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.