THE KATHUA INCIDENT

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The Kathua Incident

 

Dhol, baaja and flowers to welcome the girl child

 

Mareaya Fayaz

 

Recently on Facebook, I came across a video of a family in Kathua who welcomed their daughter-in-law and the new-born baby with a royal welcome.

The car for fetching the daughter in law and the baby from the hospital was decked up like the cars decked for getting the bride and groom home. The family had decorated the home with flowers and toys for the baby, and a large number of gifts.

Dhols were playing as the car entered the street. The family also celebrated the occasion by organizing a DJ night and distributing sweets among families and friends.

This incident is so inspirational. How often do we see a family celebrating the birth of a girl child? I remember that somewhere in the country, a pani puri wala had served free pani puris to celebrate the birth of his daughter.

We have come a long way since the time when the birth of a girl child was thought of being a curse upon the family. I am so relieved that we are now living through times when the birth of the girl child is celebrated. I spoke to the Kathua family about the happy incident.

Entire Family Keen On Celebrations

The baby’s grandfather Mr Gurmeet Singh said, “Every child is a gift from God. If we discriminate between them, we are actually challenging God’s will and refusing to accept the beautiful blessings He is sending for us.”

The baby’s uncle Mr Narinder Singh said he is confused by people who feel sad on the birth of a girl child. “The most important thing is that God has blessed us with a healthy, happy child. The baby is our Gungun and we have named her the same,” he said happily.

The baby’s grandmother Mrs Gurmeet Kour said the family prayed for the health of the mother and the child. “The gender was never a topic of discussion in our house. The government has also been encouraging women through beti bachao beti padhao campaign,” she said.

The baby’s father Mr Parvinder Pal Singh said he was feeling highly emotional. “This baby has brought so much happiness into our family. All of us are full of gratitude to Waheguru for blessing us with this princess,” he said.

Inspirational Incident

The baby’s mother Mrs Manpreet Kour said, “The way my family welcomed me and my little baby girl to our home – this should be a lesson to all that children are Waheguru Ji’s blessing. They must always be treated equally.”

The paternal aunt of the baby Ms Mehak Kour Wazir was also thrilled to welcome the baby. “She has brought so much happiness into our lives already,” she gushed.

This happy story is in stark contrast to the stories we hear of women being abused and even tortured by her in-laws. When I showed the video to my mother, she felt very happy.

My mother remarked that the daughter in law had not gone to her parents’ house after childbirth, as is in the normal practice in Kashmir, so that the mother and the baby can get very good care. The mother was really happy. She praised the family and said that this practice is highly encouraging.

My mother said that she had recently read about a case where some family left their daughter in law at her maternal home because she gave birth to twin baby girls.

Even Kashmiri society has come a long way, and there are many positive developments. I have seen families distribute sweets in the hospital on the birth of a grandchild, irrespective of the gender. The grand welcome of the baby girl in Kathua is something that can inspire the society on how to welcome a new member of the family.

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