Friday, December 28, 2012

Damn you, Woman!



In this country famous for Gandhi and a monument a lovesick emperor built in memory of his wife, being a woman is akin to being a contestant in the Survivor series. The only difference? If she survives, s he gets to win an opportunity to live with dignity.

From age two till she coughs her last, she is a potential victim for men blinded by lust and rage. In a nation where men outnumber women, frustration outnumbers contentment, failure outnumbers success, cries of anguish outnumber sounds of laughter, corrupt outnumber the honest – being human becomes the first casualty. Someone somewhere is invariably waiting to trample upon her self-esteem. In this struggle for power and survival of the fittest – the underprivileged, the fairer sex, the principled have to fight the hardest. They don’t always succeed. But they know they must never give up.
 

She knows she must never give in. Because if she does, she will be doomed to a life of servitude.

It helps if she is born with silver cutlery in her mouth. It certainly helps if her family wields wealth and power and insulates her from reality.

But God forbid if she nurtures aspirations of being independent and seeks out a life of her own - she is clearly being “adventurous”. If she’s foolish enough to walk the streets or travel in buses, she is meant to be groped and pinched. If the man gets lucky, he even gets to rape her. And for the sake of brotherhood he’s even willing to share his booty with his friends. It’s tough to let go of sharing and caring values he has imbibed since childhood.

There are certain dos and don’ts a woman must adhere to if she’s about to get raped. She must accept her fate gracefully. She should stop being an unreasonable bitch and swallow that feeling of revulsion like a bitter pill.

Simply put, she must surrender if she values her life and intestines.
 

God forbid, if she dares to act normally – kicks, claws, scratches and screams – she ends up being a vegetable on a ventilator for the rest of her life. Just pray that she dies, so that all those years of joys, accomplishments, the identity she carved for herself, doesn’t get wiped off by a cruel twist of fate and she’s simply reduced to a label - “a rape victim”. As if she never had a name, a life before she chose to get assaulted.

Her most horrific moment gets splashed all over national dailies, becomes fodder for rising TRP’s, and is brandished as an issue that political parties use to settle scores with. She ceases to be human.

Some will google for pics of her mauled vagina, others will call her a braveheart for having the will to live and a few will feel her anguish and cry for her fate. Women who take to the streets demanding justice for her will be dismissed as dented and painted. The police will smirk, and give candid views on women who file rape charges, passing them off as prostitutes who didn’t get paid.

Every time a woman gets mauled and assaulted, it is not just a travesty of her fate, because what follows is much worse. The shame, the ridicule, the disbelief she has to put up with doesn’t let her heal. Ironically it’s the perpetrator who walks off with all the sympathy – poor boy! He couldn’t help it. It was she who tempted him.

There will be men who will be man enough to stand up to this injustice, get beaten up by bullies because they are simply hindrances to their act of pleasure. Men who will hang their heads in shame on behalf of those for whom machismo is a misunderstood concept and for whom women are ‘objects’ waiting for their stamp of ownership.

For every brutal assault on her dignity, it is she who has to pay by forsaking her freedom. She will be asked to cover up, ordered to stay home and forsake her dreams for the sake of her honour and her family’s. The more she tries to take flight, the more they will try to pull her back.

While those men will continue to strut the streets looking to prey on another girl foolish enough to believe in herself.

Damn you girl! Your parents should have killed you the day you were born, like so many others do.

But they didn’t. They chose for you to live.

Don’t give in, don’t give up. Because struggle today is for the sake of a better tomorrow. A tomorrow, where you can be what you want to be, without a hint of apology.

RIP Amanat, may you have a better life next time.


87 comments:

  1. I can feel your angst,pain,frustration......Need to change mindsets.

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  2. One more gem of a piece from you! Keep writing, that's all I can say.

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  3. it makes me mad , you know there is only a small number of MEN who do this and yet we are unable to FIX them



    Bikram's

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    Replies
    1. But if you see anyone misbehaving with women, beat them to pulp.

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    2. OH believe me .. It has happened a few times now, I can assure you of that ..

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  4. Purba,

    Hard hitting and factual post telling the bitter truth. And the greed of interested persons to garner as much name as possible is just disgusting. This whole issue will become part of statistics in a month or so. Shame on all of us who are part of this society.

    Take care

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    Replies
    1. The entire nation has failed her.

