Ajith Vijay Kumar

Srinagar: India hates its daughters. From killing her in the womb to raping her on the streets, the nation has failed its daughters in many ways. But that should have been expected given the total apathy and lack of sensitivity shown by the collective psyche of our society towards rights of the fairer sex.

And when such shocking disregard for the girl child is perpetuated by those who we elect or are supposed to elect as our leaders and role models, the gravity of the situation hits home.

Enter Mohammad Yousuf Bhat. Mr Bhat is the Congress candidate from Ganderbal in Kashmir valley for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.

In his nomination papers, Bhat has declared movable and immovable assets worth lakhs.

But Bhat has also listed his liability – “Unmarried Daughter’s Marriage”. Yes, you read it right, Bhat, who wants to be an MLA, has put on record that his daughter marriage is a liability for him.

Bhat was later quoted as saying “Unmarried daughter’s are a liability to their fathers”.

However, after his actions led to a massive furore in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere, Bhat reportedly defended himself saying that he is a unlettered man and couldn’t understand the difference between “responsibility” and “liability”.

News agency PTI quoted Bhat saying that a “wrong impression” was being created.

“My daughter is not a burden on me as is being said. My sons are earning but my daughter is not. So she is dependent on me. I do not think there is any problem when I say my daughter is dependent on me and I have to take care of her marriage. A wrong impression is being created,” Bhat said.

He said the marriage of a daughter is the responsibility of a father and there was “more responsibility when the daughter is not earning”.

“She is not earning yet and I have to make sure she has everything for her marriage. I have kept a certain amount in bank for her marriage which I described in my affidavit, but she is not a liability,” he said.

However, his daughter seems unimpressed. She decried her father’s action and said that it is regrettable to term daughters as burden when women are excelling in all spheres.

She is right…she is pained..is anyone listening?