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– Valibhai Musa
Click here to read in Gujarati
The title of my post, today, may seem to be surprising and perhaps misleading to my Readers. It has been proved and established, geographically and astronomically, that the earth is round; but, here it is said ‘square’. I won’t keep you any long in hankering state, but clarify straightway that I am going to talk about the jails, their cells – The Square World.
This Article, being somewhat lengthy, will be published in parts conveniently. To make my Article universal, I have ignored some specifications. My purpose and attempt behind this blog post is only to awake the feelings of my Readers to condemn such acts against humanity and maintain the mind to think over universal brotherhood.
All these chapters narrate the variety of harassments and tortures to the detainees by the cruel jail authorities. These jails are from a dictatorial rule of Government and one cannot hope even in a dream that any one or moreguidelines or rules of human rightsfor prisoners may beobserved or honored by them which have been internationally approved by Human Rights Commissions. Peter Beneson says, “Torture is banned; but in two-thirds of the world’s countries, it is still being committed in secret. Too many Governments still allow wrongful imprisonment, murderunder the title of encounter or ‘disappearance” to be carried out by their officials with impunity”. The most of democratic countries, no doubt, observe these norms, but they cannot upgrade the jails as some western countries do.
The inmates of prisons canbe categorized as convicts, under-trial and detainees. They may be in any category, but we should not forget that, after all, they are human beings. They have some basic rights such as enough space for lying and sleeping, proper sanitation, standard and sufficient food, purified water, seasonal clothing, medical facilities, reasonable wages of their work for their families at home etc..
Now, I’ll quote you some examples which I have collected from various sources to describe such hells on earth that will shake you from the inner of your heart and you will immediately pray to the God, if you are a Believer, that He may save anybody to be the guest (!) of such miserable places. No doubt, everybody has to face the Day of Judgment as per most of the religions; but there will be punished only those confirmed sinners who might have committed unforgivable sins which may also be out of the God’s discretion for the sake of His promises for reward for good deeds and warning of punishment for evil deeds though He is Kind and Merciful.
Generally, in any dictatorial or monarchyrule of government; the detainees are kept in such secret places or unknown jails that their relatives cannot know their whereabouts. These types of rulers do not honor internationally approved code of conduct to be dealt with the detainees and under-trial prisoners as they are conditioned minded people and they always are worried for their existence and safety of their kingdom or rule. Therefore, they always keep their subject under the pressure of terror. It is the basicprinciple of judiciary that any accused should not be considered as guilty until one’s guilt is proved. But to such “Jungle rule” type of authorities have no concern with such ideology of natural justice.
Now, I come to the point and join you with me to raise your feeble cry as we are helpless except we can burn our hearts and utter the words “shame … shame !” towards such cruelty against humanity. Please go on and bewitness of those miserable prisoners who may prefer death if they are allowed rather than to live in such a hell.
The directive of Human Rights for prisoners clearly mentions that any detainee should not be interrogated at night; but here what we see, go ahead:
Inside this square world, you can see Blindfolds, Shackles. Handcuffs and Whips as the weapons of the torturers to be used against the helpless prisoners for their true or false confessions of their so called crimes. You can see blood on the bare backs of these poor fellows. Here, at past midnight also, the detainees are summoned. They may be half asleep due to their anxiety and fear, but the cruel authorities have no concern with the odd time and they can summon anybody at any time for investigation or interrogation as per their mood and willingness. There is no end of such inquiries. They are being beaten cruelly till they are bled and tortured till their nerves are wrecked. The heavy metal door creaks with a squeak harsh enough to send their blood tingling. Every time, the guard turns the keys in the hole, the door unlocks in stages with a sharp metal voice. The inmates sleeping in various positions due to lack of enough space sit erect, with all alertness, like a flock of frightened sheep, expecting the slaughterer to enter the pen and make his pick.
Now, my Readers, hold on your heart and read further. But before that, I clarify that the characters coming before you in turn will be named in single Alphabet beginning with “A” and so on further. “What is in name?’ as in a Shakespeare’s play, we have no concern with names.
A young man of 20, Mr. A, stark naked except a brief loin cloth is pushed in the cell. His head and eyebrows are totally shaved and moustache half-shaven. Blood streams from his chest, back, arms, thighs and legs. He is chastised with lashes which have turned his skin violet. To his ghost-like appearance, nobody in the cell dares to glance at him. His helplessness and distress move all the prisoners of the cellfrom the deepest of their hearts. Then follows a dangerous officer with a cunning smile on his thick lips.
He shouts addressing to that poor creature, “Tell them of your sins why we have treated you thus.” And the young ghost mutters, “I had been here few months ago and after some formal inquiries, I was released. As I went home, I informed some of my relatives and family friends about the whereabouts of their missing members. I told them that they have been detained and that I have met them. Now, once again, I am arrested with the charge of having disclosed the secret of the state.”
The butcher-like officer once again shouts loudly and says, “Did you hear him?” All the rest answer in a chorus, “Yes, we did hear.” The message is conveyed. The young man hardly able to walk is then pushed out of the door, taken away to where nobody knows.
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd.: 13th December, 2007
[ Continues on Part – II ]
Click here to read in Gujarati
Every year, 8th March is celebrated as the International Women’s Day throughout the world. Many multi-national companies, Governments, NGOs and both Print and Electronic media play a very important role to highlight the achievements of women in every field of life and give honor to them. Women are the half population in the world. An old Native American proverb narrates, “A nation is not lost as long as the women’s hearts are still high. Only when the women’s hearts are on the ground then all is finished, and the nation dies”.
