Vani

(SAAD SHAD, )

Fuedalism is centuries old in the area that today we call Pakistan. This feudalism has many aspect, one of these is the act of Vani. Vani includes giving away one or multiple girls of the family in lieu of freedom from the punishment of some crime committed by the men of that family/tribe. What usually happens is if there is a dispute between two clans, the elders of that particular area call upon a public meeting referred to as the ‘jirga’. In that meeting, the elders try to settle the issue between the disputing tribes. One of the ways to settle any such issue is to ask one of the families to give their female member(s) to the opposite clan as a retaliatory punishment. The age of these female members usually range from 4-14 years.

The act of vani ensues marrying young girls to older men of the opposing party. If the case is so, that the girls are too young to get them married, the agreement is made, their proposals are accepted, and the wedding day arrives yearslater when they are just mature enough.

According to me and most of the educated community of Pakistan, vani is one of the cruelest things that can ever be done to a girl. Since it does not include the girl being married and living happily ever after, but it involves multiple rape scenarios, and various kinds of torture. In most cases where the girls are forced to go up this brutal ladder, the men that they are being married to are more than twice the age of the girls. Money is involved too in many cases along with the girls.

As mentioned earlier, this is the most brutal act prevailing in this state. Since poor innocent souls have to bear the punishment of the transgression that they had not even commited and had no part in.

Why is the issue of girls being married being refferd to as a punishment again and again? All the parents wish to marry their daughters in good families.To a good man. No? Yes. But being ‘vani-ed’ is nothing short of a nightmare for the girls, since the girl usually goes to her husband’s home as a second or third wife and is forced to live a life of slavery. Or even worse, I would say, because the husbands use them as dirty rags which are thrown to the corners after people are done with them. And what’s even disgusting? The fact that the girl’s family, after giving there daughters/sisters away, don’t even look at what state their girls are being kept in. their ‘in laws’ might be treating them like street dogs, but the family? They would look away saying it’s their personel issue now. Its her life and her fate, she should learn to accept it. What these people fail to understand is that they had forced this fate on her. That girl deserved a fairy-tale wedding like every other girl. But her illiterate family snatched away her chances at happiness and then they label it as doing of fate? Pathetic!

Now, why is the issue still prevalent? after all these years? It’s because the elders of the feudal/tribal areas defend the act of vani by labeling it as a peaceful way of solving a dispute. a bloodless resolution.

Another factor that stands in the way of diminishing this abominable act is that the girls being victimized are not strong enough they are not strong enough to take a stand for themselves to save their own lives. My heart aches as I say, they are nothing better than a herd of sheeps which love the hand that feeds them every day only to slaughter them when the time comes, which trust their keeper blindly and bow their heads to whatever is decided for them.

Now, let me come to another very important part of this article, to the foreign eye, vani seems a part of our culture and culture usually stems from religion, so outsiders usually associate this disgusting act with the religion so we must know what the religion actually says.

Islam is the religion which secures women rights more than any other religion of the world, according to Islam, forcing a girl to marry any man is not allowed and such nikkah holds no value, forcing means blackmailing girl, emotionally or physically. Islam gives women complete freedom to marry anyone they like, and no one can force anything on them, so where does the concept of vani come from? It’s nothing but the dirt of some selfish brains, it is nothing but a way of using women as cleaning wipes to clean the filth created by men.

Now let us discuss how this social norm affects the life of the victim, chances are that they men that those young girls are being married to are nice and caring, but those chances are very slim, as mentioned before, these victims have to face, not one but many different kinds of torture in which rape and physical abuse top the list. After being exposed to such atrocities at such a young age, they get into a very unstable state of mind. Their chances of getting education are slim to none. They bear children at such young ages, and how can a mentally disturbed mother nurture and nourish a child? All in all, the result is a ruined generation, and an ongoing, never ending system of cruelty.

After discussing all about this norm, we should also talk about how to stop the slaughter of women in the name of ‘QISSAS’ . I think the best way is to educate the women of our society, to widen their horizons, and strengthen their character. Women should not only be taught the worldly, formal course. They should be, made aware of all the rights that are given to them by the shriah and the state and they should be taught to speak up. To take a stand for themselves since this is the most suitable and powerful way to eradicate this disgusting norm that is, sadly, a part of our society.
 

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20 Aug, 2017 Views: 454

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