There is a great deal of panic among the people of Jammu and Kashmir following incidents of braid cutting. Earlier this week, a 70 year old man died after he was beaten with a brick on the suspicion that he was a braid chopper.
There are youth out on the streets of Jammu and Kashmir keeping a vigil to foil any attempt of braid cutting. What is the truth behind braid cutting? Dr Jawad Nasir Ahmad of the Resident Government Medical College, Srinagar explains this syndrome. HIs findings were endorsed by Dr Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Registrar, Department of Psychiatry Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Science Kashmir Government Medical College, Srinagar.
“I was very curious about the cause of braid cutting and therefore , to know better, today I examined few braid cut victims near my vicinity in Shopian. I also retrospectively studied many cases at other places outside the state. What I noticed is astonishing. I only was left mesmerised by complexity of human psychology. First thing that made me suspect of a psychogenic origin was that earlier a woman outside complained of braid chopping three times on different ocassions (why wd a braidchopper choose same woman three times if there are 3.5 billion women to choose,hence something else let us see).”
Second, people in different regions were assigning different causal factors to it according to their own prevelant local beliefs. In Rajisthan, it was a Chudail who did it(an old woman was even lynched to death !!) .People even showed injury marks of Chudail’s Trishul. In UP it was some Tantric gang .In Delhi outskirts women complained of crows turning into dreadful braid choppers.. When it reached Kashmir it was already declining in other northern parts. However prevelant beleif here was less of a supersitious nature more a political overtone–from a distrust of system.
They blammed unknown agencies (including me earlier)- famous for doing infamous deeds. Earlier when only Biharis and other dark skinned were blamed only they were caught red handed. When Army theory became popular people started to see uniformed men chopping the hair… Ok after examing I saw following patterns. Victims at the time of scene were alone .They were already fearful , very tense and in a frightened state of mind about something might happen.. Hair cuts are a kind of dextrous in nature on reachable parts, indicating of self chopping. Hair chopping is not of mutilating degree in none of these ; that i mean all over head like an assailant may like to cut;but mostly over reachable terminal parts are cut. Marks of struggle or other injuries are absent ! History of unconciousness is inconsistent with any chemical use. In some cases scissors etc have been recovered near by . Description of attacker is rather vague in each case.changing with cross examination and likely borrowed from deep internal beleifs. They are giving some indications of underlying phobic or hysterical symptoms in past.
I could vaguely elicit some history of childhood trauma…
Now with all though I can say beyond doubt that it is all mass hysterical on collective level but On individual level it is very complex.. I can underline following sequential pattern on Individual level… First stage: Victim is falls in an extremily fearful state of mind in Isolation Second stage: Victim’s vision seems to get blurred Third stage: History wise Victim goes into Dissociative State. she assumes a false identity ,probably takes identity of her concieved attacker.and in this dissociative state cut off her hair with the help her over own tools latter also cover things up.Also she hears herself of her own struggling. Fourth stage: After this victims seem to goes into sort of catharsis and finnaly lands in conversion and falls unconscious. Fifth stage: Comes out of conversion state and bursts out crying seeing her own hair chopped off… With all this I dont rule out everything else, but invite reasearch from experts in the field to look further in this.. What government needs to do is to immediately censor all news related to it. A media hype only serves to ingnite it.Media persons are requested not to post this kind stuff. I am sure this all will stop after there is no progation of rumours and unscientific news. Telling people truth and giving cognition to masses is utmost important.