But, what is in naming a Day? Celebrations of various Days have remained, now a day, formalities and shows. Any concrete work only can become meaningful; otherwise it is like a farce. My today’s Article is an attempt of disclosing the naked truth of the titled words. In most of the countries of the world, ‘Honor killing’ is the burning issue. It is true that we may not be able to stop honor killings overnight, but it must be tried at all levels and we are sure to have the results to reduce them at least. People who are sincere, religious minded and believing in humanity may be good for them, but it is not enough. They should also think for others and not to turn blind eyes to such cruel practices in the society. People should recognize such domestic violence as crime. The educational institutions should add the topic of ‘Human Rights’ into their textbooks. Greater awareness in public can minimize such crimes in the society rather than merely laws and judiciary system.
Now, let us study and go deep to understand this social evil spread over throughout the world and also in the most of the communities like a viral disease. No exact numbers of honor killings worldwide are traceable, but they are considered to be very high. These honor killings are covered up as private family matters and attributed as the natural deaths. Honor killing is the cold murder of a female committed by the close relative of the victim in her own household. It is generally observed that such killing is most probably a pre-planned sin as it is being handled through a minor male in order to have minimum punishment by law. Sometimes where murder is not carried out, some other types of oppressions such as beating, torture, forced marriage, imprisonment in home etc. can be seen.
Honor killing is such where a woman is murdered for the shame that she is supposed to have brought on her family. Some acts either they may be beyond her control or not, but are deemed to be stain on family’s reputation in the community and she is cruelly murdered. Such hateful and mean thinking of so-called damage to the prestige of the family initiates the elder members of the family such as father, brother and some times mother, elder sister or brother’s wife to commit the crime. How sad it is when the women themselves participate in conspiracy against a woman! How we can blame only the men! They people leave behind the cultural and religious obligations and also feelings of blood relation to perpetrate such a sinful act. It is unanimously established that murder is a non-forgivable sin.
The Holy Qur’an says, “Killing one person is the same as killing all humanity and saving one person is the same as saving all humanity.” Not only Honor-killing, but any type of human-killing without any justification, is forbidden in all religions of the world. Some oriental religions do not recognize the killing of even a very small insect as a good deed and consider it to be the violence which is the grave sin beyond any forgiveness from the God. But, here, here it is the violence towards a human, a female! How tragic such act of female murder is! Isn’t it a climax of brutality?
Many scholars of sociology have found out some roots of such rude behavior towards the female. According to them, a certain class of people of every community, race or religion considers the woman as the commodity and property of the male and they only have the right to decide the fate of the female. Even they can exchange, buy or sell the women. In some communities marriages of daughters are arranged by the elder male persons, where money is also exchanged ignoring liking or disliking of the female; and if it is opposed, it is considered to be the shame to the honor of the men who might have negotiated the marriage. Thousands of brides are burnt having brought a very little dowries to their expectations also. Any married woman seeking a divorce from her violent husband is also considered to be the prestige issue and is killed to save the honor of the family. Some women are also heavily pressured to commit suicide for various reasons of honor.
Some common reasons for performance of an honor killing include the illegal relationships, marrying or expressing a desire to marry a man of her own choice but male members disapprove, divorcing an abusive spouse or being a rape victim. For the misfortune of being raped, the girl or woman is murdered by her family in spite of her innocence. Moreover, many other reasons for honor murders are there such as bringing food late, answering back or undertaking forbidden family visits.
It is the general opinion of the people that the courts should sentence not only to the actual murderer but also the rest members of the family who might have co-operated in punishing the woman and the head of the family also who might have passed the order for the killing with heavier sentence. Honor killing is a murder and must be punished accordingly. Some time ago Indian Supreme Court, while referring a case of inter-cast love-marriage, had passed a comment that the honor killing or any harassment to either any one or both is illegal. Even though, if the parents think that their feelings are hurt with such love marriages due to one or another reason, they cannot take the law in their hands to punish the couple in a way of murder or torture; but instead of that they may cut the social relations with the couple if they think fit. Honor killing cannot be justified as true by the law. My Readers also will agree with the fact that there is no honor in honor killing and it is the disgrace to humanity and mankind.
Further, one more tragedy in the society is that the responsibility of keeping the honor of the family intact is over the head of the female only and the male is given special privilege. The women are compelled to be obedient and passive. Criminal codes of discrimination against women should be reviewed. In some countries, the murder of a wife is treated more leniently than murder of a husband.
Before I conclude my Article, I’ll put before you one more kind of honor-killing and that is the abortion of an illegal child developing in the womb of an unmarried woman. Has anybody the right to pass a death sentence on totally a defenseless and innocent child? Murder of innocent and unborn child is the worst of all satanic works. It is the natural justice that every creature has the right to life. Life is the gift of God and nobody has any right to reject it in any circumstances. Anti-abortion fundamentalists cry out against abortion and say that all abortions are murders. Sometimes many such unmarried women give birth to the child in secrecy and afterwards they either give it up or kill it for the family honor.
Lastly to say, we should never get disappointed for the solution of the above issue as still there is the thread of hope that the collective measures and attacks from all directions to conquer this social evil will surely bring good results of saving the lives of millions of unborn infants as well as numerous miserable women in the world.
Let us be the part of the mission of saving the sacred human blood being spilled unnecessarily in the name of family honor.
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd.: 5th December, 2007