Week 5- India- Raped of her Dignity

She was strong
Maybe not physically, but mentally still.
Tried to push him away,
While he pierced deeper into the folds of her skin.
They all watched, as if it was a movie scene
“Oh, what a pity!” They’d say.
But not one was ready to stop the reel.

Turning her head sideways,
She tried to understand what pleasure he got
Was it the fear in her eyes? The warmth of her skin?
Oh! But she was only just a child with her childhood lost!
They all watched, as if it was a movie scene
“How could someone be so cruel!” They’d say.
But not one was ready to stop the reel.

What did I do to deserve this, she thought.
Was it my sleeveless frock?
But I love the pink that it has,
I’m only just a little girl to my dad!
And they all watched her misery,
As if it was a movie scene.
“Hang in there, you poor girl.” They’d say.
But not one was ready to stop the reel.
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She cried so much that it hurt
Tried to forget the man’s foul scent
Tried to lock her memory and throw away the keys
But all she wanted was for him to repent.
They watched her agony, as if it was a movie scene
“Oh, the laws are too lenient” They’d say.
But not one was ready to stop the reel.

Finally having nothing else to watch.
She closed her eyes for the last time.
Sleep, you little girl. Now the time has come.
No this world doesn't deserve you still.
I know that you are hurt.
What he did was wrong.
You are hurt more, because we did nothing at all!
We watched you lose everything
We had nothing else but our words of pity
We called you the brave daughter of India
But, it wasn't the titles that you needed.

We did nothing to make sure,
That the reel won’t play again
We did nothing to protect our daughter today.
The man who killed the child in you,
Might at worst, get a death sentence.
I know, my love, that death isn't

Nearly as close to the hell you've lived.
Tomorrow, there will be another you.
She will go through the same
And we will all be watching, like a movie.
And not one will stop the reel.

And we will be sad, for a day or two.
Light up a candle, and march our way through.
And then it’ll all be forgotten.
And then again another reel will be played,
Another you portrayed,
The movie will go on…

We all, not mere spectators,
But a part of the movie too
Raped of our conscious minds,
Sit and watch and pity,
But nobody to save the child.
Let them walk away, with all the wrongs they do.
“Oh, but what can we the people do!”
Has crippled us through.
The blame is on each of us,
We've only used our words.
The graver power that humanity has,
Has been lost in the crippled mind.
Save her today.
Save her tomorrow.
She could be someone you dearly hold close.
Show that you care for the child.

-Aabha Morey (Writer of the Week)

Grant Medical College, Mumbai


“Breaking News: 5 Year Old raped!”
'Skim through all possible news channels. Log into your Facebook account.
Post a status: "OMG! Lost faith in Humanity. Poor Girl *Add some trending hash-tags ". Hear Arnab Goswami blabbering on News Hour. Give one or two opinions to thin air.' 
Yes. That's all we manage to do. Put a black dot and claim that we have done our part.
Now, the Government: Stand in the Parliament. Claim that the victim, if survives, will only be a ‘zinda laash’. Block all Pornographic Sites. Propose a ban on Alcohol.
Do rapes happen so often in the UK (to quote an example)? No.
Have they banned alcohol? Ban on pornographic films? Debates on National Television? No.
A change in mentality is not a one day Procedure. The mountain of cruel and disgraceful character will slowly erode, giving in to the soil of freshness.

SIES Graduate School of Technology, Navi Mumbai.

My mother is being molested; she is being stripped of her dignity with every tear in her beautiful saffron, white and green. She screams, she wails as we helplessly watch. Our protectors are walking past turning a deaf ear and faking a blind eye. Our motherland has been molested, left to lick her own wounds and pick up after the children that failed her. It's about not being bogged down by obsolete social customs or subversions and escaping from the claustrophobia that pervades you without you knowing and lays you down to your baser instincts. Freedom from uninvited tragedy and freedom from unjustified misfortune! Being able to walk around without fear is what it's all about, because they have struck the hearts of many, taking away our freedom and equality. You are not at fault. You didn't cause the abuse to occur, and you are not responsible for the violent behaviour of someone else. Being free, in essence and soul, because it's beautiful. That's what the fight should be about. That's what we're all striving for.

