It was on a cold December morning sometime in 2012 that I read the horrifying headlines in the morning edition of the Times of India that day. A girl not much unlike me had endured one of the most brutal rape attacks, ever.(source)
That too, in the capital city of my country. Funnily enough, as per 2012 statistics, New Delhi, the capital, had the highest raw number of rape reports among Indian cities. (source)
At the time of the incident that I speak of, I lived in Kanpur, an industrial city in one of my country’s most corrupted States, a State that also boasts of high numbers of crimes against women.
My morning routine consisted of sipping on my usual brew of tea and devouring the morning news, only on that day; the news brought me to shame.
The horrific gangrape of that girl, tore me apart.
The story spoke of how the heartless attackers forced an iron rod into young Jyoti’s insides and every bit of the news piece made me hate my countrymen more and more. The constant updates later on of how strong she was but how bad she was faring in hospital made me angrier and shamed.
When the verdict was finally out this Friday, and when I read news of the convicts being given the death penalty, it still didn’t seem like enough. (source)
Young girls and women go through a lot of tough times in their homes and outside of it too the world over, more so maybe in middle eastern countries and India, yet given the rising numbers, not everyone gets the right kind of help.
The general sense that women are a liability is a strong force here and the small percentage of our urban crowds that don’t adhere to this thought does not represent India’s true colours and as a 21st century woman, this deepens me sadly, everyday.
We are largely failing as a country and its scary to see how far we’ve fallen. It was only very recently that rape laws were re looked at in India. Hundreds of women still face crimes related to different kinds of abuse and spend years grappling for justice in court, that’s if they ever do summon the courage to do something about it in the first place. A country that encourages its women not to speak of their troubles after-all forces them to live through conditions that aren’t worthy of humans beings.
I love my country and I’m happy to have been born here. But as a people, I don’t think we are doing enough. These convicts will hang, or will they? But does that mean that I can walk on the streets anytime I want, feeling safe?
No, not yet.
Because not enough is being done for crimes against women to come to a full stop.
We have never treated our women with respect. The general sense has always been to regard them as objects, as the ones who will run the home and take care of the kids and no matter what the Chetan Bhagat’s of the world say, the extent of the urban population that does not follow so is too little to compare with regards a population of over a billion.
The debate is not about modern values versus traditions. It’s about the wrong notion that was built in the minds of the people over time. A race that can’t take care of each other is bound to be doomed, don’t you think so?
You don’t make me feel safe. I still have to worry about where I go and how I’ll commute back. This is not my fault, it’s yours.
And India, it’s time to fix it.
A crime against one of us is a crime against all of us. I stand with Nirbhaya’s spirit and I hope that we don’t allow another one of us to go through this again. Once wasn’t fair and once is more than enough.
Yet, the crimes continue. It did before and its happening again and again. And the blame game goes on and on as does the debate between whose to really blame.
But let me end by saying one last thing,
As a potential mother-of-the-future, I worry about the world I would have to raise a girl child in, if I had to. Isn’t that a terribly sad thing to say?
I don’t think the death penalty will make you repent what you did. What I do hope though is that you and everyone else like you gets back ten times multiplied by a zillion the amount of torture you made her go through.
I’m sorry you had to go through what you did.
I can only hope we rise together now. I’ll try to do my bit. Will you?