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Legal The Rapes That We Don't Talk About


Jun 1, 2004
By Prerna Sodhi, TNN | Dec 29, 2012

Today, I do not write as a reporter. Not as an activist or as a protester. I write today as a girl, a possible future victim and a scared and a hopeless human being. My fear rises from the sheer brutality the 23-year old was put through. My hopelessness rises from my instinct that she may end up being one of the many cases that are stacked up in offices as case files. While I write this, I am aware of the flak I may face from sections of the community. But before anyone starts off with an intelligent discourse, which everyone is entitled to, I have a question for you. Which law will ensure my safety within my very home? Baffled? Don't be.

When the case the 23-year old victim plight came to light it was the sheer brutality that hit me the most. To be subjected to such violence is not just inhuman but purely unnatural. Without delving much into it the reporter in me took over, asking me to look at it from a distance and as a story. As I started doing that, and with the outbreak of protests across Delhi the protester in me was switched-on. After a point I wanted nothing but justice for HER. Most of the times when most braved lathis and I had a notepad in my hand, I prayed for a change in roles. But, that wish was to soon change when, while interacting with more people on the job, I learnt that it was unfair of me to demand justice for just one victim where awaiting the same are a thousand unheard voices. With every passing day I learnt the mistakes I was making and correcting them as I went.

And it was this understanding that makes me very hopeless about my countrymen. When I look at the thousands protesters on the streets demanding a firm law, more policing and justice for the rape victim, my thoughts go to a place where rape is born, in our very homes. They search the eyes of a million women not demanding for justice but are forced to live day in and day out with their rapists. I look around to see a million women silently living each day the horrific incident that happened to them, not by a stranger but by a loved one. An uncle, a husband maybe a grandfather or a father. But they live in silence because that is what they were taught and the same men were taught to roam around freely, by who we call family.

This makes me wonder. Can there ever be justice for them? What is that will undo the permanent scarring they have received. Can anything mend the betrayal of their families? Most importantly, aren't we covering up the hideous acts of the same men, today we say are a threat to us? Aren't we fighting a cause with double standards?

Knowing my nation it will be an uproar to talk about this or even tread this side of rape. Since it is this side that exposes how shallow our hypocritical patriarchal families are. But isn't addressing the issue from the root a solution, to weed out the rapist in the male members of our family. Or let it never be born in the first place.

Even as the braveheart goes to light a better place, I feel saddened to see that rape is still being treated as something one is born with or takes to over-night. No one till now has introspected and said as mother "we will BELIEVE when a girl comes to us complaining about our teenage sons," "we will not tell our daughters to shut up and live with it.," "we will not tarnish the reputation of the girl and glorify the son." Rather we are screaming about more cops, fall of a government and capital punishment. The first two may happen, but the third one is up for a serious question, are we ready to turn in those people who we call family members? Are we ready to make that change?

Are we in true spirit willing to fight a mindset that has so sleathily creeped into us and made it our way of living?




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