someday ill be in company of all....

Friday, March 1, 2013

In the name of honour : A memoir by Mukhtar Mai

Title: In the name of honour
Author: Mukhta Mai
Publisher: Little brown book, group
Pages: 191
Price: Rs 395
ISBN: 9781844084838
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Personal

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It is an exordinary journey of Mukhtmai's fight against the odds against a crime ...A fight that she battles with courage and true spirit..Her life makes you wonder if you were living in a modern or have you stepped back in time...

There was a period where  I was reading reading books on the atrocities done on women back to back..This was one among the collections..Though I loved the book it took sometime for me to complete... Procrastination has taken up on me, and I have decided to fight back...

Breaking the suspense right in the beginning let me state that I'm in awe for this lady Mukhtar Mai, who like phoenix rose from ash...Mukhtar Mai in late twenties,is divorced yet leads a respectable life, teaching Quran to the local kids of Meerwala..She belongs to Gujar clan , lower caste of tribe to whom literacy is out of their reach..Her younger brother (in  early teens) is falsely accused of talking to a girl belonging to Mastois (higher caste).Like a wild fire matters gets worse in few hours, the accusation takes terrible turn from stealing sugarcane to rape...Naturally the family is shaken by the whole event like any other oppressed and supressed feels,  the boy is taken to police custody..Mukhtar is the now his brother's soul hope to freedom hence gathering courage she decides to confront the people of higher caste to seek their forgiveness, instead she is met point blank with rifles and utter disgust for her...
She is dragged through streets to a stable and through the watchful eyes of onlookers she is gang raped by four men and left to herself naked  in agony but alive..She is expected to kill herself as that is what expected from such women under such circumstances...Mukhtar too in her usual line of thoughts  plots various means of suicide, but for her caring mother she would have even succeeded..As the initial agony wears out, anger, resentment consumes Mukhtar...Her rage to fight back upon crime done overcomes her slender self..From there begins Mukhtar's battle for justice...From a faint and a feeble peasant she becomes a powerful voice of oppressed women..She describes rules in Pakistan or a muslim country  in general for a case to be named as rape , to me it appeared as though they were framed for a woman to lose the case...Still she fought hard against all odds..

Her endevour was something unexpected from a weak gender..But unlike other incidents and books I had come across on similar events, the local Imam was quite supportive , but couldn't do much against the powerful people of higher caste..Mukhtar makes persistent effort much against the enormous death threats and honour allurement from all around...Her assiduous actions makes the government and the judiciary to take necessary actions against this terrible crime...Her case attains international attention and help flows from NGO's ...Though nothing can make up for what was done to her, the government awarded her money that she extended in building a school for the children of her village and for those  willing to gain education irrespective of gender and caste..Now she travels far and wide not only in her country but all over the world as an ambassador of woman's right and  over the years she has employed more teachers and been successful in getting aid for the school..She has even invited the children of higher clan to visit her school...

The book is a sad recount of her ordeal through rough water, through all this her undying spirit stands tall..  Her fight. her hurdles through every step made me to sit erect and continue my reading...Honour killing is something very hard to believe in present century yet they happen every now and then..Even in India these take place, I remember coming across a case in December 2012 in Kolkata ,a man (Mehtab Alam) beheading his younger sister in the name of honour killing...All these incidents and books makes me to think where are we heading to?? When at one end we boast of all the achievements mankind has on life, medicine, in terms of education, at the very next turn  theses incidents (few being from much educated class ) makes me wonder how to define real progress of a society with all this ..But the truth is through all this, life goes on and we get used to all these events as a part of our life until and unless they hits us right in our own eye in terms of someone close to us...

1 comment:

  1. Great commentary VB.

    You raise some really good questions as to what really is the state of the world. The contradictions between progress and monstrous violence and ignorance are mind boggling.


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