6th June 2005– twenty-eight year old raped by her father in law in Muzaffernagar. After which her marriage was null because the sharia regards sexual relationship with both father & son as illegal.
26th March 2015– seventy-one year old catholic nun raped by eight men in Ranaghat, Nadia district of West Bengal.
16th December 2012– it was not a rape, but the most devilish act anyone could imagine. Six men molested a twenty-three old for hours and it did not end there, they injected a wheel jack handle into her genitals, damaging her abdomen and intestine.
29th May 2017– an infant girl dies after being thrown out of a moving truck because three men decided to rape her mother on the national highway eight and she was causing disruption in there horrendous act.
9th May 2017– a twenty-year-old woman was gang raped and killed in Rohtak, Haryana allegedly by her jilted lover-also a dalit and his friend. They smashed her face with a brick and run their car over her body to make it unidentifiable.
These are not only very few of the many molestation cases registered in our courts, but a shame on our country. Such incidents are not only life shattering moments but destroy faith in life, families, communities, and society on the whole. They leave an awful impact on the human mind but the dilemma of our brain is that we tend to forget them until the next one happens, which flashes the reality of our traditions and culture, all over again. The truth is, we are a part of a circle now, the diameter of which never seems to end. We can never get out of it; until the prospective victim decides to fight her own battle.
A lot of times, women gather, make videos or talk publicly about how men are being so unfair when they comment about how a woman is dressed and that her dress invites trouble for her. In a country like India, where rapes are not for physical pleasure but more like a mental illness, if women are asked to be more conscious about their security, there is no harm in it. Men might have been rude in saying so but being a woman, I can say that if we had to attend a wedding, we would pull out the best salwar-kameez or lehnga and in the same way, formals for office, then what is the harm in dressing appropriately for other places too. In India, roads are not just meant for travelling but they are like ramps where men are the spectators of how pretty you look, and also what they can get out of you- a visual treat or something more.
Many of you might think that its men who need to mend their ways and not women, but now comes the climax of the story. Lets talk about what I mean by dressing “Appropriately”. Its not, what you thought so far, we are not asking you to quit wearing all those beautiful dresses that you have in your closet. They are made for you, there is a huge industry that runs for you, and you give a lot of money to big fashion houses to grow further. So then what, babes please understand- you are your own savior. It is simply survival of the fittest here, that is the law of nature and its high time we, as women realise that. So the next time you throw a lipstick, a hairbrush and a wallet in your handbag don’t forget to carry a knife, a pepper spray and a stun gun too. Do you now understand how to dress appropriately…smile; we aren’t taking your freedom away! If you have plans on a Saturday night to party, to drink and get sloshed, be smart enough to plan a safe return prior to the night out. There is no harm in being cautious about your own security. Stay physically fit; train yourself with self-defense techniques. We are not weak at all, stand for each other and help one another fight the societal evils. Rapes happen to both men and women so we were not just meant to be, where we are today.
Since times unknown, we have prayed to Maa durga. It is time now, to collect ourself and gain strength from her. Rapes, domestic violence, no education rights, gender inequality, and in fact the right to birth is also snatched away from us. When Durga received her powers and declared battle against Mahishasura, he mocked her saying a woman cannot slay an eternal power like him. In the battle, he (his manhood) was struck down effortlessly by Durga (a woman). This is an example of smiting the patriarchy. People will criticise and try to take you down but no one, not even a demon can defeat you if you are confident enough. Just take control of your actions.
AH! In pain, my soul cries
I worship her but she dies,
Each day, every day
Her birth will only pay,
She is constantly looted,
Opinions lowly prosecuted;
Society will forever yearn,
She simply needs to learn,
The world merely lures,
Her carriage carries cures;
Her fortitude must fill in,
And fight against her villain.
Ritika Walia Mehra