……Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake! Tagore.
This was the poem I grew up with.
The whole world is talking about the shame that India just saw. A woman not just gang raped but mercilessly beaten, unmentionable things done to her and now fighting for her life in a hospital in Delhi!
I see a whole media circus being played around the same. It seemed that the news channel are happy they got some headlines! They have big stars, ministers et al coming to their studios and waxing eloquent on what should be done blah and blah…what good will it do? How will it help? Till date the bill hasnt passed and law has not been made. The girl is fighting for her life while the circus goes on. Shame on us!
This is the country my Father India has become. A country that is sleeping, a country that is not bothered, a country which doesnt care or know about its priorities…a country which my Father I have shamed!
I have a daughter. We are Indians. We dont live in India. But she will know she is one and sooner or later I do plan to take her home to show the country which is her own where she is the first citizen. But Im scared.
Im scared for her to grow up at all in her motherland. I wish that she turns out to be as strong or stronger than me.But was it my strength or luck that I was safe in Delhi all those years that I travelled in the buses, got pick pocketed, got groped, leched at and basically survived thru all that. What would good my strength and confidence would have been, if I had to encounter 6 monsters at one go…and my boyfriend was not even in the same city! I shudder at the thought….I think I took it for granted and I was lucky!
Do I want my girl to be strong but is it enough. She needs luck too! But will she be lucky enough if she grows up with such fear? The monsters are not just outsiders, they could be well within…this is not just India this could be anywhere? How do I protect her? Will she be able to protect herself?
This time, it refuses to go away. All this while, whenever such incidences happened we took it with a pinch of salt, felt anger and outrage and moved on. But this time it just refuses to go! It refuses to let me sleep. I hug my girl tight and hold her close to me saying a prayer….!
It makes me wonder, do I ever want to go back? Even if I dont go back how will I sleep the nights (or days for that matter) when she will be away? What do I do so that she is covered? Thought of teaching self defence came in my mind, but is that enough? What else to watch out for? How will she protect herself from the guns and the goons?
Till then I pray.
I pray for the girl who is fighting for her life.
I pray for all the women who have gone thru this.
I pray for all the women who brave thru this and are unable to speak up.
I pray for me, I pray for my girl and I pray for my country!