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Day 201: Remembering Nirbhaya

Image Courtesy: Google Images
One evening as I sat down on the couch in my pajamas and laptop, as always with the television on and the hubby by the side, one particular news online just shook me off my senses. It was the news of a girl gang raped in a running bus. That horrendous day was in the year 2012, December 16, to be precise. Exactly 3 years ago. It was a news that shocked the world so much so that I was ashamed and pained to listen to that discussion in the NPR morning news. Of course, this is not a single and the first incident of rape reported but this crime was so beastly that even the one single news on India was about the lack of safety and respect for women.  Today after the three years, that beautiful girl is no more. But the media gave her a name for that beautiful spirit- 'Nirbhaya'. Nirbhaya means one who is fearless. Well, it is nice to read about it but what was the use? She lost her life, her parents lost their beautiful daughter, the world lost a wonderful human being and doctor (to-be). The men who did that heinous crime were put behind bars. Of course, thank god that they were from the lower strata of the society. If this had been the doing of a rich or politically influential folks, I am sure the news would have never gotten even this far.

Anyways, one of the attackers was legally a juvenile at the time of this incident. Hence, he was put in a juvenile prison and obviously his punishment was shorter. Now, he walks free because he was a juvenile while he committed this crime. I am not able to digest the fact that someone so so heartless and without any conscience can commit such a crime and still be called off as a juvenile. The supreme court has finally taken the decision to rule out the 16 year olds as juvenile and instead treat them as adults for such crimes. Of course, this is only after that offender walks free. I fear for the women who live there and who knows what else will he do!

The very thought that women cannot walk out after night, or be seen with a boy, or be seen wearing clothes that do not fit 'their' norm of being sensible, changes how these shameless men treat the other gender. Everything changes in life with time. So should these societal norms. I wish the girls are empowered from a younger age. I remember as a teenager, we are never taught what is essential in most (majority) of Indian schools. The society also is hush-hush about a lot of these atrocities. It is not that the victims are scared to report, the victims are scared of being victimized further. Is there an age for this crime? Of course, this is not a one off incident and not something that is only present in India. Every often I keep getting email alerts from my university about someone who is raped or has fought it off. And every time the victim will withdraw from filing a complaint. Yes, that's right. It never gets reported officially. There are so many that we read about in other developing countries like Africa. It is a scary world out there for the women and children to live. It sure is scary. But that doesn't mean we cannot live. We have to live and fight the war.

It is painful to read about and even talk about it and that is why it is hard to have these conversations with young children and girls. But we have to start somewhere. And it is about time. 
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