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Thank God I was not born in Afghanistan

August 16, 2009

In a U-turn, Karzai signs ‘rape law’ Men Can Deny Food To Wife Who Says No To Sex
shouts today’s TOI

I am infuriated and stunned to the point of have become speechless. My anger has taken toll over my senses and am just unable to find words to express my rage towards the men and my sympathies with the member of my own sex in Afghanistan

How can such a law be passed? How can someone be so insensitive towards the women?

Is the condition of women out there so bad? This law clearly shows that woman has no say in sexual act? Is she expected to be a robot or a machine (with no emotions and desires?) How can the men deny food or basic subsistence to the lady who is the mother of their children, who takes care of their house, takes care of the husbands and their families? That means she is at the mercy of the men for her basic needs. She is so helpless that she cannot even satisfy her hunger without the permission of her husband

I literally wants to say “Ghar mein maa behan nahi hai kya?” (Don’t they have mothers and sisters at home?) Will the same law be applicable to them also or is it restricted to wives only. But then every woman is a sister and mother. That means men in Afghanistan have no feelings, no respect for their own sisters and mothers?

Moreover the second part of the law says “ blood compensation to be paid for the injury caused to the victim during the act of rape to avoid prosecution)

I am sure the men there would be feeling very magnanimous after passing such a law. No consideration for the emotional, social suffering caused to woman, just a monetary compensation for the physical injury caused.? just pay some money and you are releived of your guilt, crime ?

I just want to know how they will calculate the injury caused. Will it be based on how many scratches she has got, or the amount of blood she shed?

If the women are considered to be weaker section of the society then is it not the duty of the superior strata to take care of them?

I am sure no religion would advocate that vulnerable people, helpless people should be taken advantage of, rather as per my knowledge all the religions of the world preach that women who is the very foundation of this society, without whom this world was not possible, who is the one who brings the men in this world , who rears them with her own blood should be respected and given equal importance

I am no authority on any religion but I just goggled and found out that even Quran considers woman to be at par with men.

I hope no men in India have read this otherwise I just dread what the condition of members of my sex who are already victims of sexual discrimination would be like (as it is very easy to adopt the negative things after all they are more attractive)
I just wish :
That some miracle happnes and no woman is condemned to such a derogatory state.

That some social reformers gear up enough courage to fight against such victimization against women in Afghanistan and anywhere else too, where women are being subjected to such atrocities by the hand of some of the men.

And men (who think that woman deserves to be respected and should be given their due as human beings) and women all over world join together to lend their support to the sufferers and fight against the injustice being meted out to their fellow beings.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. manju permalink
    August 16, 2009 5:33 pm

    Anju, you are very right to be infuriated at the situation in Afghanistan. Women obviously have an extremely difficult life there.

    However, we cannot do much about that. But perhaps we can do something about the situation in our own country.

    Perhaps the greatest insult to a woman is having to share her husband with 'other wives'. However this is legal in India under Muslim personal law-the Sharia-which is in force in India for Muslims.

    Until there is a Uniform Civil Code, this situation cannot change.

  2. Apanatva permalink
    August 16, 2009 5:34 pm

    Very well written post. We are lucky ones to be indians We do have a rich heritage and culture. Aryans had great respect for women, they enjoyed equal status in society. Only because of Mughal invasions for safety purpose the parda pratha started.My heart is trying to reach each and every suffering women in the world to assure we all are with them.

  3. Queenmothermamaw permalink
    August 16, 2009 5:34 pm

    Hello dear Angu. I left a comment on your previous comment. Check it out. \

  4. Neha permalink
    August 16, 2009 6:02 pm

    this is a very sad thing happening in so many middle-east countries…I found out about their culture thru two books that I read – Not without my daughter by Betty Mahmoody and Mirage by Soheir Khashoggi…Quran has been misinterpreted at many occasions like calling Jehad an order of Allah, status of a woman in the society, polygamy (it is allowed only if the consent of the wife is there) etc…and Anju, these countries have passed such laws which go against the women..and there, women live such a life without complaining and teach their children the same..

