That’s it, she died – but did I survive the rape?


The Delhi gang rape victim died in Singapore Hospital. She had one life, just one and now its lost. We can keep talking about rape and justice, means and methods, causes and reforms but for her and her family its ‘The End’

We say, ‘we want justice.’ I don’t know what justice can we possibly give to her deceased soul and her family. What would compensate the loss? My first reaction is, bring those six, just bring them to us. Let’s set a terrifying example out of them. Let’s be barbaric, let’s be hellish. Do hell with ‘need for reforms‘ ‘change the mindset‘ ‘kill the crime not criminals‘ bull shit.

But some of us are educated citizens of the largest democracy. So our anger would soon give way to logic, as we would be told that purpose of punishment is not revenge, it is to reform and to work as a deterrent for future criminals. That means those six men arrested would be tried in a Court with due process, with state providing them a lawyer, if they can’t afford one themselves. The lawyer’s job would be to ‘defend’ them. We know even Ajmal Kasab had a lawyer to defend him. They would be tried for Rape, culpable homicide not amounting to murder.  I am not sure if they would put charges for Murder, now that she is dead. 3)  Maximum sentence they are likely to get if proven guilty is perhaps life time imprisonment, that’s 12-14 years. It cannot be said whether owing to the strong public demand, the Courts would be compelled to award death penalty.

If not hanged, after their term, these men would be reinstated in the society, get married, produce children and then die of old age or something. During their stay in prison they would be undergoing various prison reforms, make pretty handicraft items that would be sold in Dastkar mela. That’s the end of their story.

That leaves us with ‘us the protestors’, the women not yet raped. What about us?How long would we carry on with these protests? The state would announce a few more measures, a few more police vans on the road. But who would keep a track of how much promised is being delivered?

Ever since the incident happened several thinkers have written about how to bring that thing called ‘change.’ I too tried writing my response but failed to articulate my thoughts. Somehow writing and talking seemed very pretentious to me. The scattered thoughts were angry and ran in various directions from the patriarchal mind-set that prefers boys and treats girls as second class members of the society; to the archaic Victorian laws; the inefficient police; the corrupt courts; the moral policing of the traditionalists; the regressive religious rituals and practices; the deplorable celebration of men and masculinity along with objectification of women in media and popular culture; the double standards of the society…the list went on.

This morning when I woke up to the news of her death, suddenly I realized all my thoughts had stopped at me. I could be her, I could be dead. One evening I was there, and then I was dead, because I was a woman, because some men decided to have sex with me by force, because…whatever, point is I am dead.

So before my soul rests in peace, which I doubt is going to be anytime soon, let me ask a few questions to myself, and to all you girls out there:

  • Did I really live those 23 years of my life that I thought I was living?
  • Did I spend each day feeling proud to be born as a woman chasing my dreams, listening to my heart?
  • Did I unconditionally refuse, in loud and clear voice, to suppress my feelings, dreams and aspirations, because I was told to listen to what elders were saying, which had something to do with my being born as a girl?
  • Did I reject every notion around me that I felt was created to treat me differently and unequally from the boys relying upon the sole reason of me being born with a vagina, even at the cost of being called the bad girl?

If I didn’t, I wasn’t living anyway. And if I did, I would know, and the world should know that I survived the RAPE.

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4 comments

  1. shakshinoormoohammed · ·

    These kind of activities are hapening in our india becoz of our law,our law is favorable for those rogh’s; our politics is not good. In many countries for small mistakes their law will punish at tat instant. But our law only will give time period to escape those rogh’s, many of the politician hmmmm not only politician even public also suporting for our law this is necessary to change our law style in sauudi
    arab if this same thing hapen mean they will shot them, due to their law system they are fearing to do any illegal activities like wise in
    ydyyeus. Our India got freedom even though till now womens not got freedom this is main reason our India still developing country youth should be involve in our politics

  2. As a survivor of attempted child rape and a spectator to sexual abuse at the age of 8 I am proud to say that I was able to defend myself. But what of my friend who was being abused by her own step brother even before she knew what sex was or could understand her own body. This is not the only kind of abuse I have experienced and witnessed either. If I post this on a social site I may earn sympathy. But does that provide justice. I would probably be forced to take down my post at some point so it won’t “affect” my family. But what of the guy that did this. He actually has a family for himself and will probably live a full life without any remorse. After the incident on the papers I forced myself to post self defense measures for women and requested education for men and women on sexual crimes etc. the list goes on. The response is next to nothing compared to the sympathy for the victim. So where does that leave me. Am I forced to see many more women suffer in pain. I will not relent until I get the word out though. I am only looking for the right means to do so

  3. Dhivya,

    Firstly, I am touched that you thought my blog was a worthy platform for sharing your story. I hope you know that by talking about your personal experience you have already taken a big positive step towards change. My question, why won’t you name and shame the perpetrator? And why should your talking about a crime “affect” your family?

    We have to take the sex away from rape the shame would leave automatically. We have to understand that Rape, molestation, child sexual abuse, these are not about sex. Sex or making love is mutual, where both people give their consent. Rape/SA is crimes against us, without consent.

    We don’t feel ashamed of talking of theft and murder do we? Few months back my laptop got stolen from my car, I told the entire story to the whole world, so that people become alert. If somebody does a fraud upon me again I would share my experience with everybody to prevent same thing happening to others. But if I am raped, then I must hide my face in shame? WHAT LOGIC is that?

    just think about it and then speak about your experience to as many as you can. Also encourage your friend to talk about it. And I am reminded to make a post about my experience as well. Let’s start talking all of us and let’s name and shame those perpetrators.

  4. I am very grateful and thankful to you for your reply. I share your sentiment to the bone. It is not me that is ashamed of what has passed. As a matter of fact I would gladly share my story if it makes even the slightest difference. But the sad truth is that after many years I have tried telling my family and the name of the perpetrator too and there reactions were not very convincing. No one would even acknowledge that I was brave enough. No one cared for my friend and she was labelled as some one I should not be with even when no one knew the truth as to what had transpired. No one is yet willing to acknowledge the fact that it could be anyone in the family next. As many have said in many blogs people think that nothing bad can happen to them. The usual advice is to steer clear of “unsocial elements” and dress and behave properly in public. I am deeply saddened by the by the fact that not one person thought to ask how I got away or how to defend the self and other women.

    As for my friend. I have no idea as to what happened to her. There is no way I can contact her either.
    Although I have tried many times to get women to speak up , my pleas fall on deaf ears mostly because of the sense of insecurity among women. They feel that by ignoring the truth they will be safe. All this has angered me so much. I still have not given up though. I will continue to speak to as many people as possible to create awareness. I just hope I am not too late in doing so before all humanity is stripped off and what is left behind is the monster in the closet waiting to pounce again.

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