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“Had I Been Born Poor, I Doubt What This Country Would Have Done For me”: A 14 Year Old Girl Speaks Out

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By Shreya Sarin:

It has once again been proven, that in India, a girl is neither safe inside the womb nor outside. On one hand, there is female feoticide and on the other, the ferocious rapes. If this is the situation in the so called modern Indian cities, one wonders how nefarious it must be in the small towns.

It was only 4 months ago, that an innocent girl was picked up on the streets of Munirka and brutally raped by 6 men, one of them a juvenile, on a moving bus. Her companion was beaten up and left to die alongside her and as it happens in India, instead of helping, people started taking videos. Finally when the police vans arrived, arguing about jurisdiction seemed far more important than providing aid to those unfortunate people.

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The braveheart, as the media called her, did not recover and passed away but before she left us, she united the whole nation. Every girl and every woman felt for her and she was the spark for what should have been a full fledged fire. Protests raged in every part of the country and candle light marches took place. While she was battling for her life in a mediocre government hospital, various religious “babas” of our country enlightened us with their views on the subject.

This one exceptionally brilliant soul known to all of us as Asram babu said that it was no one’s fault but the girls own for she didn’t beg for her dignity. After having the nerve to even suggest this, this pathetic man went on to recommend that had the girl called those beasts her brother or chanted the “gaitri mantar”, she might have saved herself from the disastrous events which followed.

All in all, it was concluded that though those brutes were at fault, they had been tempted and had the girl have any “character”, she might have saved herself from this unspeakable fate. This is the real, modern India, and this is as contemporary as its ever going to get in this country. In this male-oriented society, whatever a girl does is proved wrong. If she is eve-teased, its her fault for wearing provocative clothes, if she is raped without mercy, she should have begged the rapists and given them the title of her brother, if she is molested or sexually harassed, then yet again its her fault for “acting adventurous and stepping out late in the night.

It is often said that no one or nothing is perfect and rather than concentrating on the flaws, we should try and focus our energies on the positives. That however, is a big challenge in this country’s case as finding positives to focus our energy on can prove to be quite a task. Blindly saying “I am proud to be an Indian” wont help anyone, especially not victims of those sexually deprived animals. People need to start questioning the fact that what has this country really done to make you proud, except of course, outrageously making excuses for all the wrongs happening.

I am just a 14 year old girl from Gurgaon , I am constantly told that I should not forget what this country has done for me . But the truth is that I am fortunate enough to be born in a financially stable family, had I been born in one of the countless slums seen in every corner of India, I doubt how much this country would have done for me.

You must be to comment.
  1. Dr.Venkat Kumar

    Amazing write up for a 14 year old
    Very True and a very good example about where are youth is headed .

  2. Adnan Akhtar

    There is no doubt that the rules of the law and the social governance also are applicable for the one who are in the top 10%. The other day a 12 year old was raped in a village touching the city borders. when she dared to contact the police she was locked up and the cops sexually harassed her…

  3. Raunaq Kwatra

    HATS OFF SHREYA 😀

  4. Raj

    You have a lot to learn. Don’t rush, there’s plenty of time to grow old. But yes, you are right to ask the question. I am neither 14 years old nor a girl , but I too ask the same question. If I was born on the streets, would the country have stepped in and taken care of me? Unfortunately no. I owe a great debt to my parents and a few members of the society who helped me. Rest of the country, FK them!

    Regarding the rape cases, don’t let it eat your mind. Our rape reporting rate is far lower than that of developed countries. It is over 15 times higher in the USA and over 40 times higher in Sweden than it is in India. So as time goes by, it will only increase. Be prepared for it. There is no escape.

    PS: In case you aren’t a 14 year old girl, then you are an amazing troll who has been able to manipulate the masses into giving you readership, and me into commenting on your article. Hats-off!

  5. shreya sarin

    i am 14 so i havnt “trolled” anyone and the defination of rape differs in developed countries and india. even so, at least they have a faithful government and loyal police officers.

    but i respect your views all the same

    1. Raj

      Ok so you are 14! My bad! 😀

      Well I agree that definition of rape does differ, but the jist is still the same. Does it explain the monumental difference? In 2010, for every 100,000 population , Sweden(among the most developed countries) had 63.5 recorded rapes , UK had 28.8, USA had 27.3 …. And what about India? 1.8 No not 18 but 1 point 8
      And mind you, all these are very developed countries with “faithful government and loyal police officers”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

      Anyway I wasn’t trying to explain these statistics , I was merely saying that we are going to have a continued increase in the number of reported rapes and that you need to stop being constantly scared about it. I say this because I’m older than you and a lot of my female friends are scared of mingling with men, because they fear getting raped. Yet in all these developed countries, young men and women mix freely, despite knowing the high incidence of rape cases.

