New domicile law gives women in Kashmir a reason to celebrate

At 10, Aaliya Tariq can’t understand the fuss over her becoming the first J&K resident to receive a domicile certificate online. But 40-something Baby Gul (name changed) can. She has waited all her married life to reclaim the feeling that she belongs.

“For all the trials and tribulations of the past year, this August 5 will be a reiteration of the one good thing to come of it,” Baby, a resident of Srinagar, said. “I am back to being a Kashmiri with the same rights as anyone else, irrespective of my status as the spouse of a UP native. I can finally accept the inheritance my father bequeathed me.”

Amid the debate over the implications of the new domicile law that was set in motion a year ago, women like Baby – and their daughters – are quietly celebrating what they see as a blow for gender equality in the Valley.

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