Chitrali men losing status of being family head!


Prof Rahmat Karim Baig

The grading of the old society of Chitral was based on patriarchal lines with a few exceptions. Man was the head of the family and the tribal chief conducted all the socioeconomic issues of the tribe and worked as mediator in case of a clash of interests with other tribes.

Since all the tribes that now live inside the borders of Chitral have their own roots and identity the inter-tribal issues and use of natural resources was based on consultation and sponsored by the ruling prince. Man was the breadwinner of the family. He had to consider a number of factors to be able to collect enough resources to keep the wolf out of the door. The housewives also played their role in boosting the sources of income with the help of the children especially daughters. Thus the family economy worked subject to timely rains and good weather conditions. The head of the family was all in all in most of the matters.

Now the situation has completely changed and is running adversely. Now the wife has snatched the powers and minimized the role of her husband. What she wants is done at any cost and what she does not want cannot be done by the husband. The head of the family or say the husband has surrendered all the powers to his life partner or in other words has become a slave in the petticoat government. Her role is supreme.

What she wants is supreme and top priority and the man has to submit or a row is imminent in which case the wife uses threats and or tactics like getting support of the children as well as relatives and all that the rival group pressurizes the poor husband to surrender to the wishes of the lady of the house.

The man works, runs business or performs duties but the money goes to the hands of his wife who spend the whole by the middle of the month and starts demand for more cash which cannot be coined by the man but he either gets loans or has to pick pocket or create extra source of income by taking bribe but the wife know nothing about the invalid means of her husband but enjoys the cash.

The head of the family has to bear the all the burden and his wife and children know nothing about it. They keep their mouths open to be fed or there will be daily quarrels in the house and long standing rows lead to serious consequences.

In this way, today’s husband is the most unfortunate and doomed and has lost his liberty and became a slave in the hands of his wife. Mother’s days are celebrated each and every year. Their rights are highlighted but when will YOU celebrate the FATHER’s day??? Comments will be welcomed!  

  1. Giselher Frey, Germany. says

    Father’s Day’ is celebrated in Germany traditionally (for about 80 years when ‘Mother’s Day’ was invented by A.H.) on an early summer Sunday when small groups of men meet to make a tour with a small cart filled with a barrel or bottles of beer to drink, sing and cheer..

    I can understand Mr. Baig’s problems very well because I have been in Chitral in 1974 in my hippiest times. Since then I became  a lifelong student of Hindukush Cultures and more So I revisited Chitral in 2000 with my son and my friend and in 2001 with my wife where I met Mr. Baig in Mountain Inn Hotel. I bought three books from him to extent my extensive library. 

    I grew up connected with the world of my grandma living in a small village in the Black Forest. It was not far away from the world in Chitral. Many things have changed since than. For me it looks like an unconcious revenge from the neglected women folks. Maybe more participation and respect can help.

    I am a 70 year old German and Pakistani by heart.

    Ishpata bajas, Ishpata babas.

    With very best regards

    Giselher Frey, Black Forest,

  2. Mohammed Ilyas Ahmad says

    It should be kept in mind Chitral is an Indo Aryan society where women have been always strong and bold. As compared to other neighbouring areas Chitral is more Aryan based in its culture and ethnic variety
    It is correct that men have been heads of clans here but women also retain their position too. The allover free and rather unsafe women theory of Western society is being promoted rather imposed over Chitral culture also, through these semi-western minded government acts in the name of women rights but inshallah it will have only a partial effect on the society.

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