Congratulations!!! Your battle is finally over, You’re no more going to be suffering on the pungent hospital bed constantly going under the knife, trying to preserve every single breath you took and fighting tooth and nail against the monster “death”; You’re no more going to be photographed and be published in national dailies; You’re no more going to be a victim of the cheap politics of the state; You’re no more going to be facing lewd remarks on the streets; You’re no more going to be boarding a bus in the evening with your friend and no one could dare assault you; You’re no more going to be hiding yourself from answering all those nasty, embarrassing questions from the society, neighbours, lawyers, media and the citizens of the nation; You’re no more going to be Raped and brutally slaughtered by a group of powerful human beings!!!
But I wonder how suddenly you have snatched all the limelight, became the cynosure and look, now everyone’s talking about you and only you! This is not right my dear. How could you do this to our respected political leaders and other celebrities making them suffer from an inferiority complex? It must have really been quite a long time that these people have not been captured on Page 3! That’s so bad of you Damini! What on earth have you done to gain such attention, recognition and support? Oh, you’re merely being “raped”, why so much fuss about it? Is it only because it happened in the national capital? Poor you, it happens everywhere across the country.
Weren’t you a proud Indian woman of 23 who gave a standing ovation every time she heard the national anthem play, or watched the parade on 26th January in the capital or jumped with joy when the country won laurels at the Olympics? Then how could you not know that a Rape, much like a daily sunrise & sunset, is something that happens regularly in our country, states, capitals, towns, villages, even at homes? So what the heck about it and how does one more incident of rape affect the system???
Damini, did you not know that women in our country, right after being born as the fairer sex, lose their rights? Did you not know that you were born in a country where women are worshipped as Goddesses in temples only and beaten up in the confinements of the four walls whenever they claimed their rights? Did you not know that every year numberless foeticides are being carried out in almost every nook and corner because the mother was carrying a girl in her womb? Did you not know that when you were born, your mother might have been cursed for giving birth to a baby girl, depriving the family of the much desired joy, had she been blessed with a boy? Did you not know that women in our society have always been treated as the property of men, instead of being their equal counterparts? Did you not know that every time you stepped out on the streets, curious eyes would be following you and you’d be at the receiving end of some totally “cool” lewd comments which you have no right to protest against? Did you not know that every 22 minutes a girl gets raped in India and nothing happens at all? Did you not know that what had happened to Hetal Parekh or Hannah Forster could someday happen to you as well? And did you not know that ours is the country of Ahimsa where the rape-victims die but the culprits don’t?
Damini, you forgot that women in our society are constantly driven by a never ending fear; it is the fear of being raped, the fear of being the victims of molestation or assault, the fear of not being able to speak up or take a stand against any injustice done to them, the fear of carrying a girl child in the womb, the fear of being tagged as an infertile, a rape-victim or a prostitute! This fear eats her up when she steps out on the road, boards a bus or auto, goes to work; what more, it kills her even when she’s quietly sitting at home thinking it is the safest place on earth! You forgot that whenever a girl goes out of her house, her family constantly prays for her safety because they too are haunted by this fear. You forgot that we get molested at crowded places and raped at deserted ones. Isn’t it funny that they tell us to join martial arts classes for our safety, carry chilli powder or safety-pins to protect ourselves from sudden attacks?
In fact, when the news of your unfortunate accident spread, some intellectuals were asking questions like, why was she travelling so late at night, why did she board a private bus, was she wearing something revealing, why did she not carry chilli powder or pepper spray in her bag when everyone knows roads are not safe for a girl? My question to all those damn intellectual parasites is why should a road be unsafe only for a girl and not for the guy? How long should I continue living with the fear of getting raped just because I am born with a pair of breasts? What a hypocrite society we are a part of wherein a woman is made responsible for protecting herself while no one seems to point a finger on the men? Is the onus not on men for not taking women as objects of fun and pleasure? Are men not to be made responsible that they should treat women with respect and not look down upon them as the weaker sex? Are men not to be told that every woman is an individual who values her life as much as they value their own?
Damini, when you were being treated at Safdarjung and Singapore, I, just like those numberless people who did not even know you, protested and prayed for you. Thousands of Indians protested at the India Gate, Raisina Hill and across the country. But little did we know at that time that those prayers would all fall on deaf ears and you’d be gone from us, forever. Now they’re calling you the Braveheart, India’s daughter, Sister, Nirbhaya and what not! True, you were someone’s daughter, sister, friend, but most of all, you were an individual, born with all the fundamental rights (?), the most important of them being the right to live.
Damini, now we are all waiting and hope this won’t be a long wait. We are waiting for your culprits to be hanged. We want capital punishment for all those who committed this heinous act.
Sorry seems to be the hardest word of the hour.....
Damini lives, Daminis live........
A heartbroken Indian