A fire that will not douse
Words mean nothing today. All those who could have done something to help the girl or ensure that such rapes and gang rapes do not happen with unfailing regularity all over India have chosen to resort to silence or stick to inane cliches
This is not about politics. It is about persistent gender violence, starting with foeticide and ending with refusing to register FIRs when rape victims complain.
For years there has been a conspiracy of silence. Politicians want to pamper vote banks that thrive on notions of male supremacy. So khaps are indulged.
Religious minorities are indulged to follow practices that demean women. Even when doctors are caught red-handed terminating pregnancies based on sex tests, they get away scot free. There is a clear and open prejudice against women.
I can only hope this incident has lit a fire that will not douse so easily. Only then will this death be avenged. Only then will our attitude towards women change.
Every party has politicians today who speak dirty about women openly, unchallenged. Starting with the son of the President of India. No one sacks Abhijit Mukherjee. No one sacks Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. No one sacks Banwarilal Singhal.
What the government offers instead are lathi charges, tear gas shells and water cannons against student protestors. What they want to do is impose Section 144, shut down metro stations, control and censor social media, punish young people who want to voice their anger and anguish against a system that constantly brutalises them, treats them with contempt and apathy.
But this time, I fear, it will not work. No one will cower before the brute might of the State any more.”