Let us also fight against domestic violence during lockdown

Dr Md. Qutbuddin

The world has been fighting the deadly COVID-19 pandemic for the last few months. Thousands have lost their lives while a huge number are battling after getting infected. A section of the population is in self-quarantine or has been isolated by the authorities.

We are observing a nationwide lockdown for 21 days (24 March to14 April 2021 which has now been extended till May end). Lockdown, social distancing and self isolation are the ways through which we can combat this invisible enemy as no cure has been found so far for it.

One negative impact of the lockdown-forced stay at home has been rise in domestic violence. “The National Commission for Women (NCW) said that there was an increase in the number of cases of domestic violence and abuse during the lockdown.”

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Similar stories have also been reported by the Times of India. The newspaper said, “The quarantine is intended to save lives but for women locked up at home with an abusive partner, the consequences can be alarming. Across the world from Spain to Brazil, calls to hotlines and desperate texts seeking help have shot up. Back home, the National Commission for Women says that between March 23 and April 1, as many as 257 women have reached out to for help”

We should understand that despite all negativities and deadly impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the coronavirus has put a brake on the speed of life. It has given us an opportunity to understand ourselves and the importance of family and friends. In life’s rat race, we had no time for our families as we were busy in earning bread and butter. Staying at home has provided a golden opportunity for men and women to understand each other better. Homestay has given us opportunities to exchange sorrow and happiness which we earlier missed due to otherwise busy life.

How a man can abuse a woman when both are integral parts of human society? They are two wheels of the vehicle of human life and beautiful valuable creatures of God. Both the genders have to grow and fly under the open sky.The great sage Swami Vivekananda said: “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.”

Men and women have equal rights in all the religions and civilized societies. Holy texts and religious books are full of noble messages of equality. Highlighting the status and importance of the women, the Holy Quran says: “Another of His signs is that He created for you from among yourselves spouses, so that you might find response in them, and He created between you affection and kindness. Truly there are signs in this for people who reflect “. ( Quran,30:21).

In these trying times, when all scientists and experts are helpless and unable to find a cure to Coronavirus, let’s break the chain of pandemic by maintaining social distancing during the lockdown and staying at home, not breaking our bonds built over years. Let us beg our Creator to forgive us and save the human race. Any kind of violence is not acceptable to God. Those who commit domestic violence will invite the divine reprimand.

We can observe lockdown stress free by doing workouts which will enhance our immunity and keep us fit. Reading good books, religious and spiritual texts, prayers, yoga and meditation would purify our mind and soul. Only with a healthy body, mind and soul, we can defeat this virus. Let’s make it our habit to participate in daily works at home and make the lockdown an opportunity to understand each other.

The best creature of Almighty God is he who honors women. “The best of you are the best in character to their women,” said Prophet Muhammad, PBUH.

This is high time to fight on two fronts: Against Corona, the invisible enemy. And fight against an evil like domestic violence.

Dr. Md. Qutbuddin, is an Associate Professor of Arabic,
Centre of Arabic and African Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He can be reached atbasmaqutb@gmail.com

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