Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anamika...the nameless one!

I feel angry... I am a woman,
I feel shame...I am a woman
I feel helpless...I am a woman.

  • There is a rape in India every 22 minutes
  • 51% of the rape victims are below the age of 18
  • New Delhi has the dubious distinction of being the rape capital of the world
  • The rate of rapes in India has doubled (so much for emancipation!) in the past 10 years
  • Ironically, about 90% of the rape victims do not report in India due to social pressure and fear of being shunned ( Dalit Women and women in Kashmir stand out as classic examples)
  • Interestingly, India is but 3rd in the world for reported rape cases, US is first (18 K rapes registered in the first 3 quarters of 2012 in India vs. 93K in the US)

I grew up with a understanding that there was a clear disparity, my mother was overly cautious where I was home by six, I don't want you going out late in the night etc. etc....I understood  but resented the fact that I didn't have the same level of freedom my brother had..

I wrote and studied dutifully about the statistics of  rape, female infanticide, dowry deaths in India...I knew all the facts in theory, yet it became a real issue in my mind in 1991, when there was a case of a 8 year old girl who was raped by 3 men and then drowned...I wrote a poem about it (and then hid the diary in the back of my cupboard, I felt all the things I mentioned above every time I read it...angry, helpless and shamed)...there was but one article in "The Indian Express" after which the issue became a non-issue. I remembered the incident every time I opened the diary and read the poem (which became fewer and far between with the passage of time), I read it again today -

Painful gasps
Dried Blood...
A sense of degradation.
No-one to hear my anguish and pain,
No-one to cover my naked body.

Stripped to my soul,
Treated like a whore.
I lie a helpless animal,
A prey of social attitude...
A toy, an object to use and abuse.

So I give up my will to live,
Death does come in the end.

I was born in a country where Gandhi taught us Ahimsa (non-violence), he said - Your voice has been heard," "It deepens our determination to battle the pervasive and the shameful social attitudes that allow men to rape and molest women with such impunity." Yet with Ahimsa, we have achieved status quo in the past 65 years...what we need now is rapid action. My hope is that the 6 men who were involved in the brutal  rape and murder of the young woman on a bus in Delhi are given nothing short of capital punishment ....Capital Punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life.

May she find peace and justice (Anamika in my books, called so many different names by others who has now evolved into a Shakti)....this nameless girl who in her death has created a revolution.

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