    It is a very sensitive issue, and needs to be taken care of asap..

  5. August 16, 2009 8:17 pm

    I don't think any reformist movement is going to change this law. There were numerous protest by women asking Karzai not to sign it, there were groups of men who were ready to stone these women, who wanted that law. Karzai should be shot and the rest like him. I have no clue how US is even going to bring law and order into that country. My heart goes out to the women there.

  6. Durga Nandan permalink
    August 17, 2009 3:27 am

    Thinking it is all in the law, these helpless women abide by such laws. And Islam never stands for such monstrousness.

    My heart goes out to them.. And I feel I am really lucky to have been born here. Where at least if you have guts, you can react.

  7. AnjuGandhi permalink
    August 17, 2009 3:48 am

    manju this is really humilating for a wife to share her husband with other woman, in muslims it is legal but what about in other religions, bigamy is there in each culture. if it is not legal then people do it on a sly .

    apantva yes we indeed are lucky to be born in India as we have social reformers, social activists who raise their voice against such acts and encourage the victims to stand up to the insults being thrown on them.

    Neha, SJ and Durganandan the women there have just resigned to the laws of their countries. they are so helpless that even if they want to do something there is no support system for them.

  8. Gayathri permalink
    August 17, 2009 5:31 am

    exactly how i felt..dunno if it was a coincidence but TOI was saying abt the journalist in sudan being penalised for wearing trousers publicly..i guess it's pathetic in almost every muslim country..
    i guess u ve read 'Thousand splendid suns',by khaled hossaieni,.even after the taliban is ousted,which is when the book was framed,women are still crucified..
    worst is the rule that,a rape convict can neutralize the crime he did by offering his daughter to the family of the rape victim,so that the males in that family can really 'enjoy' the prey!

  9. manju permalink
    August 17, 2009 5:50 am

    You are right, bigamy is there in some degree in all cultures.

    But in India, only in the case of Muslims is polygamy supported by the legal sanction of our government.

  10. aleem azmi permalink
    August 17, 2009 7:59 am

    Anju, you are very right to be infuriated at the situation in Afghanistan. Women obviously have an extremely difficult life there.
    aleem azmi

  11. BK Chowla permalink
    August 17, 2009 12:46 pm

    May be it has something to do with politics in Afghanistan.Frankly,we can not do much on this issue as it might become a religious issue.We should consider ourselves to be lucky to be born Indians and hope such silly laws are not implemented here.

  12. indianhomemaker permalink
    August 17, 2009 1:38 pm

    I can feel your pain Anju. Have you read A thousand Splendid Suns? Afghanistan has gone through a lot and it is still struggling. I read another blog post (Winnows) that says if Karzai had not signed it, he would have had very little chance of winning elections and then some real funamentalist party would have won elections…and that would be really bad.
    My one thought is how much worse can it get?
    I felt the same way when Mangalore Molestations happened in the name of religion!

    And read Afghan cleric defends controversial marriage law here…

  13. Swatantra permalink
    August 17, 2009 3:28 pm

    I am amazed that you write beautiful…

  14. August 17, 2009 7:29 pm

    good post
    i have already written on Quran in free time please you can visit and read is the link

  15. partywithneha permalink
    August 17, 2009 11:00 pm

    The human race disgusts me. You are very right in being angry over this. I am just numb. and I feel lucky, that I am much better off than the plight of these women.

  16. Sakshi permalink
    August 18, 2009 2:33 am

    Well I think I can definitely have a say in this issue as I was born into an extremely orthodox muslim family not in Afghanistan or Saudi but in India. The words in Quran has been twisted according to the whims and fancies of the men following the religion and I am ashamed to say that in my very own country our community follows its own set of rules for the women and they are not scared of any Indian laws because they know that the oppressed women will never revolt against them and that thought gives me the creeps as I know and have seen that it is true. We have no say or for that matter even get to see who we are going to marry. In our community the Nikah is still performed without the presence of the bride so you can say it hardly matters even if the girl rebels. Her father can still get her married to anyone. And no one is ever booked for marital rape. It's all so disgusting to write here.

