I was walking home in the evening as the darkness started to descend. I heard a distinct ruffle behind me. Immediately, my senses heightened. My imagination started to run wild. I thought about everything and anything that could go wrong the next instant. My first thought? I don’t want to get raped in a street corner.
It’s a harsh thought, yes, but sadly, it is also the most probable thing to happen. In India, 106 rapes occur every day. In my head, it is just a matter of time that I’m a part of that number. There is fear, but it is numb. It now feels like a reality that one day, I too will have to face. Every time I hear ruffles and strange sounds behind me on an unlit road, my hearts shouts, “I do not want to be another Nirbhaya.” Every time I step out of my home, I check if my pepper spray is inside my handbag and easily reachable. The last time, the ruffle was by a cat, and I breathed a sigh of relief. But I know, tomorrow, the fear will start all over again.
India today, is asking for justice – justice for the eight-year-old rape victim, justice for Unano survivor. Didn’t we all scream for ‘justice for Nirbhaya’ a while back? Did it change anything? Did it change the number of rape instances in the country? Did it reduce the sexual harassments women suffer from? I don’t think so.
In fact, it seems that these barbaric acts against women have increased. Pardon me, I should now include ‘women and girls’ together. Just when Indians are raising their voices in support of Kathua and Unano, a small girl was once again raped a 100 feet from her home. All these shouts for justice don’t seem to deter such men from acting inhumanly.
Can’t he hear the pain in the screams of a tiny girl? Can’t he see the bare eyes that couldn’t cry anymore? Can’t he feel the fragile body withering from the unbearable pain? Can’t he see the innocence in her eyes when she couldn’t even understand what is happening to her?
What happened to humanity? What happened to pity?
What happened to that organ inside every human’s body called ‘the heart’?
The reason behind raping the eight-year-old girl seems just a facade. There are a thousand other ways to scare people. You do not target a weak, small girl and torture her for days! You call yourself a Hindu when you raped the small girl inside the temple? What did you think you were doing? Purifying the temple with her screams and her blood?
Among the many men who raped her, did not even a single person feel remorse or guilt?
I can’t begin to understand how anyone, even in their wildest dreams, could ever do that a girl. It is not the law that is wrong. There can be a thousand laws for to protect our population against rapists. But what actually protects them from not being in such a situation in the first place?
Considering the increasing number of rape cases, the system cannot bring about a change unless the people are ready to. These are not typical petty theft cases that stringent laws can help deter. People shouldn’t commit the act not because they are scared of the laws, but because they have a shred of humanity.
I am totally ashamed to say that I belong to a country where people rape at any chance they get. No matter if it is a baby girl, a small girl child, a teenage girl, a middle-aged lady or even an old 60-year-old woman, no female is safe in this country unless these savage men are taught to be a human.
Laws are to protect the citizen. So what can be done to prevent such happenings?
I would say, teach our men to be human. You may think that your brother would not do such a thing, or your son is as good as one can get. Didn’t all the rapists’ mothers and sisters think so?
In every 54 minutes a rape occurs. Statistically, there a high possibility that many men indulge in such acts. So don’t think that they would never do it. Teach them why it’s so wrong. Instead of justifying and turning a blind eye to the men in your household, teach them how to be human. Please do it for all the little girls out there, please do it for me.