Conflict Rips Social Life in Kashmir

n00154943-bTwenty four years of turmoil have done a bad effect on the social life of Kashmiri Muslims, where matrimonial disputes are ripping the lives of an increasing number of families, reaching a maximum number of divorce cases in the India administered district.

“Conflict has badly affected the matrimonial relations of people of Kashmir particularly of these who have married during the conflict,” Mohd Sakinder Khan, a social worker from South Kashmir, told

“Most of these couples either belong to middle or higher classes of families”.

He said not only this there are so many such cases in the valley where the martial knots were broken even after spending years together.

Khan claimed to have personally solved so many cases of matrimonial disputes, however admitted few of them ended in divorce.

“The reasons are change in life style and the impact of TV serials on the minds of the woman,” he added.

“I have personally seen some of the marriages solemnised after ۱۹۹۰ in my district which ended in divorce on the ground of nothing but mere frustration caused due to the turmoil.”

Conflict has directly or indirectly affected the social life of people in Indian administered Kashmir, Sakinder Khan claims.

He added that frustration due to on-going conflict has given rise to these disputes as people arranged marriages in hurry keeping in view the stresses and pain of the conflict.

Moreover, ۲۴-years of conflict was seen as another factor that has changed the social ethos of the people because of the easy money and westernization of culture.

“The sudden rise in the matrimonial disputes is obviously due to the conflict as it gives rise to so many social and cultural problems,” Professor Nisar Ahmad, a noted sociologist, told

Professor Nisar claimed that lack of moral education is one of the causes for rise in matrimonial disputes.

“This is a social problem and it needs to be handled socially,” he added.

The Muslim-majority Himalayan region is divided into two parts and ruled by India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars since independence in ۱۹۴۷ over the region.

Pakistan and the UN back the right of the Kashmir people for self-determination, an option opposed by New Delhi.

Higher Classes

According to Sakinder Khan, a huge number of these family disputes were filed by people belonging to either middle or higher classes of the society.

More than five thousand cases related to matrimonial disputes are pending in various courts of Indian administered Kashmir as per the records available which is very high than the records of pre turmoil i.e. 1990.

After the eruption of the turmoil, the number of such cases has been on the rise.

“The number of matrimonial disputes is on the rise for various reasons and the main reason is stated to be the post turmoil effects which have engulfed the people in Kashmir,” advocate Sajad Ahmad, an eminent Lawyer and social activist told

“More than five thousand matrimonial cases are pending disposal in various courts across Kashmir valley.”

During the last three years, two hundred matrimonial disputes ended in divorce while about five hundred such cases have been settled so far.

“All what is seen during the trial of these disputes in courts is either mismatch of the ideas in these couples or family problems” he said, adding, most of the ladies want separate residence and don’t want to live with the families of their husbands.

The number of cases is definitely on rise and every day maximum twenty to twenty five cases relating to matrimonial disputes are filed in courts every day, he said.

“Though government has opened mediation centres in all district courts where these conflicted couples are given opportunity to reconcile and again resume their martial life,” advocate Sajad told


Many analysts see matrimonial disputes as one of the adverse effects of the turmoil on the already hit life of the people.

“Simply the marriages were solemnized in hurry by the families having apprehensions that turmoil may prolong,” Pro Nisar told

“These families did so to run away from their social obligations and most of these people belong to middle and higher classes of society.”

Stress, economic problems, unemployment, silent dowry demands and lavish expenditures on marriage ceremonies besides mismatches are some of the main causes that leads to rise in matrimonial disputes in the trouble torn valley, he claimed.

He said such disputes are even outcome of the social changes people undergo due to the conflict and the living standard got entirely disturbed one way or the other.

“It is not only the relation of the couple that keeps the bonds tight, but the social life has something to do with the good relation and the success of matrimonial life,” Prof Nisar claimed.

“Other than the conflict reasons dowry is one of the cause for rise in matrimonial disputes.”

Religious scholars blame poor religious and moral education for the rise in matrimonial disputes in the valley, blaming western culture for matrimonial conflicts.

“I believe moral and religious education is must to change social life and hasty and hurried marriages without ascertaining the family back grounds are main reasons for rise in matrimonial disputes,” Mufti Mohd Hussian told

“Actually people have forgotten their rights and duties to perform the martial relations and failure of certain obligations gives rise to family disputes,” he added.

Youngsters have overlooked the importance of their elders, Mufti Hussein added, saying that they no longer accept to live with their parents.

“If efforts to minimise these disputes are not taken, the time is not far when it will be very difficult to find matches for the girls and boys,” he suggests, adding, family counselling is must to overcome such problems.

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