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  5. I have ben trying to put my anguish and frustration into words for a long time .. I couldn't have written such a brilliant piece. Something MUST come out of the protests this time - As a Indian woman I feel despair and frustration but I am not ready to give up yet - No I am not !

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    Replies
    1. Ruchira, let's make sure she didn't die in vain.

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  6. To be honest Purba di I am tired of reading the endless stream of articles on the incidents of the past two weeks and its aftermath. So much so I was reading each one with a straight face.
    But when I stumbled on to your blog after such a long time and read this, I couldn't maintain it. My eyebrows were pinched together the whole time I was reading this. Believe me when I say I felt your frustration while you were writing this. And you've poured so much heart into this, that it is palpable.
    You must be glad to be away from this nation of misogynists. Not that there aren't misogynists in first world countries. But by all means, the first world has greater respect for its fairer sex.
    I have not been blogging for a year now(at least not regularly) but I HAD to write something too. Simply because I had to give vent to my feelings.

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    1. The sequence of events that followed that horrific assault was repulsive. The endless analysis, introspection seemed so shallow.

      Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do is spew venom. Guess, the rage got too much to bear.

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  7. My head hangs in shame, not just because I can't do anything in this country, but because even if I do, I know somewhere deep in my heart, that it's gonna change nothing....

    Great piece..

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    1. It will Prateek. Let's not give in to cynicism.

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  8. Fight we must but with such odds, it seems a daunting task. But let us not lose hope. Something is bound to change and not in the too distant future.

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    Replies
    1. If we keep silent, shrug it off as yet another trend, things will only get worse.

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  9. My heart sank while reading this. I hate it all what's happening. Absolutely HATE it! It's not only those 6 men, it's so many hundreds others who bear the same guts to rape not only the body, but also the confidence, respect and dignity of a woman. No punishment is enough for them. I say, such a crime is brutal than a murder! And a death penalty can not do justice to the victims! Certainly not!

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    Replies
    1. It's not as if sexual assaults don't happen in any other country, but only in our esteemed nation men do it with such impunity.

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  10. It makes us all angry. But will just the anger bring change. This feeling of helplessness makes my heart sink.

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  11. So true. Yet so disgusting.

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  12. Every generation, women are fighting..women are struggling. Still their woes never end. One or the other, their fight continues..I am surprised at the lack of fear these monsters have. One incident has happened and not even before it is out of people's mind, they commit one after the other. Never in my life I was afraid of dark, being alone, travelling alone etc..but now, I am. I can totally feel your anger, pain and frustration.

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    Replies
    1. But we will not let fear hold us back. Isn't this what they wanted in the first place?

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    2. Yeah...making the fear grow.. :(

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  13. :( I cant find words to describe the gamut of emotions running through me right now. I wish I could just break something right now. This is such a pathetic state of affairs. How did we get to such a bad state? One politician's an exception. How did politician after politician who was elected turn out to be so disgusting? How does someone become a scientist? What is wrong with the women of our country? Yes, am appalled and angry and disgusted at the rapists, but these womens' behaviour scares me, bothers me and worries me even more. If this continues, we're going to see such women give birth to sons who become a whole new generation of rapists who thinks its perfectly OK to rape, the person would just surrender or call foul, beyond which they can use the 'deal gone bad' excuse. These women are actually spoon-feeding rapists excuses, not that they needed any. After struggling and fighting for 13 days, she died. And I hate saying RIP. I'll not. I'm too angry for that right now. But with the way things are going, what hope do any Amanats in this country have with women like these walking the streets and holding senior positions like scientists and politicians? How did we get to become a nation of mute spectators? Why isn't a man able to show his manhood by standing up against such acts? I accept that single men or women for that matter might risk their life, but a mob? Why don't we do something? I feel like crying right now.

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    1. Whatever we write,feel will never equal the anguish her family is going through.
      My prayers are with them.

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  14. With all due respect, but Purba, is this the first time?
    I find it a bit surprising that most people are acting as though this is the first time something like this has happened.
    Unfortunately I'm tempted to conclude this is one more instance of Indians' obsession with fads... which remain nothing but fads...

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    Replies
    1. No, Sulagna. And it certainly will not be the last. But her ordeal has sparked a movement. Let's not give up on that.

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  15. I can really feel the anguish with which this post has been written. But we have to keep fighting to make things better for us, for the girls in future.

