SRINAGAR: In a stern message, Kashmirs chief cleric and the chairman of the Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Thursday underscored societys ills, and voiced grave concern on weakening parental authority on the new generation.
Speaking during a religious service on the eve of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (pbuh), the Mirwaiz made the startling revelation that over 30,000 young women in Srinagar alone were crossing the marrying age because of social evils like extortionist dowry demands and prohibitive wedding expenditure their families could not afford.
The Mirwaiz urged people to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and emulate his conduct to avoid trouble and pitfalls in personal, social and economic spheres.
The blessed life and conduct of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) are a perfect model for us, he said at the function organised by the Masjid-e-Rahmat in Lal Bazaar. But today, if we find ourselves in social and moral decline, it is because we have distanced ourselves from his teachings.
Kashmir, the land of walis and reshis, which has been a symbol of amity, brotherhood, compassion and modesty, has now been reduced to a haven of social evils of the worst kind, he said.
Waywardness and moral degradation are touching a new high, and the virtue of modesty (sharm-o-haya) seems to have been given a burial, he said.
A sanctified union like marriage has been turned into commerce and exchange of dowry, he said.
How shameful is it that in Srinagar alone marriages of 30,000 women should be held up because of extortionate demands, he said.
Who is responsible for all this? he said.
Extravagance, ostentation, conspicuous consumption and evil social practices are spreading like an epidemic, he said.
Parental authority and control on the new generation is dying, and the entire society seems to be swamped by a spate of moral turpitude and degradation, he said.
All of us, individually and collectively, have to strive for reform and arrest this fall, he said. Everyone, from clerics in mosques, teachers in schools, and professionals in other fields, will have to play their role, he said.
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