will always suffocate her for being a woman.

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