16 July 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: How else can one explain the militants' heart-rending action in chopping off the ears and nose of a poor girl in Gandoh area of the Doda district except that they are the beasts in real life worse than the cannibals about whom one has only either read or heard? Admittedly it is not for the first time that one has come across such a gruesome incident revolting to human conscience. In the past as well, they have carried out similar dastardly strikes against the girls in the Poonch-Rajouri hills for defying their ill-conceived directives to keep off schools or other literacy centers. Beheading of their innocent captives has been yet another of their favourite pastimes on either side of the Pir Panjal: they have not spared even the foreign tourists. How can anybody be so mean and cruel? Of course, it can be convincingly argued that those who can ruthlessly kill can derive sadistic satisfaction from anything equally inhuman. It is the plight of their victims that is pitiable. One whose life is terminated with a bullet may suffer for a moment or two but the one who is condemned to live in a disfigured condition all through the life is subjected to ignominy in a society that lacks in basic facilities like cosmetic surgery to heal one's wounds. In the later instance one has to contend with total isolation, as one is too diffident to show one's mutilated image to anybody. If the victims were girls - as it turns out unfortunately they are in the majority of the cases - their life becomes a hell. They are considered to be unfit for marriages for no fault of theirs. One can only shudder at the very idea of one human being depriving the others of their limbs in the fashion in which butchers deal with the animals. That is why there can be only one conclusion that those indulging in such macabre pleasures can't be made of the same stuff of which the thinking beings generally are. They are the merciless murderers and marauders who happen to assume human forms. It is a weird phenomenon. In the Doda incident the poor girl has been subjected to torture although she had done a kind job. She had successfully persuaded her militant brother to give up the path of violence and opt instead for a normal life by surrendering to the police. This became the provocation for the former colleagues of her brother to pick up and seriously harm her. If there are more courageous girls like her the militants may give up their ways. Therefore, such brave girls should be treated with respect. This is the least that can be done to make them feel that society is aware of their act of sacrifice. There should be no delay in arranging cosmetic treatment for these victims of the rapacity of the militants. As the experience of her brother shows there are sections of the militants amenable to reason and persuasion. A campaign should be launched to disabuse their mind of the base and beastly tendencies. Mainly the people with the help of official agencies can do this. The role of non-governmental organisations assumes importance in this behalf. There are many militants who may still not be willing to learn. They may continue to derive delight from their murderous spree. They leave but one option: they must be sternly dealt with in the same manner in which they treat defenceless people. They create situation that invites application of the force to save society from their wicked intentions.