Budgam Murder: A wake-up call for protecting dignity and rights of women
By: Aubaid Ahmad Akhoon
“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel
The heinous act of Arifa Jaan’s murder has left a deep scar on our conscience, shattering our faith in humanity and ethics. The pain and restlessness that we feel in our hearts and souls are a testimony to the magnitude of this tragedy. Shabir, the perpetrator of this heinous crime, has exposed the fact that our society harbors criminals who have no regard for human life and dignity.
As we mourn the loss of Arifa, we must also take responsibility for ensuring the safety and protection of our daughters. It is time for us to speak out against this injustice, to unite our voices and actions, and to demand justice for Arifa and for all the other daughters who may fall victim to such brutality.
We must empower our daughters to stand up against such atrocities and to fight for their rights to education, freedom, and dignity. We must encourage them to pursue their dreams and aspirations without fear or hesitation.
In the wake of Arifa Jaan’s tragic murder, it is important to reflect on the larger societal issues that contribute to such heinous crimes. One such issue is the prevalence of toxic masculinity, which encourages men to exert power and dominance over women, often resorting to violence to assert their control.
This toxic mindset is reinforced by patriarchal structures that prioritize men’s interests over women’s and limit women’s access to education, employment, and other opportunities. Such structures also perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes, such as the notion that women are weak and submissive, and that violence against them is acceptable.
To tackle this issue, it is essential to promote gender equality and challenge these harmful beliefs and attitudes. This can be done through education and awareness-raising initiatives that encourage men and women to work together towards creating a more just and equitable society.
Additionally, stronger laws and policies are needed to hold perpetrators of violence against women accountable for their actions. This includes measures such as harsher penalties for offenders, improved access to justice for victims, and greater support for survivors of violence.
It is time for us to awaken the youth of our nation and to instill in them a sense of responsibility and accountability. We must inspire them to become agents of change and to take practical steps towards creating a safer and more just society for all.
Let us not be discouraged by the narrow-mindedness of a few, but let us instead rise above the negativity and work towards a brighter future for our daughters. Let us strive towards creating a society where every sister and daughter can live without fear and where justice prevails for all.
The tale of Prophet Saleh recounts the killing of a miraculous she-camel granted to him by Allah, which sustained the people of Thamud. Despite the fact that only four individuals physically committed the crime, the entire community was held accountable by Allah. This was due to the collective guilt of the people who remained silent and did not condemn the act.
Bottom line: It is up to all members of society to take a stand against gender-based violence and work towards creating a world where women can live free from fear and oppression. By speaking out against injustice and working towards change, we can honor Arifa Jaan’s memory and ensure that her death was not in vain.
“A person who lacks empathy and compassion is not a human being. They are a monster with a human face.”
(The author is a columnist and a motivational speaker)