We were told to dress properly, to sit properly, walk properly, to be home before night , not to walk alone after sunset, to be cautious of strangers, not to react to catcalls or eve teasing. All this because ‘concerned people’ said ‘you are a girl and this is for your own safety’!
A few days back, precisely 6 days ago a girl was raped and murdered in our state.She was a law student and was alone at home. Her mother returned home in the evening to find her dead -murdered after being brutally raped, her intestines removed, more than 30 injuries on her body. The brutality of raping a woman is equal to the brutality of killing her. She was strangled and had undergone immense physical torture before she died. Last time it was the Delhi girl, this time it is a girl from Perumbavoor, a girl we might have seen, maybe at the bus stop, maybe on the road, anywhere. She might have been anyone. She might have been you or me!
Politicians call her a ‘Dalit girl’. A Dalit! May I ask why? She was a girl. She was murdered in such a way that we freeze and shudder even as we read it in the newspaper. We cannot even make ourselves read it without cringing or skipping the lines. The description haunts us. It is terrifying. So why tag her lineage along with it? Or her poor background? Or the colour of her skin? Or how small her house was? The issue here is not her lineage, nor her surroundings, not her status quo in the society as they try to point out.
The issue here is why is our country not safe for woman? Yes there I said it. What you and me say in private. I don’t know about other countries or their rules. I am a law abiding citizen, I pay my taxes, I vote for the government every time there is an election. Then why don’t you make us feel safe? It is such a simple question.Is it too much to ask for? You can say this is a one off case. But no, it is not a one off case, It has happened in Delhi, it has happened to Soumya, it has happened to thousands of unfortunate woman all over India.
It is happening to girls every day in some way or the other – in buses, in crowded places, busy walkways, in cabs. Stares at all the wrong places, indecent remarks while passing by, a quick touch as if by accident. Sure some of us react. But most of us don’t, scared of the taboo associated with it. Are we all cowards? Of course not. Are we all tired of going through this again and again? Or are we just brainfed not to react to all these from the time we were young girls? I think that’s the answer. It is our mindset that has been shaped in such a ways that gives these men the audacity to continue doing what they do.
We need to dismantle the whole idea of seeing woman as an object. We are not just sexy legs and a hot body. Every time you switch on the television, woman are portrayed as some sort of fantasy for men. We know only how to ban things, to be made to feel ashamed. India bans porn and the biggest porn star becomes one of the most sought after heroines in India.
The Nirbhaya documentary (India’s daughter) by BBC threw light on the mindset and living conditions of the culprits.Again do I have to know their mindset or their background? And you cannot call them culprits. They are inhuman barbaric beasts who had the audacity to say on camera that the next group of men who rape woman won’t even leave them alive like they did. That is after pulling out her intestines and leaving her naked on the road! And we sat and watched as the most dangerous of them walked out free stating he was a ‘minor’! They said that’s the law!
How many more of us need to shed our lives for such callous bastards? How many protests would it take for the govt to wake up? How many more years would it take to change our mindsets, change our laws?How many of us would remember her in a year from now? Will she fade away like a nightmarish memory like Nirbhaya or soumya while the culprits still remain alive?
I think it is high time the laws are changed for rape, for the sake of our woman. The men behind the murder of the girl should be given nothing less than the capital punishment, in front of all the people, live on national television so that everyone sees what happens to such beasts. We need to put an end to this. Humanity – Let us wake up at least now!