Posted by Gahana Rao
September 16, 2017

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This is an open letter to Mr. Kailash Satyarthi and the citizens of India.

Respected Sir,

I was present at the speech that you rendered on 14th September, 2017, at Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, as a part of your Bharat Yatra to wage a war against child sexual abuse.

After your speech I stepped forward to ask a question, but wasn’t allowed by the authorities under the excuse of time constraints.

In your speech, you mentioned two heartbreaking incidents of child sexual abuse. One was a recent case in Gurugram, where a 7 year old boy’s throat was slit by an abuser. You mentioned how the grieving mother told you that she sent her son in a school uniform and received him in a coffin. The second one was about a certain rape case, where the father sent his daughter who aspired to become an IAS officer, to college.  He received his raped daughter’s dead body naked with 50-60 bite marks everywhere.

Your intentions, as you said, were to empower our conscience and morale to fight against abuse. You even made us pledge that we would speak against any kind of sexual abuse that’s we witness or undergo.

My question to you and everybody reading this letter is, why do we become victims of our own society? Why are we only sympathizing with the victims and fighting for their rights instead of also questioning the existence of the abuser?

While you wanted us to think about the victim and the father of the victim, I was thinking about the abuser, that what would have made him do such a heinous and beastly deed?

We can’t be victims of our own society. We need to take responsibility. We are always told to fight against it. But how can we fight something that is a part of us? It is time we stop separating ourselves from an abuser saying that I would never do such a thing. Because the monsters are within us, not outside.

A society is just a bunch of individuals. And as long as sick minds are present in the society, it will never be safe for children or anyone. An abuser could be you, one of your family members or friends, you would never know.

Only spirituality can bring about individual transformation. Yoga, meditation and a healthy lifestyle, can help us release a lot of stress and keep our self-command even in the most unnerving situations.

So my only request to Kailash Sir and the people of our nation is that after Bachapan Bachao Andolan, we need a Mind Bachao Andolan!

-Gahana Rao


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