    Have you read the book "Princess" by Jean P Sasson? It tells the horrific tales of women behind the veils in Saudia Arabia. It's a true story told by a princess from the ruling royal family. In short she says that being a princess didn't bring much freedom to her other than wealth..her opening sentence touches your heart where she says something like "I was born free yet bound by invisible chains"

  17. August 18, 2009 3:29 am

    Nice post. I loved it. But….

    I am glad you are not born in Afghanistan. But I am really very sorry that you are born in India. I am sure you would have read the latest Indian Supreme Court ruling. As follows:

    The Supreme Court has ruled that a husband cannot be prosecuted for 'cruelty' towards his wife under section 498(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) merely because his mother or other members of the family kicked her or, for that matter, threatened her with divorce.

    Are Indian women in the frying pan or Afghanistan women in the fire.

    One of your readers wrote: We are lucky ones to be Indians. We have a rich heritage and culture.

    I want to say more. But I will stop here.

  18. Thousif Raza M.B permalink
    August 18, 2009 9:08 am

    you know i too read about this in Bangalore mirror and i was infuriated reading this, i mean what do these guys think who do these laws?

    the part i really hated was of that of paying the money, i mean what the F is that, it boils my blood to hear that, don't these people have brains who pass laws like this, what hell ya

    anyways nice work nicely written

    take care and keep writing……..

  19. Parita permalink
    August 18, 2009 3:40 pm

    Gosh that sounds horrible, cant even imagine…

  20. Deepa permalink
    August 19, 2009 6:40 am

    I know the horrors that women in Afghanistan are experiencing – made more terrible because there was a time when their life was not so. When they had access to education and good health care.

    I wanted to make a few points here. One pertains to the references made to some books. 'Not without my daughter' and 'Princess' – I have read both books and found them to be very moving. But please do bear in mind that these books have been written by western women who come from a western cultural reference point. And I feel that may have coloured their perception of events. Having said that, I concede that human rights are universal.

    Another point was about the uniform civil code. There seems to be a feeling that the UCC would be the panacea for all evils. Perhaps. But again, we need to take this with a pinch of salt. What is to say that the constitution would uphold women's rights in the best possible way? Look at the comment made by SG on a Supreme Court ruling? Plus, there are some good points in Muslim personal law. It is perhaps one of the few religions that grants daughters a share in ancestral property. So, let us be careful about not throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  21. Solilo permalink
    August 19, 2009 9:31 am

    Anju, Absolutely agree with your views. The condition of women in Islam is sad esp. in countries like Afganistan. In India too it is men who are against Uniform Civil Code. Women obviously support it.

    It is really sad that half of our world population is getting discriminated on the basis of XX chromosome and the rest talks about progress.

  22. Surya Kannan permalink
    August 19, 2009 1:03 pm

    Painful to know their Plight! Sure, this world is heading towards a catastrophe. If people don't change, nature will make sure that it happens in the near future.

    Whenever the Balance gets lopsided, equilibrium has always been achieved. It will either happen through an individual or the collective mass.

    Reminds me of Syu-Ki in Burma. She has been fighting for almost a decade and still she is imprisoned. One day, this Tremendous force of individual determination and guts to Make a Difference would turn everything on its head.

  23. Arunima permalink
    August 19, 2009 2:57 pm

    Thank God! me too. I am lucky that I am born in manipur that way even when the state is backward in other things, women are really respected and they really have a say in everything.

  24. Roshmi Sinha permalink
    August 24, 2009 11:38 am

    Afghanistan was a beautiful and modern country till the mid seventies. Then the Soviets invaded followed by the world's policeman… the US of A.

    They sowed the seeds of the scourge of "terrorism" plaguing this region ever since.

    The charade of the so called 'War on Terror' is on…. full blast too. Else these "developed" countries and super powers will not be able to sell their defence related equipments… and that will spell doom for their economy.

    Karzai is a puppet… he is doing whatever the powers that installed him want him to do.

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