Thursday, January 03, 2013

The girl anonymous

16th December was a very sad and shameful day for our country.  One girl was gang-raped by 6 men and thrown out of the running bus. I tried to write the details and the state of her when she was thrown out, but couldn't. Most of the people know her story anyway. She has been given many names - Nirbhaya, Amaanat, Daamini - but she will always be remembered for whatever she went through in those fourteen days that she was alive. She will always remain anonymous, yet the most popular person.

Three days before her death she was shifted to a hospital in Singapore for organ transplant. Her intestines were beyond repair and her liver was damaged too. When they moved her to Singapore, she was brain dead already. She finally breathed her last on the 29th early morning.

So many questions are still haunting me about this whole incident. First one - why was she taken to Singapore of all the places? Yes, that was the closest and European countries would have taken a lot of time to reach. But why transfer her at all. And if her transfer was necessary due to lack of facilities in our capital city, then why didn't they think of Mumbai? What I have known is that people from UK and US come to Mumbai for major surgeries including organ transplant, for it's cheaper and equally good.

Medically, a brain dead person IS dead. Was this just a diversion tactic to move her away from Delhi so that they could declare her dead? I am sure the Government would be expecting riots if she were still in Delhi. Why Singapore? Until recently, I didn't even know that it was popular for organ transplant surgeries.

Post her death, there have been many rallies - peace rallies. She was not the first victim of rape, and she has not been the last one too. After her, a few more incidences of gang rape have come out. People are trying many things to prevent this. They have been suggesting various things like ban republic day celebration, don't celebrate new year (don't know how many actually wasted their new year party pass worth a few thousands), declare a bandh and what not. And such an attitude surprised me.

It was indeed a very sad incident. But what I don't understand is - does banning/not celebrating a particular day change anything? Can't we fight things with a smiling face? Can't we continue doing things we like as well as do our bit to make things better? Being happy doesn't mean you are not sensitive towards things. Taking away someone's right to celebrate is not the solution. one MLA is talking about naming a flyover in her name, one politician is talking about awarding her an Ashok Chakra. Did she fight for the nation? No. Was she in Military? No. Then why Ashok Chakra? And why only her? So many girls die after being raped, but just because things don't come in the limelight, we will conveniently ignore them? And if mourning is the ideal thing to do during such times, then the country will mourn every single day!

The solution is not in banning a day, or declaring a bandh. First thing - strict laws and speedy trials. Why do we take ages to finish one case? And why does the culprit get up to 10 years of imprisonment only? The solution lies in educating people, spreading awareness. Most of the rapists don't even have access to newspapers/televisions. All they must be getting to know is - this girl died and the culprits are famous. It's enough for them to commit a similar crime. All of us have to be a bit alert. Notice people around you. If you find anything unusual about them, report it. If there is an incident of eve-teasing, go file a complaint. Your one step can save one or more lives, including that of yours. Each and every person has to prepare oneself to fight this. There is some hope then.

Again, by this post, I am not saying no to mourning or feeling sad. Everyone is sad. But sadness won't be reduced by curbing happiness. We all need to be happy. We all need some reason to celebrate. And that never becomes a barrier in the good deeds we intend to do.

Yes, she suffered a lot, something unimaginable. It was too cruel and nobody deserved such a painful death. The most important thing she did was that she managed to awake this nation, and united everyone for one cause. Fight for it, but don't limit it to one girl who lost her life. Make her your motivation and fight for safety. Abide by laws first. Say no to tinted windows and glasses. This law is there for a reason. Follow it. Respect women. It doesn't cost anything. If your friend calls a girl who is passing by "maal", tell him to learn to respect women. Do such things than outraging about celebrations.

Help out NGOs. Talk to victims. They need care and attention. Go attend peace rallies, but if you can invest that time in helping some victim or educating someone, it will be better than attending the rallies and peace marches.

A couple of months ago, Haryana Khap leader said that food like chow mein causes rapes. Two days ago, Yo Yo Honey Singh's song became a huge issue as its lyrics were offensive and the Government thought that it caused rape. The song was not even popular until then. The Government declared that they will give fifteen lacs to the Delhi rape victim. Her parents want a law to be named after her, and not flyover, in her honour. 

Yes we live in this country. And we have such leaders. I have not mentioned anything about our media. That's another story altogether. Another post, or two or more.


  1. A speedy trial and quick implementation of punishment is the greatest tribute the government can give her. That, and trying to prevent such crimes. I believe mourning was a voluntary decision. I was not in a mood to celebrate. She is someone we don't know but we all felt for her. I just hope this emotion is channeled towards making change happen.

  2. The past few weeks have been so tragic and nightmarish! What this girl went through was simply horrendous but then there are so many others too who live through the pain and trauma daily. Now every day the newspapers are full of such instances. Am glad that this has brought some awakening and some sensitivity towards the issue. But lets hope that this fight brings better laws and speedy trials and severe punishment.

  3. Neha,

    A well balanced view. I agree with you that trial should be speedy. We need change in mindset of society and we need to start that will own self and our close ones first. Unfortunately this too will become part of statistics in another few weeks like the Guwahati incident.

    Take care

  4. Neha,I am sure there are enough laws in place to convict the fellows who did what they did.What needs to be done is to ensure that police implements laws strictlyBut, personal interests ,political pressures are creating the mess we are in.
    To divert the attention,this Tamasha of Bandh,giving names etc is all about.

  5. Very true! They're making a mockery out of the whole issue, and not finding for ways to curb it. She died for a reason, to save all the other girls from being exploited in the same way!

  6. I think the middle class, instead of organizing useless protests, should try to bring about changes on their own. Help some NGOs, sponsor a child, etc. Nothing is ever going to come out by protests, and everyone will go back to their lives after a week.

  7. Nothing is ever going to come out by protests? I'm not so sure about that..Come to think of it, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasnt our freedom won by a million protests, albeit peaceful ones?

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