Now that Indira is long gone and fortunately (for her) forgotten, it is her Congress Party that truly represents India and its mindset.

Mohammad Yousuf Bhat of the Congress party, a candidate for the forthcoming Elections in Jammu and Kashmir, has stated in a signed affidavit that his daughter is a liability – in fact, his only liability. He only parroted the old Indian adage, often repeated by more women than men, “Ladki Parayi Dhan hai.” meaning Girls are other people’s property. What is on most parental minds has now gone down in a signed and sealed document. If you thought he made that statement by mistake, Mr. Bhat elaborated : “I have one unmarried, unemployed daughter and a working son. Since I have to take care of her wedding and other expenses, she is indeed a liability on me.”

That should sound strange, coming from a practising Muslim. The Prophet is recorded to have said, ‘the most blessed marriage is one in which the marriage partners place the least burden on each other.’ In Islamic marriage laws, the bridegroom is expected to give a ‘Meher’, a gift of money to the bride for her keeps – not the other way around. She needs to give it back to him only when he says the sacred words ‘Talaq, Talaq, Talaq’ three times in her presence and thereby divorces her if he is in dire need for money.

However, a few hundred million parents, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, trying hard and borrowing through their nose to mop up two -and-a-half  million (twenty-five lakh) rupees, three hundred grams of gold and a Toyota car to boot to give a worthless behinchod to marry their daughter off sooner than she gets raped, you can’t blame the parents. It is one of those things in our secular culture. Mohammad Yunus Bhat was only speaking plain truth for all those suffering parents.

Bhat has only One point one million rupees ( Eleven lakhs) as per the sworn affidavit, which would wash away when fighting the election, and, seeing the latest status of his party, it is all going to go down the drain.

For the poor girl’s sake, I hope that Bhat wins, manages to wedge his way into a coalition ministry, hopefully Home ministry with the police – particularly traffic police – under him, and mops up enough money to relieve himself of his liability.

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