In every home, there is Asifa!
I was in deep slumber until someone nudged my back. Amidst tears and cries, my eyes woke up to the beautiful yet strange world. Laughing faces, happy hearts and one emotional creature on my bed; Mother! She was grinning like a cheshire cat. With a twinkle in my eyes and a gentle smile on my face, I responded (wondrously) to her. I always found her lap peaceful and dad’s back my favourite ride. I was a happy bony child. What happened next? A wolf haunted me in my dreams! I was traumatised, tormented, assaulted, molested, raped and I wasn’t left untill brutally killed. My dreams were shattered into pieces! Now I do not exist anymore. My name is Asifa and I am no more!
These are the throes of agony of the little girl who used to reside in the woods with her parents and flock. These are the moans of a tribal girl; Asifa Bano, whose hapless cries could not stop the beasts relinquish their eroticism? Her innocence could not preclude them from whetting their appetite! Her tormented body could not awaken their ‘otherwise dead conscious’! They were voracious beasts whose lust consumed the life of a ‘fragile kid’. They sacrileged their own sacred place with the ‘Highest form of evil’. That ‘Red spot’ on their foreheads was not a sign of their ‘being Hindu’ but an open warning to all that they are the ‘pervert murderers devoid of any human value’. She was raged to death in a place where her perpetrators worship, where from, they deliver the message of their lords. How abominable! Didn’t they feel ashamed while committing such heinous crime in front of their Trishul – holding God and their own ‘Mata’. Asifa would have never, even in her spooking dreams, dreamt of the gut-wrenching torment she actually went through. Imagine the degree of torment, that in the aftermath of the gruesome event, every eye shed tears of remorse, every heart felt heavy and every hand shook with trepidation. Shadows of melancholy spread all over and the aura around turned complete gloomy.
The saddest part of the story is never ending. Yes! Asifa is not the end. What constitutes the acrid reality is the ‘presence of Asifas’ everywhere. Homes, offices, schools, varsities, hospitals, in laws, public places, trains, air-flights, stadiums, concerts, cinemas and everywhere, there is Asifa who falls prey to apathy, sexual turpitude or male chauvinism. Everyday Asifa is beseeching for help! Everyday her modesty is being torn apart! Everyday she faces torture from her nears or strangers. Everyday she is bludgeoned to domestic violence. Everyday she wails due to the ‘burns of assault.’ Everyday she dies an emotional death. Everyday she sees her fall! The world has lost the love and respect for Asifa. She no more trusts our character. She is frightened by our peculiar smile, she feels insecure even with an octogenarian, she gets ghost-jerks while walking alone in the dark and she now considers herself, as the most unfortunate and gullible person on the planet. Her perpetrators still roam free, Her rapists are being supported by some iniquitous faces hiding behind the veil of tri-colour. And what is more astonishing, they are backed by political arms who are on continuous rampage in haunting other Asifas.
Asifa is a ‘reflection’ of every daughter and sister in our house. Right from her own home, she gets discriminated, emotionally harmed and even treated either as a ‘unwanted being’ or a ‘Home-Labourer’. The feeling of inferiority complex always pushes her down the earth. When she’s in her mother’s womb, she is being washed away by the menace of ‘female foeticide’. If she manages to get away with it, the ‘Home Torture’ starts. The moment she comes out of her home, she lands in the ‘harms way’ where her emotions, modesty and life is in jeopardy. Before her marriage, dowry and social customs wither away her desires and ‘in-laws’ torture and domestic violence’, after her marriage snatches from her ‘the right to life’. Then her dreams of becoming a mother are also shattered, yet again because of the menace of ‘foeticide’ she herself had luckily escaped from, in her mother’s womb. Finally, when wrinkles appear on her face and her hair turns grey, she is considered as a ‘fifth wheel’ – a useless burden by her own children. At last she dies a tragic death! Is there any place on the earth where she can live without wounds and scars?
My dear considerate societal members, the exalted Lord has bestowed us the title of Ashraful Makhlooqaat (crown of creations) and clearly advocated that a girl is a blessing, not an unwanted being. Beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) emphasised upon the ‘Importance of girl’ and here one tradition is enough to get the insight of girls as a precious pearl. Jabir Ibn Abdullah (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) reported that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “Whoever has three daughters and he accommodates them, shows mercy towards them, and supports them then paradise is definitely guaranteed for him. Thus, someone asked the Prophet, what if they are two daughters only, He (Peace Be Upon Him) replied, “[He gets that reward] even if they are [only] two.” Some of those present believed that had the Prophet been asked about only one daughter, he would have answered that the reward was applicable too. The beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) also mentioned, “Whoever supports two girls till they attain maturity, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection (close to each other) like this – The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) joined his two fingers to illustrate closeness”. (Muslim). Such is the value and reward of showing ‘love and compassion’ towards girl. Come and let’s join hands to combat all forms of violence on ‘her’ and deal with an iron fist with her perpetrators and tormenters. She is half of the society who raises the other half. She is a celebrity whose presence makes this world a better place. God bless Asifa! God bless ‘Her’!
Author is an MBA student at The Business School, University of Kashmir, Srinagar and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.