    Is the girl no longer alive? Till night in India she was.

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    Replies
    1. My prayers are with her family. It's they who will have to deal with the aftermath.

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  16. I am just so very sad, dejected and angry. I can't write any more :(.

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  17. ................... nothing more to say...............

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  18. Unfortunately, most people are just screaming "give us the names of the victims" and completely forgetting that the gang rape, although terrible and horrifying, is not the real problem. The rel problem is the terrible way Indian women are treated, the way that their lines are effectively ruined if they get rpaed while the men walk off scot free. The terrible lethargy of the justice system, whereby trials can take years and years to bear fruit. The corruption in the buereacracy and the politicians and the policemen:the arrogance of the men and women who call people dented and painted and think they can get away with it. And I'm sure there are many more politicians who feel the same way but are too smart to say what they think, what needs to change is our society as a whole. Let's start actually respecting girl children and stop blaming the victim. Let's hold our politicians accountable. Let's try to beat the system.

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    1. We had given up on our system a long time back - expecting nothing while we continued pursuing our ambitions. I guess our apathy did us no good.

      Our system needs an overhaul. Our leaders cannot be deaf to our voices of dissent. Not anymore.

      Delete
  19. Purba, I share your rage.
    seena

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  20. Thank god she died...she can now rest in peace...had she been alive we would have ensured that she died everyday...

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    Replies
    1. Yet we all cried for her...Such a brutal way to die.

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  21. I don't know what to comment on your post. The situation is too ugly for words.
    People are protesting...but the question still remains. How will the change happen?

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    Replies
    1. Is it a wakeup call for our elected? Only time will tell.

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  22. I share the feelings of anxiety, concern and optimism. I have my wife, my sisters, my nieces, my students... girls/women who matter much to me. May they be safe!

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    1. We have to pledge that we will not be mute spectators anymore.

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  23. When we start to hesitate to act against crime openly, things will change! And till then we can only write posts, rally or do protests! I am ashamed to be a citizen who could do nothing but to write against it!

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  24. There is nothing left to be said about her. We have failed, like so many before her. I'm beginning to think will this society of ours ever change ?

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    Replies
    1. I believe her ordeal lit a spark.

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  25. I think you've covered it all.. the angst,pain,frustration, insecurity, the disillusionment with the system today that women feel.
    Well written.

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  26. Women should be brought up bold and strong with Martial Arts Training. Even if she gets raped, she shouldn't get cowed down by the cowardly and dastardly attack of pseudo machismo of men and strongly fight for justice through stringent punishment for perpetrators of sexual and other forms of brutal violence against her person and empower herself physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. Unless, victims of rape, acid attacks and other violence stand up for their rights and unless this patriarchal society changes its mindset as women being inferior to men, women continue to cut a sorry figure in our society. More Just Laws should also be brought in and all sorts of violence against women should be speedily investigated and tried in fast track courts and out of such fast track trial court's verdict only one final appeal should be provided to the Supreme Court. All the existing vacancies in Police and Judiciary be filled up on a priority basis with persons of impeccable credentials apart from their qualifications And experience.Lawyers/clients who unnecessarily
    drag the trial, should be punished with costs and fine.Justice delayed is Justice denied and delay defeats equity.

    Ms.Nirmala P Rao
    Legal Expert and Political Commentator
    Hyderabad

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    1. I am sharing this message on my Facebook wall.

      Thank you.

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  27. Replies
    1. That dull ache in my heart refuses to go, Bhavana!

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  28. A wonderful post!!!

    Agitated and restless !! Want to break free


    - A dented and a painted independent lady

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  29. She has undergone severe trauma before dying...but she will end up as a number in some file somewhere just as many many other victims!
    I pray for her spirit and strength for her parents because that's all that I can do

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    Replies
    1. My prayers are with her family. For them the ordeal has just begun.

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  30. The brutality that the girl had to face, gives this sense of hopelessness.If this is the kind of society that we have become, then can we really come back? What followed was even more brutal as then it was the so called leaders talking. I can't imagine how her family must feel.

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    1. To know that your own flesh and blood was tortured so mercilessly, for no fault of her own!

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  31. While the people's rousing up is heartening ,i boil with rage when i read the politicians' pious statements that her death will not go in vain,she will be avenged,they are filled with anguish blah,blah,blah.Did no rape occur before this?What were they doing then?And why have they been in a coma till now?How many girls must die to stir them into action?

