Vrindavan in the Apex Court

The people of this country are generally aware of the sad stories of the women rendering services as dasis in temples and ashrams as well as of other hapless women. In this sense Vrindavan in Mathura district of U.P. is very famous. Most of the women who live here are those who turn widows in their childhood, teen age, youth, adolescence or old age and also those who are declared ill-omened and dropped there, often much against their will, by their relations (sons, daughters-in-laws, etc.). The efforts to better the condition of these oppressed women always make headlines in newspapers but the result never comes to the fore. – The condition remains the same. The most recent effort is on the basis of which the Supreme Court in May this year discussed the appalling condition of the widows of Vrindavan and formed a 7-member committee of high officials to suggest recommendations. The committee has submitted its report in the Apex Court, and picturising the hapless condition of women, written that “only those who go to such places unannounced and without any official clout can see and realise the pathetic conditions in which the destitute women known as Vrindavan widows live there.” (Newspapers of July 31)

Four causes of the scenario
The Apex Court will issue its directives on this report on August 3 and it is hoped that these directives, if carried on honestly, must help better the condition of these oppressed women. But notwithstanding the type of people implementing court verdicts and that this work would have been done much earlier if the condition had to be improved by court verdicts, let’s see what the causes of the condition are. At a glance there seems to be four causes: (1) the attitude of society towards women in general and towards widows and hapless women in particular; (2) the belief of the people belonging to the “majority” religion that a widow is ill-omened, and she should not live in the society like common women; (3) not treating widows or old parents as part of the family, considering them to be burden on the family, and young couples’ bid to lead a prosperous life, considering only kids their all; and (4) common people’s lack of real sympathy and love for widows that the latter deserve
and need.

The reality of Muslim society
Here is no occasion of comparing a Muslim society with a Non-Muslim one, nor of saying that those who talk of the “appalling condition” of Muslim women need to look at their vicinity; nor is there any need to assert that in India there is no ‘vrindavan’ of Muslim women or ‘ashram’ of (Muslim) widows. – However, keeping in view the four causes, the reality of Muslim society can be mentioned: (1) The feeling of sympathy and respect for widows and helpless women is present in the Muslim society; (2) widows are not considered ill-omened in the Muslim society; they participate in every work, and in certain circumstances they take the lead to run the family; (3) widows and old parents are considered part of the family; due services are rendered to them save and except the condition in which the unfortunate son is quite aloof from the Islamic life and is influenced by the other society; (4) real sympathy and love is found, in accordance with the Commandments of Allah and the teachings of His Messenger (pbuh), and in most cases their remarriage is arranged. Efforts to reform the society are continuously made. It would be better if some Muslim group convey these realities to those who want to better the condition prevailing in Vrindavan, and also tell them where the rot lies.
04/ 08/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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