An article about the rape culture in India
For every 15 minutes that pass, while you and I breathe in fresh air, a girl as young as 7 or a lady as old as 60 is being suffocated without consent, crying out for help but muffled by the ruthless, over and again, uncertain if that minute was going to be her last in this world. After every 35 minutes while you and I have a hard time deciding what to eat today, a woman has a tough time fighting to live as he snatches away her life, because that morning she decided to choose career over marriage and wanted to work towards being independent instead of relying on a man for the rest of her life. This isn’t the story of the past few days, or months, but the one that’s shadow has been neglected for years. From the time of birth, trapped in a cage, they taught her that it was a disgrace to fly.
At 5 when she was told to change her clothes because a man was at the door and, at 11 when they said it was not feminine for girls to play sports and, at 18 when she couldn’t go for a walk past 10 pm, and at 23 when they didn’t pay her the same as her male counterpart; at every stage in her life she wondered what was wrong with this world, as with every passing day it only got worse, and so, slowly but gradually she started falling numb.
When the Bombay high court itself has said things like – “Promise us to marry the girl you raped, and we will grant you bail” or “groping breasts of child without skin to skin contact does not qualify as sexual assault”, earlier this year, how is the female population of India supposed to feel safe? Just because he married her, was it consensual? Just because the victim was wearing clothes, it does not ‘qualify’ as harassment? On 11th April 2021, a man stabbed his wife to death in broad daylight, in the middle of a busy road, and the worst part wasn’t even the reason that he had suspected her of having an extra marital affair, but the fact that hundreds of people just passed by indifferent to the whole incident. Not one soul tried to prevent this horrendous event that took place on the streets of New Delhi. Ergo, the danger isn’t even about encounters happening at night anymore, because the people don’t seem to take action even when it takes place at 2 pm, right in front of their eyes. They said your father is the only man who will never harm you, then how do you justify the act of a 17 year old daughter being raped by her father in Haryana for 7 years, receiving death threats from him if she ever tried to oppose, and been forced to abort her child several times over that period. Or that a son killed his mother in Jharkhand this February, the woman who raised him and prepared him for this world, the one who loved him from the very beginning, just because she asked him why’d he come home late that day. How will India ever be a safe place for women when after a 12 year old girl was raped and cruelly murdered, the cop himself asks the accused to cremate the victim and destroy the evidence in Bihar?
When police officers, the Bombay high court and political members themselves are an addition to disturbing cases like these, how is India going to promise the women of its country security? When will the government of India realize that sex education is as important as academic education because when even college students from IIT, manage to assault a girl, maybe not haven studied is not what matters. Are these the standards our country has fallen to, where women have to agree to be raped because they want to be saved from being killed?
Her dress isn’t an invitation. Short skirts are not a sign. What part of “NO” do you not understand? Rape is never a mistake.
I’m shattered, I’m terrified, for I never thought getting out of bed every morning would become so burdensome. I imagine the things that I would do if all men in the world disappeared for 24 hours, and I realized all I was wishing for was the bare minimum – a walk at 12 am without having to worry about being killed. What has happened to this world? To this country? The little child who dressed up in saffron, white and green, held up her national flag high every 15th August to celebrate its freedom, now begs for her own every night. And I question how I was ever proud of calling this monstrous country my home.