From Part 1
Feminism has had no concrete definition until now. Scholars believe it is a united movement for women’s rights. Intellectuals believe feminism is a movement to raise a voice against brutality, injustice and discrimination against women. The encyclopaedia says, “Feminism is a social movement which struggles for women’s right”.
Raja Mirza Khan escaped from Gilgit and hide in Ali Sher Khan Anchan ruling area of Skardu. Later Mirza’s granddaughter married Maqpoon Ahmed Khan and Anchan’s daughter (Jawahir Khatoon) married to his younger brother Ali Muhammad Khan who later ruled over Gilgit, Diamir and other areas for many years. Where they left prominent memories and monuments. Jawahir Khatoon constructed irrigation channels (Payin and Bala) in Gilgit which she got inspiration from Mindouq Rgialmo. These all allowing to assume that women in Baltistan had distinguished place, rights to making a decision and even ruling rights.
Feminism in the history
They weren’t so far behind in these all process with men. Whereas, several nations of the world particularly, Old Iran (Manshi and materialistic) ruling era considered women as Bad-luck and demolition. It is not imaginable to include them into decision making and moreover the rights to choosing of husbands kept by their male leader of the house. Iran and other eastern countries neither celebrated daughters’ birth nor spare charity with zeal and zest. They used to spare huge charity, celebrations and traditional activities perform when there birth a son.
Old Iran used to believe and considered women as obscene and their evil eye causes them to bear the huge cost. Particularly, they get fear when they see a child, their evil eye will bring massive bad luck to that child’s destiny. Thus, they didn’t allow children to sit with women. In Chitral, women kept separate from villages during their menses and until their periods not over, they do not get back home.
Baltistan has no evidence and practice of such activities in their history. However, it is a bitter truth in Baltistan that women’s claim to the legacy of their father or to give a legacy to women (daughters) is considering odiousness despite having a legacy for women in clear golden Islamic law. This is not more than cruelty and injustice in favour of women.
Baltistan’s historic connections
Folk Songs is a vital role in any nations’ history to illustrate its history, tradition, culture and geography. Whereas these folk songs have a significant role in social reflection, realities, and representation of every class in the society. Balti Folk songs (Rgiang Khlou) has significant inclusion like an orphan (Kushmul) girl’s appeal in lamentation to birds whereas Ali Sher Khan Anchan remembrance persecution of his son by singing a folk song during his conquering Chitral.
Feminism connections with acient folk songs
In ancient times people of Baltistan loved folk songs and used them for the beloved to exchange messages of disagreement, separation, waiting moments, unfaithfulness and for expression of Raja’s cruelness, social and domestic imbalances as well. The English literature called this “BLANK VERSE POEM”. The study of folk songs tells that; even now in this modern era in Punjab, tribal areas, rural areas of Sindh and several backward areas of Baluchistan provinces of Pakistan are in the practice of mal-traditions.
Their traditions like Vani or Swara (Vani or Sawara: to give in servitude to an aggrieved family as compensation to end disputes, often murder or it is a form of arranged or forced child marriage), watta satta or shighar (simultaneous marriage of a brother-sister pair from two households) and Honour Killing of women are a vital violation of Islamic laws. At the other end in Baltistan, these above malpractices were not practised and even not imagined.
Despite not having independence for Baltistan like other provinces ancestors have had, women in Baltistan have had complete and accurate rights. The women in Baltistan have now even special seats and openly competitive seats in legislative assemblies and they are in political party high ranks and in government. The only injustice to women in Baltistan had found in history is the domestic minor imbalance between mother in law and daughter in law. This is now rapidly disappearing due to education and modernization.
The bottom line is that the women of Baltistan is quite open and empowered themselves enough to know their rights and duties though were less in history but quite ahead than many regions like Baltistan. The essence of Feminism is quite observable in Baltistan where you can have a great history with modern approaches of Feminism interlinked in a productive manner.