I wrote several posts about the life of women in Middle Eastern Countries. I described how their stories shudder and coerce me to feel pitiable for them, for the lives they are leading, for the rights they have. At present, what I intend to write about is not the Middle East or Pakistan or South Africa. Today, it’s about my country; India. I was probably averting myself from writing about the ongoing issue in the country and one major reason behind the same was that it really frightened me. I am a girl; carefree, independent and brave but can any of this save me from the ordeal of being a girl in India? Almost everyone, whether Indian or not, already knows about the incident where a 23 year old physiotherapy student was gang-raped by six horrendous men in a bus. As if the sexual torture wasn’t enough, they inserted an iron rod into her and pulled it out with much force resulting in multiple serious infections and injuries. Finally, they threw her and her male companion on the streets, naked. She lay there, unconscious. I can picture that right in front of me and the first thought that strikes me is: “Does this represent an Indian woman?” Does this in any way make India a country less comparable to the Middle East? Where does my country stand in the manner it treats women? I feel numb, dejected, terrified. That girl could have been me; in all possibilities. How does it make me feel? Dead!
The victim, who is fighting for her life in the hospital, is like an epitome of courage for me. She was assaulted physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally and yet she has the valor to say- ‘I want to live.’ We always listen to such narratives of agony, watch related news stories, discuss at length about all of it but most of the times we never ‘imagine’ being that person; we never realize that the exact same thing could have happened to us or someone close to us. How would we cope up with the trauma in that case? Who will be blamed; the society, the victim, the offenders, the government or the citizens’ mindset? Here, I will probably accuse my entire nation. You worship female goddesses and yet you do not respect the women who exist. You wish for your women to be submissive and serene without understanding what they might expect from you. You talk about giving them an equal status in the society and yet you snatch away their rights at every step. You encourage them to move forward and be liberated and yet your outlook holds them back. Why can’t a woman take ‘security’ for granted like all men do? The reason is you, India, it’s you.
I love my country; its values, the culture, the people, the food, the splendour the essence of being an Indian and nobody can take that adoration away from me. However, I also know that what is happening today dates back to the way the country has been moulded into a male-centric nation where there are millions of cases of violence against women in some form or the other. It begins with female foeticide and infanticide, crosses crimes of child-marriage, child-abuse: both sexual and physical, dowry, women discrimination, eve-teasing, rapes, honour killing and sometimes plainly irrelevant murders. Every girl in India has suffered at the hands of eve-teasing and now if you ask me, how do I or any other girl reacts to the lewd comments passed by boys on the streets or men on the bus, then the answer is: We ignore them and move away! We do not engage in a fight or argument, not because we don’t have the guts to do that, but because we do not trust our country to be our saviour Why do we need to carry chilli powder and sprays in our bags to rescue ourselves from a fragment of our own country? Why do we girls, in particular, are expected to learn self-defence techniques like taekwondo and karate to make certain that any inconsiderate and reprehensible man isn’t successful in sexually assaulting us? Do you ask your boys or men to do the same to ensure their protection? No, you don’t. That is why I blame this on you, India!
The young India has gathered in an attempt to demand for change. I have been following the news of the protests and demonstrations and I feel glad to be a part of this fervent India. We will not stop; not with the lathi charges, the tear gas or the means taken by the policemen to harass the mob and control them. We are all together in our fight for righteousness, for liberty, for a better India. The gang-rape that has instigated the entire nation to openly come up against the violence faced by women is one of the many thousands of instances that take place every year but this has stirred the country because the victim represents every other educated, spirited, free Indian female. She represents you. She represents me. And we deserve a transformation. Today.
Please feel free to share your views with me on the current situation. This is not only about India, this is about ‘women’.