Restricted to homes, yet IOK women are politically aware
Srinagar, August 24, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, Jawahara Begum (45), a housewife, has been restricted to her home since August 5 when the Indian government scrapped Article 370 of its Constitution that granted a special status to the territory. Jawahara Begum says it is suffocating to be in the situation of a clampdown but like other women in her old city locality she is keeping a watch on the political happenings.
For Jawahara, in her locality of Safa Kadal, she is used to curfews and restrictions as witnessed in 2008, 2010 and 2016, and she has always been politically aware of the everyday events in occupied Kashmir. “Like men who go and discuss situations at the bakers’ shop or in the street, we are equally curious. We are anxious and tired,” she says, adding that she discusses the situation with other women in her locality.
While Jawahara keeps a watch on things she says, “It is affecting the mental health of the people as they feel trapped in their homes.” “Normally, we would go to visit our relatives or go to the market or go out for some other purpose. It is frustrating to be just at home. And we don’t know when this is going to end. Mentally, it is tiring. We don’t talk about any other things as our discussions are so depressing,” she says.
Like Jawahahra, Haseena is also worried but her bigger concern is her children. “We saw some peace in Kashmir when we were growing up but my children saw nothing. I don’t see a secure future for them,” says Haseena a resident of Batamaloo. Haseena, who is a mother of three children aged between 18-27, says, “Everyone in Kashmir is suffering from anxiety.”
“My husband runs a shop and if the situation is like this, it is obviously stressful. We have lost hope and the authorities are responsible for it. They deliberately do things which put Kashmir on fire,” she says. Maimoona, a resident of Bohri Kadal locality, says she used to go and pray at the grand mosque once during the day, which she is not able to do now. “We are deprived of all these things now,” she says.
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Kashmir Media Service
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