On the night of 16 December 2012, a paramedical student, Damini was gang raped in Delhi. The victim and her friend after watching a movie boarded a bus in South Delhi, when they were beaten by a group of six males (5 adult, 1 minor), after which the female victim was raped.
The couple were on their way home after watching Life of Pi at a South Delhi multiplex. The couple boarded a bus at about 9 pm when a group of men, who were on the bus, began harassing her.
When her friend tried to intervene, he was gagged and then hit mercilessly with an iron rod. Five men then hit the woman with the same rod and gang-raped her while the driver kept the bus moving. At about 11 pm, the couple was thrown semi-naked onto the road. A passer-by phoned the police which then collected the couple and moved the pair to the hospital. The girl had been hit with the iron rod for nearly forty five minutes.
“It appears to be that a rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines… That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines,” said a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital where the woman is being treated.
What were the First Questions that were asked –
1. What was the girl wearing?
2. Why was she out post 9pm in the night?
3. Why was she alone with a boy?
We live in a society where daughters are asked Not to get raped. As if it were an option they can avoid. We are told to hide our faces in shame, if we were to be abused, eve teased, harrased and sweared at. It is ok to live in wed lock comprising of physical abuse than to file for divorce.
It is “culture” to be tolerant and toil away as a women, as it is testimony to your femininity.
Damini had her intestines completely removed. If she manages to live, she will live on intravenous fluids for life. Her partner will require extensive therapy to overcome what he has experienced.
I am furious. Enraged. I’ve been eve teased before. I’ve been bullied by coward men. I’ve been followed home and abused. And I have been taught to be perfectly silent about it. There would be repercussions if I made anyone “uncomfortable” with my woman problems.
If anything, I now feel the need to be more shameless. To be more impolite. To be more zealous and rebellious. I cannot sleep tonight. I do not think I will sleep in peace again.
To only think, I was in Delhi 7 days ago. *jitters* Only 6 months after a minor Girl was openly molested on road by a group of men in Guwahati, enjoying every fistful grope and video taped for the world to see.
I do understand the process of Law takes time and the constitutional protocols must seep through layers of bureaucratic, bribe sucking, male chauvinist, porn addicted middle aged crises law makers.
I do understand, while the tinted Bus in which Damini was raped and her insides were castrated outside, passed three police vans during the assault, meant the Delhi Police has no better way of knowing how to do its job.
I understand, that now in spite of everything and the arrests made, the Delhi police is resorting to providing a “high security” getaway for the alleged. Life imprisonment is as good as it gets. Isn’t that perfect.
I understand. I’ve understood.
I’m a woman. Nuff said.
Update: 29th December 2012
I woke up to find several BBM updates screaming R.I.P. My heart wrenched because of what I was dreading the most. Last I knew she was flown to Singapore for treatment at the Mt. Elizabeth Hospital. She didn’t make it.
This was murder. Rape is murder. Murder of hopes, dreams. Murder of ambition, prayers and everything good in this cruel world. This young brave women, will never have another birthday, never go on a date, be married or live to have a family of her own. She will never complete her education nor will she live to support her family.
Her family will wake up to an empty room everyday. Her friend will forever remember the heinous crime, where he was beaten to unconsciousness and stripped naked, thrown out of a moving vehicle. This family has been scarred.
India is a place, where girls are neither safe inside the womb nor outside.
Damini a.k.a Nirbhaya died a fighting hero.
A little part of me died today. Weeping inconsolably I found the strength to get out of bed and walk to my laptop to know of her last.
Her body was prepared in a funeral parlor in Singapore, before the coffin began its journey back to India with her parents who were at her bedside when she was pronounced dead at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
Just yesterday, a punjabi teenager who was gang raped in November (yes, we didn’t know of the crime until yest.) committed suicide, giving into the pressure by her attackers and the cheap police officers in Punjab, who would call her in the wee hours of the night and ask ” Rape kaise kiya unhone”? ( tell us, how did they rape you?). She was asked to visit the station alone, and pressurized to drop the charges. She left behind a video recording her ordeal and a letter with the name of the accused. Within, 24 hours, Damini left us.
I wait for the day, we can walk the streets to buy groceries for our children with a promising contentment t return home safe and unharmed. I wait for the day, I can stroll in the park with him, without the fear of being battered by a mob and left naked and exposed to the eyes of the world to see.
We have lost. Dear Daughters, Girls, Wives, Sisters and Mothers, do not cease to fight. We promised Damini we’d fight. We promised never to give up. We promised, that we’d look after even if she was gone. We promised.
On the 4th of January, Father of the victim Badri Singh, revealed her name to the world. Her name was Jyothi Singh Pandey.