      Thanks for being a decent person and respecting my views. I hope you don’t let circumstances turn you into a cynical regressed paranoid individual who lives in constant fear.

      And your last line “But the truth is that I am fortunate enough to be born in a financially stable family, had I been born in one of the countless slums seen in every corner of India, I doubt how much this country would have done for me.” is amazing. I’m glad that you aren’t going to turn out to be a rabid nationalist … after all it’s easy to get brainwashed into serving the very structures that oppress you.

  6. shreya sarin

    haha yes, true that 🙂

    1. Raj

      Best of luck! Keep writing!

    2. Raj

      And do read some of my comments on recent articles. My articles always get rejected 🙂

    3. Amrit

      @Raj it’s not surprising that your articles get rejected.

  7. shreya sarin

    haha sure 🙂

  8. Pritam

    Great Article Shreya… Hats Off !

  9. Aman

    I remeber the famous dailouge of the movie “Rang de Basanti”..No country is perfect It has to be made perfect…And for this the responsibility lies with the fellow citizens…..But to make your country proud ..you have to be first proud of been a part of the country and strive hard to make it the best place in the world irrespective of whether been rich or poor…You have to work on its weakness and ensure that it is one the best place in this world

    The people of this country are at fault by creating divide and discrimination on basis of caste gender etc…The country has never said that u need to do so as you are an Indian….

    The problem is with us the society and not the country …

    1. shreya

      society, culture and the government is what makes the country what it is. Obviously the geographical aspects of a country wont be archaic and and backward, the mindset and people are things that define a country. India is recognised by its people; and more recently by the innumerable heinous crimes that these people commit towards women or any community that is in minority. Even though i wrote this article a year back, nothing seems to have changed here, the views of people, treatment of minority (yes in india minority does include women, shame isnt it?) and thus when i say i doubt what this country would have done for me had i been born poor, i mean the people, the government and not the mountains and rivers…

    2. Aman

      Ofcourse Scoiety , Government and Poeple form the part of the country … However if you look at it closely its is all but people of the country..As society is nothing but poeple and as we are democratic republic so again the government is of the people by the people for the people so it is nothing but we the people……..

      A country is defined by its constitution and our constituion is no where baised to any section any gender any caste infact it treats every one with equality….it envisages that every inividual would be treated with equality before law of the land irrespective of caste ,gender ..And patriotisim means respecting and believing your constitution and keeping it above any thing else….

      The benifit of you been rich is that you can thus be well educated to know about the laws of the lands and thus fight for your rights… where as been poor the disadvantage would have been that you would not have known the law of the land and thus be deprived of justice….Education is the only diffrence …But that does not mean that the country or its constitution has nothing for the poor or is baised towards the rich …The constitution makes all possible provison to uplift the poor and tries to eradicate …But again the implementation is of the people and the government elected by the people

      As a citizen of the country you should be proud of your constitution and respect it and try to educate people more and more about the laws and rights of people who do not know them ….And thus you will be fulfilling your duties towards your nation …When every one knows and respects the constitution then automatically the country becomes good and starts giving benifit to every one

      .A soldier fighting to protect the country from invasions never things that he is protecting rapists and killers along with innocents…for him every citizen of his country is his responsibilty and he fights to protect the soverignity of the country and still he is proud of it despite the fact that his country may not be good for people for poor or for women…and thats what his duty is as defined by the constitution the law of the land

    3. shreya

      Sure, i respect your view but unless and until you are able to put yourself in a woman’s shoes and empathise with with what she goes through everyday, i don’t expect you to understand. The constitution is brilliant and one of the few things i respect about this country. The power of my education is the reason that i dont believe in blind nationalism or blind patriotism. The constitution has provisions for the empowerment of the poor and minorities but when the government (the one we choose), systematically suppresses them there is barely a anything that they can do. Laws are a reflection of the society and the fact that in India marital rape isnt a crime says alot about ours. As far as my duties are concerned, i feel that chanting how proud i am of my country (which i am not, even after a year) and mindlessly praising it isnt going to help it in anyway. I believe that only by voicing the issues and bringing them to light will help change the future of India. I did not mean to offend anyone but then, its not like i am making up facts. This is india, like it or hate it.

  10. sameera

    Shreya u are much beautiful and clear words keep going. We aee with u.

  11. kalyan

    last paragraph is awesome

  12. kalyan

    last paragraph is very true

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