-Shruthi Venkatesan
Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune.

Some blame the attire, but that I feel is asinine satire.
The world isn't fair. The people we pledge to be our brothers, devastate the monogamy of our sisters and mothers.
We all stand there with our heads down , ashamed of their exploit. Rage about the society, the sinner , But the truth is that the devil lies right here in every one of us. Our duty is not to punish the perpetrator it is to lull the felonious within us , within the society within the frightened souls who'll never see life as it is. Let's change our psyche which punishes the convict with a 14 year jail sentence while the victim is imprisoned forever.

-Siddharth Shetty
Technical Director, Scintilla
SIES Graduate School of Technology, Navi Mumbai.

“Next station, Molestation”
This is a slogan common to us Indians these days.

It’s been four months since the terrible incidence of a 23 year old’s rape. Nirbhaya succumbed to her injuries but her spirit would live on. The country took an oath to learn from this terrible ordeal, learn to fight it, and learn to uphold its dignity. But did it? We have another case much more gruesome than the last, much more terrifying. 

An innocent five year old girl was raped. No, “raped” is not the word. What she was subjected to by a neighbour is much, much worse than what the word “rape” is said to mean. While the child physically heals slowly, one couldn't possibly imagine what her mental state is, and what it will be when she finally understands the actions of the monster that put her through all of it.
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Once again nationwide debates ensue. Once again we find the society split in two. While one screams for the reform of the very core of our social norms, the other half protests it, asserting that it is a woman’s fault that she got raped. While some say the government and the system is to be blamed for almost negligible action, others say it’s the patriarchal system of the country. So who or what is to be blamed? Illiteracy? The patriarchal society? The regressive mentality? The passive government? The less-than-helpful law enforcement?

Let alone this particular case of the poor child being subjected to a torture that cannot be described in words, it hadn't been a week since the rise of Nirbhaya’s case and spread of its news everywhere, we had another rape case crop up in Delhi itself. Today we have more than thousands of rape cases pending. So many victims waiting to get justice delivered. So many perpetrators still at large and so many females left with a feeling of perpetually being at unease, being unsafe in their own locality, in their own household.

They say “Incredible India”. It sure is. Today, our country isn't safe for little five year old toddlers, the innocent, gentle and fragile folk- let alone grown up women. It is but the only place where you’d find where legislators are busy debating over making of laws about watching porn when there’s something more important, more urgent and matter that has to be tended to: the rape of our daughters, the rape of our nation.

Sadly, we, the people of this nation, live in a state of incredulity, incredulity over the loss of India’s glory, her dignity.

-Revathi Vyas
V.G.Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai.

Indians ,they are so proud of their culture, ethics, values .Wherever you go around the world you will find Indians boasting about ‘sanskriti’ which goes missing in the western culture ,they say so! Social problems.. Where won't you find them?? Of course everywhere!
May it be a western culture or the sternness of the Indian culture! When the intensity of a problem goes deep into its roots that is when it becomes difficult for the society to handle it. If the balance and the awfulness of a problem is felt at the first pinch, that is when we have a chance to stop it.

A country with so much of ethics and values is lying down in the cradle of corruption and with no hopes to improve. In this country, people have always experienced a patriarchal attitude towards life. From the old times, women were taken for granted to work in the kitchen and to give birth to babies! Is this for what we are born? NO! After several years of independence, what have women for themselves is a harsh truth. While walking on an empty street, while going to office, while being alone at home, while going out for shopping or for a walk, is she safe enough to roam around today is always left like a negligible topic. But till when this topic will be just a question or a thought.
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The mentality of some men has gone so much to the level of disgrace, that apart from knowing the consequences for that woman ahead, they opt for this crime. We switch on the TV today, and we’ll surely see one rape case. What encourages them to do so , is the frame of mind that allows them to commit such a shameful crime to a woman.

