How Much Is Too Much?

“Society had cursed ‘her’ long before and now ‘she’ can’t even turn to the Goddess to seek solace.”
Shaped as a blessing, the world named her ‘burden’. Her existence was curbed right in the mother’s womb. Decades after, beating the superstitions, surpassing all hurdles that darkened her way, she is rising with a brighter shine. But has her dawn been eclipsed? She is still desperate for some security amid this pandemonium but her culprit has already found a safer place to molest her. And she questions again, “Was it better to die in that sacred womb, for even the temples have become the sinners’ home?”
Rape. Molestation. Sexual abuse. Terms which unfortunately have become a staple of our vocabularies. Monsters, breathing and walking among us, devour the modesty and honour of the women. She could be a mother, a sister or a wife. Trying to fit the victims into a demographic won’t work, for they could be anyone. Instead of trying to come up with a concrete solution, we’ve managed to find the answer in the clothes, lifestyle, and choices of women. However, as time and time again we’ve seen, rape has turned a blind eye to clothes, caste, and age. What it sees is just gender.
Women are afraid to walk free on the streets, panicking with every laughter and every flicker of light. Could anyone have dreamt of such an India where the girl, right from the womb till her senile days, is terrified of her inability to protect her modesty and honor? A place where her vagina represents her position in the society? A place where she needs protection even from her own kith and kin; leave aside the outer world? Certainly not.
Recently, the rape and subsequent murder of a little girl, Asifa, in Kathua has come to the fore. The barbarity and sheer animosity with which the perpetrators brutalized the little girl is shocking, to say the least. To make matters worse, the vile act was committed due to religious hatred and animosity. How could an eight-year-old innocent get caught in the crossfire of a debate raging for ages? How could a life be snuffed out just for settling some petty scores? How could we, as a society, let this happen?
We have been deaf, dumb and blind spectators to these heinous acts for far too long. We have grown a skin so thick that such things do not even scratch our conscience. The outrage every such case deserves is limited to a candle march, a hashtag on social media, or an online campaign. But how long do we remember it? Not until another such dreadful incident pops up as a news headline. This is where we fail as a society and as a democracy at large.
A country can be termed developed if and only if it is developed economically, politically and socially. But we live in a country where one crime evokes more criminality faster than society evokes its conscience and the bail appeal of the convict gets accepted even before the post-mortem report of the murdered woman arrives.
How many more such shameful incidents must we witness before we change? How many innocents must fall prey to these animals before it gets too much? How many Asifas must we lose, before it's too late?

"सिसकियाँ साँसों से लड़ती रही, आबरू की हार में,
तड़पती रही वह लहुलुहान, दरिंदों के प्रहार में |
राम और रहीम को खींच लाए वो, रखने अपना मान,
ऐसी सुन्दरता से जुड़ा है हमारा हिन्दुस्तान, हमारा हिन्दुस्तान ||"

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D361 is the official magazine of NITR.