Kathua Rape: As A human, I Am ashamed; As A Girl, I Am Terrified

She was drugged, she was gagged, she was raped and she was finally killed. She was a child, with a smile as big as her hopes and an innocence that could melt even the coldest of hearts. They say she was garrulous. Then, how come her screams went unheard?

The rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl have assumed communal overtones and fed a raging controversy in an area said to be deeply polarised. And it’s these deep fault-lines that allegedly lie at the heart of this sordid saga. The girl’s abduction and murder was part of a plot to drive out members of her community from a village named Rasana. She was allegedly given a high dosage of clonazepam – a drug used to control seizures and treat anxiety – after a lower-grade sedative failed to keep her sedated for a longer time. The drug kept her unconscious until the next day. By then, a massive search operation had begun.

What baffles me is that this undeniably heart-wrenching incident has again attracted the politicians who are playing their vote-gathering blame game. Two BJP party leaders had even joined the rally in support of the accused men. What happened to the authorities? It takes a shocking incident like this to pull laggards like them out of their slumber. And when they do come out, they come out as a lost cause. After being active supporters of getting the accused men in the Nirbhaya case hanged, what brings them to this?

Or should I ask – what brings us to this? It is easy to do the cavilling, it is difficult to bring about actual change. When the going gets tough, we decide to run away. The grandiose gesture of the mandarins-in-charge gets on my nerves. It has me thinking – where are we headed? As a human, I am ashamed; as a girl, I am terrified to guess the answer. As for the hoi polloi, we are either guided by our strong principles and values or are blinded by the inept handling of the matter by the snollygosters. And after seeing the number of people supporting the rape incident, it seems like we are on a blind road.

Imagine what she went through! Imagine what must have been the thought of an 8-year-old girl, while she was shown what no one can possibly imagine. Imagine her tears drying up and eyes giving in to the darkness. What was supposed to be a normal day for her proved to be her worst nightmare. Imagine it all – be empathetic. Do not succumb to ennui and just support it because it is trending. Let’s allow our minds to be incarcerated and let us fight back against this bane. If you still can’t feel anything, you are not human.

Go out and play, dear girl. It’s safe up there.

If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at dial1098@childlineindia.org.in. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.