Talking about protesting or taking action to all this is not the solution. All this will create chaos, nothing else. Something that can solve is this awareness and proper education in the nook and corner of the country. Now it's time to sow seeds in such a way, that no poisonous yield comes out in the future. India and the people want their dignity back! Some say it has been raped but still our hopes won't die.

-Sai Naware
SIES College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Mumbai.

 Never in my wildest dreams had I thought of coming across a question like- IS INDIA SAFE FOR WOMEN?

Sadly, this is the condition of our country. People are now compelled to think twice before entering our nation. Women's safety has become a major concern. 

5 year old's rape and 23 year old's rape and death has created quite a fear in the minds of people particularly the women. Not less than 393 rape cases have been registered in first three months of this year. Sorry to say but Delhi is now known as "rape capital of India".

What has really gone wrong with people? Is there nothing called humanity? Who is to be blamed? Or is this something to do with our parenting or orthodox lineage?

There are bazillion questions to ask but the answers are very few. Not only the parents but also the lack of acknowledgement of law is one of the main causes. No one can be really pinpointed for raping women or maybe India's dignity. This will make the predicament worse.
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For a country that has such an incredible history and such a phenomenally bright future, sexual harassment and violence towards women is disfiguring blight in India's record. Women- who now play an equally important role in the progress of the nation- why are they being tortured and assaulted? Why can't they see that wearing clothes of one's choice in NOT a crime but raping IS.? Stop blaming WOMEN for everything that goes wrong in our country. Where goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati and Durga are worshiped then why are today's women assaulted? Are they not their forms?

The death sentence would be too easy as a punishment for the rapist and it obviously cannot equate to the pain that the victim has undergone. The punishment has to be intensely grave. Lastly, how many more rapes and brutalities does India need in order to wake up its conscience?

Women! Get up and smell the coffee. The world is too busy (read ignorant) to understand your silence. YOU need to fight for your own rights and self worth; to make India a brighter and safer place to live in and to mould the next batch of humans.

-Karishma Manvi

Ramnivas Ruia Junior College, Mumbai

Woman– an effigy of veneration, placidness and daintiness. When such divinity is encumbered by frail minds, the respect we have shown her has all been sieved to naught.
The present India where goddesses are worshipped exceedingly has been witnessing cases of sexual exploitation of women and even children where the numbers are quadrupling with every sunrise. A place where women and children are not revered and loved, such a place loses its soberness. Thus, India has been raped of its dignity. Why do women and children need to be protected? Have Indian minds led astray? What is the most severe punishment given to the offenders? If the questions above find its answers then India will no longer face such a pitiable state. 

A nightmare it is
May be even worse
You gnaw my body
Showing no remorse.
See the roles I play
I am no figurine of clay
Mother, sister, a consort
A creature with zealous heart.
Open your eyes
You are no fiend
You have my soul
You have my core
What I really care for
Is only to be adored.
Poignant it is
To see you suffer
My agony unrivalled
To your eyes of dismay.
Hold my hands
Let’s walk through the rock-strewn
A beguile deem
To breathe sanguine.

-Priya Girijan
SIES Graduate School of Technology, Navi Mumbai.

We call India our homeland and our motherland. "Bharat Mata ki Jai", we shout out proudly. Sadly, the definitions for 'motherland' and 'mata' have changed now. These are words which are symbolic of dignity and integrity. However, in the present scenario, where all dignity has been lost and stripped off by beasts, we have lost the privilege to be proud of our motherland.

In a country where mothers, sisters and daughters are treated with no respect, we dare chant the words "Bharat Mata ki Jai".

We preach to female deities and bow down to them yet in reality, we are brimming with misogyny and patriarchy. We claim to be advancing into a bright future yet socially, we are moving backwards into a grim state.
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Women do not need to be pitied or felt sorry for, they need to be empowered and respected. It is not the government or the police who is in charge of a woman's dignity. They have done their part of the job by making equal laws and making sure they're executed and followed; it is our responsibility, as an independent & free society to give women the due respect and dignity they deserve and are entitled to.

