We have No Right To Worship Our Devis, If We Stay Silent On Kathua

I don’t know how to start or what to say. What happened in Kathua is heinous, preposterous, monstrous, and one of the evilest acts ever committed.

For me, it doesn’t matter what one’s worldview is – how can anyone try and defend the culprits? Bringing religion, sect or caste of the victims in no way justifies the monstrous nature of the incident.

I won’t name the victim of the Kathua case, but I want to ask a question to our society – why do we celebrate navaratris when we cannot assure the safety of our girls?

On one hand, we want to celebrate a devi’s victory over evil – and on the other hand, demons in our society are looking for chances to fulfil their lust.

I have cousins as young as 15 years of age; my nieces are as young as five – and we are concerned for their safety. Has our society turned into such a menace that we are bound to live in this constant fear? How long are we going to hold protests, candle marches, and walks of solidarity?

What happened to the protests and candle marches that took place during the Nirbhaya incident? What happened to the changes in the law that now allows for the stringent punishment for rapists? Do we see a reduction in the numbers of rapes?

No. Have we asked why?

Some will blame the law and order, politics and the religion of others.

Some will shift the blame to the victims themselves – as if they were responsible for being raped. But how many of us are ready to accept that it is we who are at fault? We – each and every individual in our society – are responsible for what happened to the girl in Kathua or that 6-year-old girl in Bihar, or the numerous other girls in Assam.

As a society, we are at fault because we are constantly keeping our girls tied to our houses. Our society only questions women’s motivations, whereas boys as allowed to do whatever they want. Boys develop a superiority complex over girls – this is the reason we have failed to do justice to the devis of our homes.

There is a line in the “Manusmriti” that I would like to quote here: “A family where women remain unhappy due to misdeeds of their men is bound to be destroyed. And a family where women are always happy is bound to prosper forever.”

Now just replace family with society and see what the quote has to say. I would like to leave you with this thought and bid adieu.

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.