A Daughter’s Place

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  • Modern India is no place for sexist prejudices, whether in politics or education
  • A Congress candidate for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections has mentioned the marriage of his daughter as a “liability“ in his affidavit submitted along with his nomination papers.
  • Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, a Congress candidate from central Kashmir Ganderbal Assembly constituency, has written “unmarried daughter's marriage“ under the liabilities column in the affidavit.
  • Bhat, however, defended his affidavit saying that a “wrong impression“ was being created.
  • Bhat said: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 the marriage of a daughter is the responsibility of a father and there was “more responsibility when the daughter is not earning.
  • Bhat, who joined Congress after parting ways from National Conference (NC), has been in the limelight earlier as well.
  • He was a key witness in Haji Yousuf case, a senior NC leader whom Bhat accused of taking `84 lakh for an MLC berth.
  • Haji Yousuf died in police custody , a day after CM Omar Abdullah called him to his residence and handed him over to the Crime Branch.
  • Interestingly , Bhat, in his affidavit, mentions he and his four dependents, including his wife, have not filed I-T returns.
  • However, the affidavit shows his family's movable assets amounting to about Rs 11 lakh, including 10 lakh cash.
  • Nothing screams this louder than a wannabe MLA filing nomination papers declaring as liability his unmarried daughters.
  • This is exactly what Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, who is contesting the upcoming J&K elections on a Congress ticket, has done.
  • A public outcry has forced Bhat to try to finesse his offensive declaration, but Congress should cancel his candidature.
  • How can anyone who parrots regressive prejudices about daughters as liabilities represent his constituency ­ around 50% of whom would be women ­ rationally and fairly?
  • Over in Aligarh Muslim University , women's college students are being denied library access, ostensibly because the library is already jam-packed with male students.
  • By this argument, women could be denied access to everything ranging from public transport to jobs.
  • In Bangalore, some 325 government and private colleges have been told to closely monitor female students whom they meet, when, where.
  • There's an abundance of sociological data showing that a woman's education has a huge multiplier effect across her community and country.
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