We need to restore India's dignity before it's too late and before India turns into a savage and vegetative state. If each one of us respects women like we respect our mothers and treat them as our equals, in no time we'll start to see the difference.

For only when our mother's dignity is restored will she be able to provide and care for us.

-Abhinav Chugh
Birla Vidya Niketan, New Delhi

On December 16, 2012, a 23 yr old medical student was brutally raped in Delhi. This incident made to the international news. India was so shocked at the level of brutality that people took to the streets to pour out their grief and anger. Attitude towards women are deeply rooted in old tradition and cultural beliefs. The society always looks down at the woman and holds her responsible for everything while the men are always excused. "Mistakes cannot happen just from one side. They should have called those men as brothers to prevent the attack" -Asaram Bapu only reflects on the mentality of the Indian society. This incident awakened the whole nation to protest against such hideous crimes.

Some section of the society realized that only the rapists are to be blamed while the rest continued playing victim blaming games.
Just after a few of months of this, we encounter another brutal rape of a five year old. Rapes cannot be totally stopped by bringing changes in the laws; the change has to be in our thinking and attitude towards this whole issue. Rapes are always associated with women. But this is not true. There are men who get raped. There is a general societal perception that men cannot be raped because men always want sex and real men can control their social encounters. A man who claims to be raped is not really a man, either he is trying to cover up something or he is less of a man since he cannot fight another man. Men find it more difficult to share their experiences because no one believes him. So he sees as a bad sex and tries to move on.
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There are many girls as young as 8 yr old gets raped while it is not even considered as a rape. Yes true. Children of prostitutes. They have no way out. The only option they have is to enter the flesh trade like her mother since the society does not accept such children. They don't even have proper proofs of being Indian citizens. With such young children when they are raped, it is seen as a modern process for their business. It is usually believed that sex workers enter flesh trade out of choice. False. Majority is forced and has no way out. We need to bring these rape cases in public and laws should be made to help them out.

Only when we begin to understand that the victim is not to be blamed, the rapists are the real monsters who need to be punished not excused and when we begin to change ours and others attitude towards this issue- The long lost dignity of our motherland can be restored.

-Nevathika Narendran
Chief Communications Officer, Scintilla Weekly
SIES Graduate School of Technology, Navi Mumbai.

And special mention to,

Encroached by evil shadows of racism, selfishness, greediness she is being raped of her dignity... India, a nation where women are worshipped as goddesses; the Navratri festival wherein nine forms of goddess are being worshipped... now the bitter truth is that in the same land we have millions of women being harassed violently! Men here possess a recurring greed! Greed for wealth, power, fame which is so very evident to the globe that people who govern here are infamous for corruption! She is being humiliated by her own men! Though freedom is attained politically, still she is struggling against these evils to regain her dignity!

-Riya Iyer
SIES Graduate School of Technology, Navi Mumbai.

What does the recent spate of rape incidents indicate, what the cause is, why there are such cases and what can be done. Whatever it is but it has certainly pulled our heads down and the decision is to be taken now. Day after day we hear about a new rape case through the media. We must be well renowned with the Brutal Delhi rape case. I am not accusing media but the intricate reporting tactics itself has caused a negative wave of its own as more antisocial elements are now using it as a reference. Such incidents should be reported with care. The positive side of impact which was to be felt on government has, as usual damped away. The stakeholders of law blamed it on the increasing insane and aggressive behaviour of the general public and washed their hands off. It has also affected India internationally. The number of foreign tourists have reduced. Even the tourists are not spared. We are really in a fix. The aftermath of this incident is now like an albatross around the government’s neck. It is really shameful.
We all know that with strict implementation of laws, these incidents can be curbed. We don’t need any new laws, what we need is strict and fast implementation of the current law. We have already lost the dignity of our country now let us at least save its personality.

