Never Forget: She Was Just An 8-Year-Old Child

I am anonymous; no gender, no religion, and no face. And I would like to keep it like that because the saying “your deed define you” doesn’t exist anymore. By the time I reveal my identity, I will be subjected to numerous judgments and none of my words will matter to the ruthless minds of our society. Is it that difficult to be a woman? Or is it just our countrymen making us feel like that? How many times do we need to shout at the top of our lungs that we don’t need your protection? You just need to keep your penis zipped in your pants.

And what kind of country do we live in? A country which is up for protecting cows and can’t stand in unison for the justice for an innocent child. Would it make a difference if the Kathua rape victim’s identity was kept under the veil? I am sure it would have. Let’s start this again with a situation where you can relate to a poor family whose wealth resided in its daughter.

A mother’s “chirping bird” is no more than a lifeless body now. A father’s impatient wait has turned into an unimaginable nightmare. A family which is now collecting the debris of their beautifully knitted dreams from the bushes of the forest. All those dreams faded away with her bleak cries and sobs. She was just eight, unaware of the brutality of this unkind world. Unaware of the mongrels of the society. Are we really keeping into account that she was just a kid? Not a girl nor a Muslim. Just an 8-year-old child. The torment she faced demands justice.

I have a niece and a nephew. I can’t even imagine the slightest scratch on the body of either of my babies. And to be honest, yes, I cried for hours before coming up like this. We call ourselves humans. Then why can’t we stand for the purest soul of that child? Or are we still waiting to assassinate her character like we always do? If that’s how it should go then let’s talk about what was she wearing. You sick people, you always find a way to manipulate us with your irrelevant details and never accepts that you are incapable of controlling your hunger for a woman’s body.

I am not here for one child alone. I am here because the anger is killing me from inside. Each and every incident like this makes me feel helpless. Am I really helpless? I am not. I can contribute to a change if even a single person can understand the pain of that 8-year-old who was gang-raped and then strangulated. This is a call for all the girls who are facing any kind of abuse to join hands and help each other come out of such a situation. We need to stand for and with each other. The criminals should be punished.

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.