Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam has expressed his anguish over rising cases of divorces, marital feuds and domestic violence in Kashmir. He believes that the situation is worsening and there are few reasons which are responsible for the growing menace.
Speaking to local news agency Kashmir News Observer, Mufti Nasir said that this growth in domestic violence, marital feuds, and divorces started six years ago when the “Muslim Personal Law Board or Islamic Shariah Court” registered a couple of cases based on these issues.
He said that his office received record complaints in 2016. These numbers are continuously increasing and the condition is worsening by every passing day. He points out that “wrong use” of the internet including social media, mistreatment to new brides by their in-laws and husbands and drug abuse are major reasons for these complaints.
The Grand Mufti said that he used to resolve two to three divorce decrees every month. Now, he says, that a minimum of 100 divorces takes place through his court daily. He blames youth for consuming drugs and are getting addicted to it. This, according to him, causes problems between both the partners and ultimately causing divorce between them.
Other than drugs, he also mentions that love affairs by both men and women on social media and the internet is also contributing to the growing rates of divorces and marital feuds. He said that women talk to strangers first over internet and then this converts into extra-marital affair causing divorces.
Mufti Nasir also lists domestic violence as another reason for rising divorce cases in Kashmir. He also urged that in-laws and grooms should treat the new member (bride) as their own daughter and family member. He warns that unless this happens, domestic violence won’t cease to exist. He said that he is aware of the cases in which husbands have beaten their wives even within a month after marriage.
The Grand Mufti also raised his concerns over “moral degradation” which is at a surge in Kashmir. He points to cases in the past few years where a father had raped his own daughter or sold their daughter into flesh trade. Mufti said that Kashmiri society is rotting.
He said that when he hears of divorce cases, it pains him but he can’t do anything as husband and wife do not live together because of already mentioned reasons. The Grand Mufti believes that this problem could be solved or minimised to a great extent if parents allow both the partners to talk and know of each other’s opinions before marriage.
He also is in favour of running mass awareness campaigns educating people about the rights of a bride and duties of grooms after marriage. He believes that local Imams can prove to be much of a help in this campaign. Through their Friday sermons, they can make youth aware of post-marital responsibilities.