-Bijoy Ramakrishnan
SIES Graduate School of Technology, Navi Mumbai.

Delhi has somehow become synonymous with shame. Delhi continues to be the rape capital of the country. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics showed that Delhi registered 568 cases of rape in 2011. In the 2007-2011 period, Delhi topped the chart.
The story of 'Nirbhaya’ and her horrific death touched every Indian and we solemnly pledged to never let history repeat itself. But with 'Gudiya's’ incident, we were again ridiculed and shown that the animalistic approach towards women in Delhi has not lessened but has become worse. 
Now what will people who blame rape victims say? The girl wore revealing clothes? Had a wrong attitude? Wandered at night? Kept bad company?
Will we debate again and politicize the situation and wait for endless years for the Indian judiciary to take its course or will we actually do something about it ?
Will therapists be hanged? I hope they are hanged and they rot in hell. Will ‘Gudiya’ get justice?
If we want a change in the society we have to be that change.

-Monica Ghangale
Lokmaya Tilak College of Engineering, Navi Mumbai

It is nobody's contention that rape or murders can be totally removed from the day to day risks that life brings to the table. It is also nobody's contention that there is some truth in the reality that many rapes and murders take place within the immediate family, friends and neighbours circle. The main contention is this - where is governance on the larger issue of what they do to respond to such truths? Crime and violence are truths, hardly any society does not have them, but where are we as the world's largest democracy on this?

We also already know the answers. A large section of the police force is on so-called VVIP, VIP and similar duties.
The Police reforms have been in the wilderness for decades. Corruption top-down is now considered a perk of power so why pick on the Police alone. A commission of enquiry is announced. A statement about what we already know will be mumbled between lunch and high tea. Huge police set-up will take place all over the city. Protests and media coverage will be PERMITTED. Politicians will blame each other (as usual). Some junior officers will be suspended and WET postings will be re-auctioned at a higher rate of return, and THEY will continue to smirk at US for more than we need number of chat shows and TV bites. The law and order authorities in India have gone not just deaf and dumb to our issues, but also become immune to anything we say or write.
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Movies, religion, music and women themselves are all blamed for male sexual violence against women, but rapists are not held responsible. But there are other unhappy truths which have nothing, in the first case, to do with the authorities. They also have to do with the larger approach we as a people have in context with these realities.

So where does the police come into this, just because the victim was an OUTSIDER, and the whole apparatus of people and governance come together to protect the locals? Threats of rape as a means of CONTROLLING anybody who challenges the wrong-doing of misgovernment are facts of life. What is not acceptable is the way the Police refuses to act against such threats! (Referring to the recent bribe incident which came along the route of raping a 5-year old girl). Aamir Khan mentioned some facts about the North-East in one of his Satyameva Jayate episodes. But for we shameless Indians, it was merely a T.V. show. The family, friend, neighbour rapist also gets emboldened. It is hardly about women ASKING to be raped. It is now more about people knowing that rape will go UNPUNISHED. Those who are supposed to be governing us don't care any more about whether we are being raped or not. And so, it shows in the way the Police will respond.

A lot of how India will be in the future, how one half of the population will treat the other half, will depend on the lessons from parents and teachers. GPS and CCTVs, after all, cannot track what goes inside homes and the minds of men; they can only make our streets a bit safer. The violence to women within families is many times deadlier. And often it is this violence, the mentality and justification of it, that spirals away and gets carried out in cinema halls, moving auto-rickshaws and crowded malls. It is this that makes well-dressed men in sharp suits and shiny shoes travelling in planes and expensive trains say a woman is responsible for everything bad that happens to her.

The truth is this - Anecdotal. If you want to know, and it will not surprise many, write in. That's how bad things have become. The country has been well and truly raped, and every effort will be made, once again, to deflect the issue. It seems, the water cannons and tear gas and bullets are already ready. Considering the fact that there is still hope for justice...... India`s rape culture can be changed.

-Shatavarth Cheruvu
SIES Graduate School of Technology, Navi Mumbai.

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