Advocate Mufakhra Rao
I persistently write about parents and children’s mutual relationship as I feel that heart-piercing reality can never be overlooked when society is getting plagued by them. My heart is now burdened with the pathetic situation caused by parent’s negligence especially by the fathers towards their children. One of my clients approached me for divorce seven years back, I filed the suit and after due procedure, I handed her over the divorce order from the court and then divorce certificate from Union Council. Our timely relationship was over. During one of the several meetings for counselling, I wanted to know the reason for divorce. She told that her husband had left her five years ago with three children; settled abroad and never gave any penny. During his long absence, her brother-in-law tried many times to lead her astray by showing money and promises of maintenance of her children, but undoubtedly, she was a strong woman, who was bearing the burden of three children without any support from all sides, but what the strength would do if the children sleep with bubbling stomach, tearful eyes and walk without shoes all day long.
The turning point came when the youngest son asked her mother, can we eat the meat of a cat? Which made her cry with all her heart and then she decided to displace herself with kids to the place where she could earn her livelihood by herself. Somehow, she settled beside her mother’s home and started doing the practice of childbirth in a clinic with her mother and time went on. It was not easy to bear the rent of a house, school fee of kids and livelihood. Moreover, she had to reach on call at any time at noon or night. We met again just two months earlier. She was sitting beside me; telling her daughter’s unfortunate runaway story who was then sixteen years old. She had her questions and answers. Hundreds of confusing thoughts were crushing her mind. We lodged FIR in no time, pursued the girl and found her in twenty-four hours. She comes to see me again with her daughter. They seemed to me like deserted birds who were struggling for survival. FIR was lodged under Section 154 Criminal Procedure Code and Section 365-B of Pakistan Penal Code was applied which described kidnapping, abduction or inducing woman to compel for marriage, etc.
It says that whoever kidnaps or abducts woman intentionally so that she may be compelled to marry any person against her will, Offence U/S 365-B requires two essential elements, removal of woman by force from one place to another place or through inducement by deceitful means and the object of removal must be to compel her to marry any person against her will or in order that she could be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse and the accused would be punished with imprisonment for life with fine. The same happened to her. The girl was deceived by a person aged 25 in the promise of marriage and her real aunt was involved in the whole networking who knitted a plan and was a bridge between the girl (victim) and the accused. Mother taught her daughter not to disclose her aunt’s name before the judge or doing interrogation before the place, who begged mercy upon her. Initially, mother decided to teach a lesson to everyone who played their role in deceiving her daughter but later, she forgave everyone and decided to go home with her daughter.
That was she knew very well, the things done can never be undone at any cost, but she should take many wise decisions and wait until the dust settles down. She wanted to get her daughter married to a reasonable person who must be stranger to this misfortune. A disastrous person may manage his things and try to get normal his abnormal condition but the rumors spread like wildfire in the town and a never-ending process of interrogation started from all sides like neighbors, relatives, friends, acquaintances and strangers. Most of such cases end up in social compromise between parties. There is, in many circumstances, no way out except to forgive and just go away, rather go far away. One has to be burnt in his hell. Society is the graveyard of my concealed and revealed stories of victims and accused. One thing, I strongly believe is that flood finds the cracks in the walls and then collapse the concrete building to rubble. Such cracks, we knowingly or unknowingly, leave in the walls of our family system through which contagious diseases attack and poison the last cell.
The negligence towards children, gap of communication and inducing superiority or inferiority complexes into children erase spirit, confidence, prudence and positivity in children and they behave awkwardly in society and lose the capacity to identify friends and foes. Every family is a building block of society and every child is the hope of the nation. Realise your responsibilities, put your soul into your family and save your image from getting blurred in the minds of the children. Otherwise, society will breed runaway stories every day. The deepest connections will be meaningless, and the soul relationship will be odorless. Whenever the society will see it’s reflection into the mirror, it would be horrifying, heinous and loathsome.
— The writer is a practicing lawyer with the Islamabad High Court.