As the nation stands gobsmacked at the news of rape after rape, we hang our heads in shame for it is our duty to keep our children safe. It is our fault that we have to hear hours of narratives of the most hideous kind. Year after year, we sit, waiting for things to change and yes, change is here. Today, we are faced with the deadliest and most sinister of crimes. Where children have become the victims of hate and lust. Where children have become the targets of our dirty, animalistic behaviour. It is shocking that today, we wake up to news like ‘8 month old girl raped and murdered’. Voiceless in life and voiceless now in death. Remember when you were a kid? As recently as 20 years ago, I remember a life of fun filled with exuberance. Where going down to play meant running around unaccompanied by an adult, screaming, laughing and playing hide and seek till way past sundown. I shudder now, every time my 9 year old niece walks out of the house to run down to pick up bread from the bread man in the evening, even though she’s being watched like a hawk from the window above.
Doesn’t every child deserve a childhood? At the rate we are going, the so called civilised India has created monsters that are scarier than the horror movies we try to protect our children from. Imagine the depravity of the individual who even thinks of satisfying his sexual desires at the thought of an innocent child, and here we have them coming out in droves like their lust is their power and our children their right. What is even more shocking is the stand that our so called leaders are taking. From telling us what not to eat, to removing our educated from governance and substituting them with fanatics, from tracking every paisa we earn to raising the cost of living so high that we can barely make ends meet even with a 5 digit salary. Yet, we are told not to politicise rape? Sure we won’t, if the perpetrators were not from your ranks. Sure we won’t, if the people we have entrusted with the power to govern, don’t go out on the streets in support of the criminals who have mercilessly taken a young life.
As a woman, it is becoming extremely difficult to even go on social media without your blood boiling over what some so called ‘patriotic, defenders of the land’ are posting. Highly literate and connected fathers of daughters posting memes about the clothes we wear being and enticement for their carnal needs. In essence, our women, because of the way they are dressing are responsible for what is happening to them. My question, what were those little children wearing? How erotically stimulating was the diaper tied around the waist of that little 8 month old baby? Every individual is trying to use these incidents to serve their own agenda and that is the most inhuman, horrifying and ridiculous way to tackle this problem. This is a problem of humanity. Where we wave our flags and preach about the traditional values, where are our values now? We pride ourselves on being secular, how is that evident now? We boast of a country where all religious communities live in harmony, where is the harmony now? Where we speak about ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, what is the state of our betis now?
Scores of people walked out of their homes last week to demand justice, and while they took to the streets we had the haters spewing venom. When questions are being asked, we have the devoted shouting us down. This, my friends is not progress, these are not better days. This is regression to a state of despotic, anti-democratic governance where one voice is all that is reigning. We need to stand for what is our right, our basic needs of freedom and safety are being threatened. Our children deserve a better tomorrow and it our duty to give it to them. For how long do we wait for promises to be fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a supporter of the opposition either. But among the 1.2 billion of us who strut around this country, there must be someone or a few with a clue. Someone out there who can wipe out the sinister planning and plotting and actually work for the betterment of this gorgeous land. Is there someone out there who we can count on to bring real change and create safety, so we can enjoy the growth of our children rather than weep by their graves?
(Views Expressed Are Author’s Own)