Trigger warning: Mentions of rape, graphic violence
It’s almost six months since a 19-year-old Dalit girl was brutally gang-raped by four men of the so-called upper caste. The state government’s apathy and cruel high-handedness, the opposition’s photo-ops and the society’s short memory…who will wipe away the parents’ tears? Who will encourage other Dalit girls who are scared to venture out into society? Who will give them equal opportunities as the urban class?
Here’s a poem I had penned down six months ago when the news channels reeled off the footage and the gruesome details of the case.
Her tongue cut off.
Her spinal cord broken.
“Oh, leave out the gruesome details, please,” they screamed.
She was gang-raped.
“Oh, there was no rape,” they claimed.
Four upper-caste men did this to her.
“Oh, don’t bring in her caste here,” they commented.
No one paid her attention.
No one heard her cries,
as scores of Indians were busy updating themselves on Bollywood actors
They left her to die for good
as India’s forgotten Nirbhaya.
But she stayed strong,
fought for her life and soul
till the end.
She stayed strong,
naming who brutalised her
till the end.
The powerful continue to brutalise
smashing the belief that caste
was never an issue.
They burnt her body.
They abused her soul,
burning alive every woman in the country.
To those who continue to fail her soul,
may her mother’s cries haunt you forever.
May her father’s tears give you sleepless nights.
May every woman’s fear worry you.
May every Dalit’s despair make you guilty forever.