‘Girls can’t be held guilty for floods’

After the floods wreaked havoc across Kashmir, people attributed the disaster to various factors- from lack of disaster preparedness on part of the government to the social evils prevalent in the society. Some people chose to hold girls and their “gaudy” way of dressing responsible for nature’s fury.
Though this misogynistic attitude cannot be generalized, it’s a matter of concern nevertheless for the girls some of whom shared their concern .
Ironically, even minor girls have not been spared by the outrageous comments. Thirteen-year-old, Ayesha Rasool from Sopore felt quite delightful when her father Ghulam Rasool took her for Eid shopping but as soon as she had stepped into the market, some people had passed comments on her clothes. Frightened Ayesha tried to pretend as if she didn’t hear anything. But she couldn’t hold back her emotions and broke down before her father and urged her to take home.
“I will never go to market and school. That uncle who passed by me was saying that I should be burnt alive and another flood will come because of my clothes,” said Ayesha while tears rolled down her cheeks.
Ayesha’s family members said she did not eat anything on Eid and didn’t go out anywhere as she was very disturbed.
Arshie Qureshi, 22, from Srinagar said while crossing the traffic junction on MA Road, a man riding a scooter had hurled abuses at her and her friend.
“Kashmir is doomed to face the eventualities like floods and other disasters if these shameless girls continue to dress in tight clothes,” the man had commented as Arshie recalls.
“His young son looked at us in awe as if quietly agreeing to his father’s comment and assumption,” she added.
Some men sitting on shop fronts and roadsides had also made offensive comments attributing the floods to the clothes of girls. “What else would you have expected to happen when girls have shunned Islamic principles?” a shopkeeper had commented.
Nayeema Muzaffar, a teacher by profession, had to leave her home in a hurry as the flood waters gushed in. “When we left our home during floods, all I could pack was a pair of trousers and kurtis. And sadly during our stay in the downtown, I had to hear comments like the flood fury has befallen us because of the clothes we wear,” she said.
Nayeema wonders why people can’t take it as a natural disaster. “I fail to understand why people don’t talk about the devastation of environment of that resulted in floods. The environmental degradation has reacted in the shape of flood,” she said.
Some netizens also blamed women’s attire for the floods through their posts on social networking sites like facebook.
Religious scholars have strongly condemned passing of comments against women and blaming them for the floods.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said: “It was very unfortunate if people are making such assumptions.”
“We cannot deny that there is social waywardness but that does not mean women should be held responsible for floods, doing that is in itself a crime,” he added.
Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, chairman of Mutahida Ulema Ahl-e-Sunnat (MUAS), an amalgam of various religious bodies, said those who have done this mistake of targeting women folk must repent before God.
“It is too bad and wrong to say that women are responsible for floods. It was nature’s fury which has happened in many places before. Nobody should be blamed for what happened rather we should blame ourselves for being so inhumane and unkind,” Hami told Rising Kashmir.
He said people should act with conscience and must stop such “disgusting activities”.

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