I was visiting Red Fort with my sister and husband for a light and sound show in 2013, late evening. When suddenly out of nowhere I remembered that the road right across the Fort was one of the routes that dreaded Nirbhaya bus had taken, when she was being raped inside.
And before I could even collect my senses, I had started crying. Only person who saw that was my husband and perhaps out of some strange telepathy he understood what had run through my mind.
He gave me a quiet hug and let my tears flow for next few minutes. And all of this, while I saw my sister hop, skip and jump on the side where she was buying some eatables for us. That was the fear, always. Nirbhaya case brought my worst fears to life, I can protect myself but what about my sister? (My hands shook while typing that)
And today too, even a mention of that case can zone me out for a few hours. In the middle of the night through random thoughts, details of that case come flooding back – and only a cup of chai can bring me back to sanity. Often, I make my head think of happy memories from my childhood with mom to calm my senses.
It was also one of the cases that put the final nail on UPA 2 government. Thousands like me, took to internet and streets to vent their anger which finally overflowed in votes as well.
Yesterday though, a woman accused BJP MLA from Unnao of gangrape. Forget arresting that person, police refused to even file an FIR. Not to get political, but with as much as a single complaint, AAP leaders have been thrown behind bars in rather swift action from Police.
It further led her to attempt suicide outside CM house, demanding justice. But she was saved. Only to finally watch her own father die in police custody. Her father was arrested by Unnao police and allegedly goons of MLA were sent inside jail to thrash him.
This woman, lost her dignity, her right to justice and her father all in one go. And while all of this was happening – what stunned me beyond disbelief was that there were thousands of us who had taken to internet and streets to speak against the Nirbhaya case and treatment of conviction that followed. This time, a mere handful of those thousands raised their voice.
The stunned silence from rest, reeked of biases that do not encompass humanity.
But. If this was not enough. Kathua (in J&K) saw brutal gang-rape and murder of an 8 year old. DNA tests have revealed she was raped over a few days inside a TEMPLE.
While this may have violated your senses a bit, there is more. The accused is a State Police officer who had carried out this heinous crime to give a signal of fear & intimidation against Muslim community. Does that shock you still?
Oh there is a lot more. Hindu Ekta Morcha took out a rally involving two Ministers from BJP in support of…. ACCUSED. They have vandalised court procedures and police investigation – ensuring chargesheet is not filed and demanding accused be released immediately.
I looked around, again I saw off the thousands who had spoken against Nirbhaya, many were quiet.
Today after a long time, I felt defeated. I felt like I was a fool to believe that when I raised my voice against UPA2 I did it for my nation, my country. That I was hoping for a better future of same.
When actually, they all had an ulterior motive. A motive to safeguard their community and those who appeased them.
What do we tell our little ones? How long can our silence remain the weapon of oppressor?
The 8 Year Old from Kathua