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    Replies
    1. Because thanks to our patriarchal society, rape culture not only exists but is also approved.

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  32. it seems that many of the policemen are jealous of the proud rapists and their frustrations are quite expressive in their comments. our most respected men in uniform are not far behind, as they never miss any opportunity in places of insurgency. Also some of the protesters don't miss any opportunity during riots. really, Damn you girl!

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    Replies
    1. When so many of our elected are criminals and have rape cases filed against them, can we expect any better?

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. www.wizardlegalblogs.com30 December, 2012 13:03

    Unless, we break the unholy nexus of Politician, bureaucrat,Police and Criminals, things wouldn't really look up for women in India.Human as well as systemic/institutional stink has resulted in rape and premature death of Ms. Nirbhaya."May her soul rest in Peace"

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    Replies
    1. It is a multiple organ failure - our police, our elected...they have all let us down.

      Delete
  35. A totally inept system, no accountability, eroded values, and so much more, is responsible for the all around mess and now the very existence of the fairer sex is at stake! I do not think it is possibe to stoop lowerer! As a man who once donned uniform, my heart cringes to see the situation we are in today!! I hope the new generation will now lead the way as the older generations have failed, Purba:(

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    1. I just hope the spark her ordeal ignited doesn't die down. It's so rare to see the young come together for a cause.

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  36. Beautiful post, the only think I think we all need to remember, is that the male gender is not the enemy. You've mentioned that she's open to attacks from MEN, isn't that sexist? Why should we generalize and paint? I think women are as much of the problem as men are. We judge clothes and 'types', or we get judged. We too raise these children that become men, we too stay with husbands and boyfriends who treat us like we're objects- showing our children that tolerance is the key to a happy marriage.., we too become the in laws that torture women for dowry..this issue is not about gender but a society. And we are of the same gender!
    We need the 'good' ones of both genders, to work together and change the society that gives birth to monsters. And figure out what is making them such, and change it, eradicate it.. :)

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    1. And I will not contest your views. Of course, it's the regressive attitudes that have brought things to such an abysmal state. This movement is not a gender war, it is a cry for decency to be allowed to live.

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  37. And to add, I agree, it's been an emotional week and a shitty one too. Would appreciate you picking my posts with your thoughts, some how debating on these issues makes me feel like I have direction.. makes us all feel like we have direction.. and we know what we can do, to try our best to make sure this doesn't happen again :)

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    1. Will certainly be reading your post :-)

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  38. Purba,
    The brutality goes beyond what beasts could perpetrate. I suppose this proves that no beast is more beastly than a man!!!My head hangs down in shame... I'm ashamed. Because I have this hateful ability of killing myself with remorse. And yet I live on hope....

    :(

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    1. Cynicism will get us nowhere, but hope will.

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  39. I see this happening everyday in my clinical practice in some shade. Rape is only the end of a spectrum. Most of the rest goes unnoticed. I hope something better will come out of this incident. But, I am sure that if we need to see change, we need to start from our families and communities. Please read my views at http://jeevankuruvilla.blogspot.in/2012/12/much-beyond-rape.html

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    1. Will most certainly read your views.

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  40. I don't cry easily but when I switched on the television that day and heard the news, I felt so utterly helpless and couldn't stop my tears. Here I was thinking that she would get better and lead a happy life and she was already dead.
    I am optimistic that things will change but to what extend? In the last 10 days, we had numerous cases of rapes. 4 women are already dead. Men are still raping women when all this is happening! Men are molesting women in candle light marches for the dead girl. What have we turned into?

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    Replies
    1. It's as if they are trying to send us a message - we don't care a damn about your outrage.

      Pity, it took a young girl's horrific ordeal for the world to sit up and take notice of us.

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  41. Hopeless and Helpless
    -An Indian Woman

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  42. Really amazing, factual write-up. The way we treat woman is a saddening fact. But, there's a deeper problem. Castration / death are detective measures. What we should look at is a preventive measure to control such atrocities. May be, you'll be interested in reading this - http://eabwrites.blogspot.in/2013/01/protesting-india.html

    I feel somewhere within my heart, a glimpse of hope is smiling at things changing!

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  43. every word written in this post is so true !

    ek taraf hum mandir mein kaali maa ki puja karte hai toh doosri aur .. kya kya karte hai .. horrible state of our nation!

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