The Death of Humanity

By Alankrita Anand (PR Co-ordinator)




The Prime Minister wished for her speedy recovery, the President called her a ‘brave daughter’ of India, Mrs. Gandhi, on breaking her silence on the case, wished that she recovers and returns soon. Well dignitaries, wishing for ‘Damini’s’ speedy recovery was what we had been doing too. Besides signing Facebook petitions and condemning the incidents through different portals, it was all that we could do. We did try taking to the streets but it turned ugly and resulted in the loss of another life. Time and again, we are being asked to maintain decorum and subdue our rage. We are being told that stooping to violent protests is way below us. Let me here point out that this heinous crime went way beyond us in our imagination and in our comprehension. We went silent on numerous occasions but this time we had to vent our anger. We crossed the limits, we were stopped accordingly yet we defied authority further.

Needless to say, this gruesome incident hit us with a great quantum. And why, because it will make every woman, young or old, think a million times before leaving their homes. And will this fear subside seeing the public outrage regarding this event, will it give us hope that such incidents will not recur? The answer is NO. There is a breach of trust everywhere, and there are enough reasons for the same. How do we trust a force that brought the perpetrators of the Patiala rape case to book a day after the victim took her life? How do we trust a force that hurled those humiliating questions at her?

However, let me not channel my ire only towards those in power as I am sure that neither they nor our security forces saw this coming. I turn to the public at large; to the citizens of the country whose ‘brave daughter’ lost her battle for life. Can you assure me of a safe city? Can you make me feel safe even without the pepper-spray in my bag? Can you give me the freedom to travel and to dress and to go out as I wish? Damini’s death spells not only the death of our system of security and our system of justice, it spells the death of humanity. As does the repeated rape of a mentally challenged teen by her brother-in-law and the rape of a four year-old in an MP village. Where do we have freedom from fear? Nowhere – neither at home nor at play nor at work. Neither in the womb, nor outside it.

In the aftermath of the brutal gang rape, there has been a call for women to take self-defense classes. I wonder why there was no call for men to exercise more restraint. Why can they not pledge to make our cities safer? Why should we pay a price for being born with an XY chromosome? Here, I once again turn to the government asking them to bring in more stringent laws and more importantly, implement them. Make rape an unbailable offense, uproot the illegitimate Khap Panchayats. Take action. Now.

No amount of rage and clamour is going to bring Damini back. She did not want to make the ‘supreme’ sacrifice to open our eyes, she did not want to be the martyr. Now we are glorifying her and calling her a braveheart and our beloved daughter but let us not forget that she wanted to live. She wanted to live to tell her story, she did not. But we hope to. Nay, we will. We demand justice for Damini, let our cries not be lost.

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