This article discussed women’s safety with a focus on the Hathras Rape incident.
Would you really say I’m free when I’m barred from stepping outside late at night because it is unsafe? Would you really say I can soar high like a bird when I fear roaming alone on the streets in broad daylight? How long will you play the “better safe than sorry” card by snatching our freedom to wear anything, roam anywhere and do anything?
My heart races, my voice screams, and my body shakes when I say, “We, women, are still not free.”
Our freedom, independence, our choice, our dreams- all of it lays buried deep inside the ground. Those headlines about heinous felonies put us in the fear that it would be us next. Is this how we really want to live? How would you feel if I considered your body as an object, locked you up in a cage, and sealed it with various societal ‘norms’ and restrictions about your gender because you’re deemed the “weaker” sex? Well, that is a glimpse into the life of every woman.
As women, we don’t govern our bodies, our society does. According to them, A woman who drinks or smokes can be subjected to every sort of character assassination while the diabolic men who are a part of this heinous rape culture roam freely.
When will you stop putting our freedom behind bars instead of enforcing the most brutal punishment for those who strip a woman of her fundamental rights and murder her under the “justification” of “sexual urges”? The abysmal game of pinning the blame on the forlorn victim speaks a lot about our society as a whole.
Regardless of the time of the day, one of us gets raped. No matter what we wear, where we are, or our age, we are not safe as nothing displeases the rapist, and no place is sacred enough to keep us safe.
The “Crimes in India-2019” report reflects the dark side of India as 87 rape cases are registered every day. Had it not been for the pandemic, people would have been quick to take it to the streets to demand justice and empathize with the victim through a candle-march. But are we, in any way, avenging the dead this way when the atrocities against women are skyrocketing in every unfathomable manner?
Regardless of the time of the day, the attire we wear, or our location, one of us gets raped, nothing displeases the rapist, and no place in this country is sacred enough to keep us safe.
The mindless Hathras gang-rape case that drew parallels to the 2012 Nirbhaya case has, more or less, become a regular consumption of menace for every woman in this country.
From Nirbhaya to Priyanka Reddy to Manisha Valmiki- none of them could be saved from the malevolent hands of demons with the face of humans.
With every single word that I write, I feel the numbness increasing in my hands as I think about how many women would have been sacrificed to the plight of a rapist meanwhile I was narrating the abashed tale of misery through my article.
The word “human” has been derived from “humanity”, and irony mocks us for stooping low enough to have failed in every humanitarian spectrum. It has been only a mere 72 hours since the victim of the Hathras rape case succumbed to her injuries, and here we are, three days later, reading the news as the headlines flash another rape case of a minor in Madhya Pradesh.
Is this what we comprehend as “Beti Bachao, Beti padhao”?
What is the point of educating our daughters if they are to live in an exile of fear for the rest of their lives? Yes, we talk about “saving” girl child, but we are forgetting that we are making no difference by preventing female infanticide when the safety and happiness of the daughters of our country are being burnt alive every single day.
We, as a society, fail every single day when we come across those horrendous headers which talk about nothing but yet another woman who succumbed to the claws of inhumanity in its most brutal shape.
Therefore, the problem stems from our sick mentality and not from a woman’s choice to wear “revealing” clothes.
The problem stems from policing our daughters rather than educating our sons.
The problem stems from allowing men to believe that they are the “superior” gender instead of practicing equality of all genders.
The problem stems from asking our daughters to return home early or carry a pepper-spray at all times rather than inculcating the values of basic moral ethics and mutual respect in our sons.
Enough is ENOUGH! Stop strangling us with those baseless ropes of patriarchy and barbarous crimes. I tried to mold this article in the best way possible to be able to express the excruciating pain that takes over my mind and my body with a thick and unbreakable chain of horror as my heart goes out to every woman who has been a victim of this demonic rape culture; no amount of words would ever be able to do express the injustices being done to women of our country every single day.
About the Author – Aarushi Verma is a first-year student of the Manipal Institute of Communication.
Edited by Diya Nayak