ByÂ Ojaswini Srivastava:
India is the country where spirituality, religion, belief, faith, is most talked about, practised and followed. Oh, wait. Practiced? Really? Rape a woman and you are religious? (She is innocent, pretty, she wears what she likes,Â she is not physically as strong as you, and she is prone to assaults; is that her fault?Â ) And you are religious? Then why do you keep watching her being raped? “Let them do what they are doing, what can I do? They won’t stop if I go there. They will attack me too“. And you are a religious person? Why do you call her laxmi, when you have to rape her?
Are we really religious? Is this our religion? Every state, every city, every village has temples, churches, gurudwaras, mosques, and there are people praying day and night, talking of religion, teaching their young ones, of goodness, of greatness. Watch her being molested; that is goodness? That is your belief?
And after all this happens, like each time, we have floods of news, articles, blogs(this too being one of them), facebook posts, tweets, parliament discussions (we have an addition this time), protests marches and revolts, rebukes, and appeals for redemption.
I am not a Delhi girl. I am from a small town, but I live here, and there are hundreds others like me. I, we, we all want to be bolder, freer, and more confident than we are at our hometowns, because we are in Delhi. But no, we can’t. Because we constantly live in fear. We know, we don’t have any backup here, we have no one who would support us here, we know that Â even those who are the localities don’t feel safe. Then how can we? We live under this constant threat. We can never be free. We hardly wear anything different than what we can wear at our small conservative place. We can hardly enjoy roaming around after dark, we can hardly move about freely everywhere.
We, live in a free India?
There are so many such incidences every year. I agree, the criminals have been caught, have been punished. But is that enough? Can it ever be? Will all the protests, the news, the blogs, tweets and every appeal of reprimand make up for what she has suffered? Can even one, one single person actually understand what she has gone through? It’s her life versus those few seconds. The pain, the sufferings, the insult, the torment; Can that ever go away? Yes, she will move on, yes she will face life, yes she will find reasons to be happy, and yes she will be glad if those animals are punished. But will her pain, her fear, her wounds, ever vanish, ever heal? Will she ever be able to forget those few second? NO, she won’t, she will never.
We demand too little, we demand only justice, we demand only that the rapists are punished. Then why not? Why can’t we be granted it? It is anyway not going to let the victim forget it; it will only be a safety for the future. Can’t we get that? Don’t we deserve it? What is the government waiting for? Hundred more such cases? And even then, will our demands be fulfilled? Or every time Act 144 will be imposed? You are defending us? You are talking of peace? No, you are escaping, you are horrified!!