‘RIP to the rape victim‘Are you fucking kidding me…Do you seriously think that DGRC victim will rest in peace after what has happened to her? Tell me, if you and I were there on that night of 16th December and it was one of us who would have been raped and assaulted brutally with an iron rod, thrown off on road, lying with our body tattered apart… If I would be the one who would be fighting to hold on to life for more than 10 days, undergoing knife several times, multiple surgeries & organ failures while the media made zillions by turning me into a “HEADLINE”… If I would be the one who would be flown off to die on a foreign land only to pacify the unrest & anger…BELIEVE ME …. I WOULD NOT REST IN PEACE…
‘MEDICAL REPORTS SUGGEST THAT THE WOMAN SUFFERED SERIOUS INJURIES TO HER ABDOMEN, INTESTINES AND GENITALS DUE TO ASSAULT AND PENETRATION USING A BLUNT OBJECT SUSPECTED TO BE AN IRON ROD. THAT ROD WAS LATER DESCRIBED BY POLICE AS BEING A RUSTED, L-SHAPED IMPLEMENT OF THE TYPE USED WITH A WHEELJACK’. The moment I read these words, they have been flowing within my blood. You read the above lines and think, ‘Would she really rest in peace?’
We have failed, we, all of us; we have failed as a society. She died; but galvanized a cause that will not die; she waked every one of us from our long sleep of ignorance. But did we really wake up or are we still sleeping? Ban the tinted glass vehicles, hang the culprits till death, much brutal punishment; there are so many resolutions, everyone is suggesting now. There are few precautions which are advising women not to go alone anywhere. The point is, sexual violence is so routine in India that most people are habituated to its prevalence. You open any newspaper on any given day and you find on an average about more than three sexual crimes reported. So what was so different about this case – the absolute, appalling cruelty of it? So if the case is not so brutal, RAPE is fine with you? Or you are going to wait that victim should be dead like DGRC then only you are going to protest?
Yes, we all feel the same right now; this has to stop somewhere. But, what is the solution? Who is going to stop this? Would ‘impeding women going out late’ be suffice? We need a change in law and law makers; we need to make a stringent law against rape. But before that we need to think about a social transformation in our country. A social change where girls are physically prepared to fight against these situations; where you don’t gift your daughter a doll and your son a Cricket bat; a situation where you teach your sons that women are important and they are not only the sex objects; a situation where no woman would have to grow up with the fear that she will likely be raped. When your daughter is growing up, don’t tell her that her body is made to be covered; don’t tell her that she can’t do what her brother is doing and when I demand this social change in Indian society, I demand it in the India living in villages, that India where sons bring prestige and money while daughters are viewed as a burden with their dowries and low income prospects. We need to change the mind set of people around us, starting from our family. Being a young Indian girl, I know how it feels when your elder kin tells you to cover your chest with a dupatta, while of course escaping the dirty gawk. You feel embarrassed and unprivileged at the same time and your embarrassment doubles when your brother is standing nearby you. This does not only make you feel low in front of your brother but it teaches him that- if a girl is not wrapping her chest with dupatta he has all the right to stare at it; up to an extent that the girl would like to drown herself somewhere out of humiliation.
You raise your daughter as if being girl is her honor; she has all the right to say yes or no to anything and everything.
2nd agent to the social change should be in our cinema and the celebrity obsessed public. As suggested by economist Swaminathan Aiyar,’ yet item numbers and rape scenes are not the main problem. After all, cabaret dancers and villains are not role models. What’s truly terrible is the manner, in which film heroes have for decades pestered, stalked and forced their unwanted attentions on heroines in a thousand films, yet ended up getting the girl. That sends the most outrageous of all messages to the public: pestering girls is what heroes do, and a girl’s “no” actually means “yes.” According to one particular well-known screen villain did about 100 rape scenes “with the audience almost cheering him on.”In a celebrity obsessed Indian culture, where every dance move, every dialogue, ‘every items song- where girls are compared to tandoori murgis and supposed to be swallowed with alcohol’ is being followed by people blindly.
3rd is our identity. We are not only sisters, mothers, daughters, wives and girlfriends; we are human beings first. Why women are described in relation to someone too often? Why DGRC victim is called as ‘Daughter of India?’ She was a woman who had her own dream. Why when a woman is single, she has her dad’s name and when married, accustomed to take her husband’s name? You can judge from this thing that even after her death still DGRC victim is known as some pseudonyms given by media. What all are big shot people scared of? Why our society is such that even after her death, the family has to keep secrecy of her name just to avoid the family’s disgrace. She herself was a victim and her family is only ashamed? These social slurs increase recidivism, woman is fearful of reporting against these crimes, and ex rapist is encouraged to make the repetitive crime best option.
I know we cannot change ages of patriarchy and misogyny overnight. But we have to start somewhere. I am starting today:
- I pledge not to ever forget this heinous incident.
- I pledge not be indifferent to ‘eve-teasing’ and any violence against any woman in this world.I pledge that I will stand up to every man who dares to misbehave with a woman.
- I pledge to treat every man with a doubt in my mind throughout my life.
- I pledge to raise my voice every time I face harassment.
- I pledge to raise my daughters, telling them, they are born to make a change in this society and to break its rules wherever they feel a need.