No Country for Women

The year comes to an end and after scores of speculations finally the world did not come to an end. But for India, a part of humanity certainly did.

There is angst, grief, disgust, despair that amongst us live monsters like those six accused in the horrendous gang rape case. There's shame that we are a part of this society and there's shock that humanity can stoop so low. And between all the unrest in the country, 'the girl' breathed her last this morning and is perhaps now resting in peace in some better world.

'Amanat', 'Damani', 'Nirbhaya'...she has been given several names. It would perhaps have been best to call her 'Anonymous' or may be 'Common Woman' for she represents every girl who is teased, raped, beaten and dies several deaths every day. And because it happens everyday, why has this case become such an highlight, some asked. Because what she faced was an ultimate case of brutality. Because we as a society needed a wake up call. Because sadly we all have learnt to 'live with it'. As I write this, the domestic help, who happens to be a 24-year-old married girl just reiterates this. She's telling me how her husband often beats her up and her in-laws accuse of her having extra-marital affairs. I tell her not to tolerate this and take some action against it. She's reluctant and says she has accepted it as her fate.

And haven't we all? We have trained ourselves to turn a deaf ear to the group of three-four guys who pass lewd comments while we are walking on road. We ignore the push and touch on bus, metro or even road. We now don't frown when we read about at least two rape cases in the morning newspapers. It is all around everyday occurrence and so a part of our lives. The incident has shaken us all and it is important that the agitation doesn't go waste.

"We will ensure that her death doesn't go in vain," says our dear PM. We really hope so sir. We hope not just Delhi but the entire country becomes free democratic for women.

It is also important that we all resolve to speak up and raise our voices. Why turn coward and tell girls around us to "be home by 7", "not step out without male company", "leave office by 6" et cetera. It is obviously important to be alert and safe but let's not get intimidated. And that will be the true tribute to "the girl", a true brave-heart who reportedly fought not just when the monsters attacked her but also life till she could.

It's time we act. Make noise, be alert, learn self defense, gather crowd, call cops...of course, we need better laws and policies for our aid. Moreover rather more importantly, we need a change in mindset.

Hope this is the last straw...the final call to wake up as a society to make it a better place.

(I wrote this post for the website Glad2bawoman. It was published here:

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