The country that I was born in was a better place. It wasn’t filled up with monsters who came wearing masks which made them look more human to us or maybe it was always like that and I was lucky enough to have grown up in such a protected environment where no one would even think about hurting an eight year old child and snatch away her innocence in order to curb their own thirst for lust.
Going through my Facebook feed was the toughest thing to do today, as news and posts about young Asifa flashed all over it. I came across a picture of her, this beautiful girl-child sitting and looking into the camera with her wondrous brown eyes and smiling. What sort of a monster would ever want to hurt an angelic child like her? That’s when reality kicks in and makes me believe that there are humans who have no humanity left within them.
Asifa was all of eight and was the only girl child in the family after her elder sister passed away in a tragic accident. She was her family’s heartbeat and she is gone to be in a better place hopefully. Where there are no men who would ever be able to hurt her, away from all the pain and torture that she had to go through when she was held captive in a temple! She was constantly gang-raped by men who considered themselves to be the men of God and were supposed to be the protectors of the innocent.
I would not like to mention the details of the horror faced by this kid. Kidnapped and held captive by strange men who hide their demons in the name of religion. Starved, mentally and physically abused and then murdered. Was her life really meant to be that short? Imagine how horrified and confused she must have been asking that same God, who resided in that “Deviprasthan” what did she ever do to deserve so much pain? Nothing. Her only fault was that she was born a girl.
Another Incident which took place in the village of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, where the girl was raped by a politician and when she tried to seek justice for herself, her family was harassed by the local goons and people of authority. Her father succumbed to his injuries and passed away in custody.
Both the incidents were reported by the media. But no actions was taken against the culprits. In Kathua, Kashmir a bunch of members who belonged to a certain political party protested with the tricolor in their hands when Asifa’s murderers were arrested. Is this what our country stands for? Is this why our nation’s flag needs to be raised? Nothing can ever justify an act as heinous as rape. Is it about teaching a certain tribe or religion or gender a lesson? How do you justify doing such things to an innocent child who was out feeding her family’s horse and the next thing you know is that you recover her dead body battered and unrecognizable with every scar that tells you the horrendous story of her torture?
There is no petition or candle march or protest, which can bring her back to her family. The country and its people have failed her. By not protecting her and being strict enough towards the evil. These evil men will continue in their evil ways not just because they’re in positions of authority but because the good people around them refuse to stand up to stop that evil. As rightly said by JK Rowling, “It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay though never quite eradicated.”
Never had there been a time more grave than the one in which We The People Of India, knowing of this Rape Culture, need to unite to fight our very own friends, relatives and families. Because we’re part of this Rape Culture. Yes you, and me and our mothers and fathers and brothers and cousins, friends and colleagues… We as a nation are a part of this Rape Culture and somewhere we are the ones who propagate it by not doing the right thing.
It is time that we actually take a stand and fight ‘us’. These rapists aren’t made in a day. They are made after years of not protesting and turning a blind eye towards their evil.
A candle march or a silent walk will not bring back the victim’s life or even bring these horrific incidents in the eyes of the lawmakers. It is time we fight back and report even the most minor incidents. The guy who makes a girl uncomfortable by his actions in a public transport, the man who beats his wife black and blue while she shrieks in pain and agony, the father who abuses his own child in the name of religion or to gain personal wealth. What do you do when you see this or hear this? Do you stay mum and mind your own business just because it is not your problem or because you don’t want any part in it?
I guarantee you things will never change if you don’t take a stand. This whole idea of male supremacy which has been fed to us ever since we were young needs to change. It is time the wife leaves that abusive husband’s sorry ass and files a complaint with the support of the whole family. It is time that you go and stop that man who is inappropriately touching that girl in the bus you just boarded to work. It is time that you stop victim shaming so that the girl who got raped and saw her whole life crumbling down in front of her eyes gets the courage to go and report the incident. It is time that the families and the authorities take a stand for the victim and not stand up for the predator instead.
Your words have no meaning until you turn them into actions. Those Facebook statuses and Instagram stories will help in spreading awareness but nothing else. The hypocrisy has to end somewhere. We have to stop working with them, stop keeping these predators in the highest of regards, report them and take quick actions. Make them feel that their predatory behaviour isn’t a part of our civilised society anymore.
Let us make it our problem, so there aren’t anymore cases like Nirbhaya or Asifa. Let us take a stand to not just express outrage on social media, but to use our anger to fight against those who commit these evil acts around us everyday.