Srinagar: Amid thundering claps and emotional scenes, the book titled Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora was Tuesday formally released by the survivors of the “Kunan Mass Rapes” in presence of the authors and members from civil society, media, students and other dignitaries here in a local hotel.
The emotions in the participants as well as the survivors and their relatives ran high when the later were called formally to release the book.
The survivors releasing the book.
The book has been jointly written by five girls – aged between 23 and 28 – Samreena Mushtaq, Ifrah Butt, Essar Batool, Natasha Manzoor and Munaza Rashid and is published by Zubaan Publications. They say the book is based on truth and was written irrespective of people’s opinion.
Lawyers and social workers by profession, the authors work voluntarily with a Srinagar-based human rights group on the Kunan survivors.
The book talks about reopening of the case, documents – the legal struggle faced by the survivors, and the authors. Five of the women victims died as the legal battle went on. The authors have written different chapters while being a part of the ongoing legal battle.
An interaction session was also conducted after the release of the book, which was moderated by a senior journalist.
All the five authors talked in detail about their melee, enthusiasms and fears they put in to pen down the book. While narrating their experiences, the emotions were visible in the eyes of survivors as well as the participants.
The authors said that the book was not written for acceptance.
“Truth is enunciated not keeping in mind its acceptance. Truth should be articulated especially when the other side has been disseminating lies. And when you are speaking the truth, confidence comes naturally,” said one of the authors while interacting with the participants.
Another author said that as women we know how the threat of rape feels, “but it is a patriarchal notion that women should not talk about rape since we have attached honour to women”.
It is this patriarchal notion that has been taken advantage of by the armed forces to use rape as a tool of punishment and reprisal, she stressed.
Feminist writer and owner of Zubaan Publications also spoke on the occasion.
Meanwhile, civil society members, senior journalists, students and others have appreciated the work done by the girls.
A senior journalist while talking to Kashmir Life said that the girls deserve all the praise and commendation for penning down a book on such a serious issue.
“It needed all the research and leg work,” he said. “The girls have done something that maybe boys would hesitate to take up. I salute their bravery and valour.”
Courtesy: Kashmir Life (Bilal Bahadur)