Even as I write now, a statistics shouts that a woman is being raped in our MOTHER India every hour. India is a nation where we respect women in all inanimate forms – Rivers, Animals, etc. but when it comes to reality men treat them as nothing but an object of sexuality. And we Indians (including me) are trained or imbibed with a quality to fume and forget! We are tuned to see, speak and forget! Not to do anything. We skim through some Rape cases or Sexual violence against women – feel raged; curse the accused and then. And then – “Zindagi chaltha rahe ha!” We move on!
The Kiliroor sex scandal. The Imrana rape case. The vachathi case. Sanjay chopra kidnapping case. Thangjam Manorama rape. Shopian rape and murder case. Soumya Murder case. Spread over regions, all these words stand only as a sample of the pain and shame the women had faced over centuries. By now, I bet, many of you have already started googling about these cases! After a while, we move on! We fume, we forget and we move on!
But some atrocities bite us so deep that we lose the feeling of numbness and feel the pinch and that’s what has exactly happened with this 23 year old girl – a physiotherapy intern who on that tragic night , after watching ‘Life of Pi’, boarded the wrong bus that took a wrong turn – to death and unending trauma. A trauma that shook the entire nation and a trauma caused by her physical illness that made some of the really toughest minds in the country to weep and act – not to forget! Not to move on!
Somehow this girl didn’t slip through our minds. Somehow this girl got struck in our minds. We were left fuming at what was done to her! But we didn’t forget. We didn’t move on. We stood still and made the so-called political guardians to look at us and showed that we, the proud sons and daughters of Mother India, are actually compassionate! We realized that the now crippled girl, once had a future to live; dreams to achieve; a family to rejoice; friends to enjoy. The now crippled girl was once a happy soul just like we are now!
We realised that the battered body and brave soul of this girl reminds us of the other thousands of unnoticed or noticed but ignored or noticed but forgotten women in this country whose rapes, suicides, massacres and murders were ignored over some flashy cinema review in our newspapers or over a sentimental serial in our otherwise compassionate TRP driven Indian Media.
And now there is a huge hue and cry over revealing her identity or otherwise! My Dear Respected bureaucrats and TRP hungry media, she didn’t ask to be a martyr or a symbol for anti-rape campaigns or a street in New Delhi to be named after her! She didn’t wanted to be projected as a symbol of bravery, the girl whose excruciating and unendurable injuries epitomised the unending culture of violence that is being thrust upon the women in our Mother India that only those women know. All she had asked her mother was one thing – “I want to live” which our politicians fulfilled in their poll-time promises style! Atleast let her soul Rest In Peace.
I don’t know the name of the girl who boarded the bus the other night. I don’t know how she looks. Or even any other glimpses of her identity. For me this girl who was brutally and sexually assaulted and bravely wanted to live is a reminder; a constant reminder of all the other anonymous women whose stories doesn’t make to the front pages, their pain and their courage to say to themselves – “Zindagi ko chaltha rahne ka”. Don’t tell me her name; I don’t want to know it, to cry for her.