I witnessed on TV the passing away of an innocent 23 year old from a brutal and heinous crime of gang rape perpetrated against her. I asked myself: I do not know her but why then am I so saddened by her death. “Ask not for whom the bells toll, they toll for thee”. I penned a few of my thoughts as I sat benumbed by the senseless death of this young girl! A life that that was snuffed in its prime without giving the young one who could have been someone’s daughter, niece, and sister- a chance at living. With the demise of this braveheart/Damini/Amanat/Nirbhaya, a part of me has died and equally a part of India has died a thousand shameful deaths. Who do we hold responsible for cutting short a beautiful life full of promise? Believe me there are many takers for this shameful blame. We collectively as a civilized society failed her. Her own country let her down and the corrupt Delhi police slept while she was being raped in a vehicle that was being driven around in the Capital! The elected representatives woke up the next day to play politics with her future while she swung wildly between life and death.
Equally shameful are the facts that this young lady was flown to Singapore (to die and not to heal) to somehow avoid further political embarrassment to the Delhi establishment. The only saving grace were the young who came to the forefront in thousands across India demanding answers and holding the corrupt police and politician’s feet to the fire. That the peaceful civil protests were met with force was not a surprise having seen that many a times in post-independence India. So where does one go from here? I for one see hope arising like a phoenix out of the ashes of this young lady’s untimely death- a hope for all the vulnerable women of India; provided we do not let go of the pressure on the elected officials.
We can most certainly “unelect” them at the next elections but for now we as a society of cultured educated Indians who are taught to respect women should not back down but demand an end to this violent animal-like culture against women. Hundreds and thousands of women annually are raped in India and many of these rapes go unreported because women fear dealing with the corrupt police! It’s a sad fact of life in India that when a woman goes to file a rape report with the police, she is unfortunately verbally raped a second time from the khadi-clads. If a woman is lucky enough to have a complaint accepted by the police she unfortunately has to undergo a rape-like experience a third time at the trial! Even then most rape trials do not end in conviction of the guilty because of corrupt police and judiciary. No wonder then women prefer to not report rapes. That this young lady despite her life threatening injuries recorded her statement twice should be the necessary impetus for us to not let her down by loosening the noose on the police and the politicians. We are equally responsible for the mess India is in as we have elected these corrupt people to power. It’s for us to turn them back to public servants from the monster masters that we have allowed them to become.
As long as tragedies do not affect us directly, our cynicism with the harsh realities of daily grind and corrupt politicians and equally corrupt police has allowed a “chalta hai” culture to foster. Keeping quiet and hoping this will somehow go away is not the answer to this Satan. Remember “For evil to triumph all it takes is good men to do nothing”. That the politicians and police are now involved in a blame game should not cause us further cynicism. Let’s all support our young ones as they try to make our cities safer by forcing our corrupt police & politicians to change for the better. This will to change that has been mouthed by most of the politicians and the police chiefs must be translated into hard policy for the protection of Indian women. India is an ancient culture where women are respected and revered as goddesses and mother figures but sometime in this 21st century we have allowed uncouth uncultured politicians to hijack our centuries old culture and trivialize rape and other crimes against women. No country including India can claim to be great or shining if it cannot protect and care for its frail, vulnerable, weak and minority citizens. Let’s all make a new year’s resolution today to promise to help bring a change in ourselves and our society such that our daughters/sisters/mothers can walk down the streets of India without fear no matter what time of the day or night and no matter what part of India. Death be not proud for it is the will of a man/woman that triumphs over the cessation of life.