A medical student in her twenties, who was traveling with her male friend in a whiteline bus from Munirka to Uttam Nagar area in west Delhi, was allegedly gang-raped by a group of men inside the moving bus and thrown off the vehicle near Mahipalpur in south Delhi on late Sunday night. Read the full news here.
The girl lies in a critical condition in an ICU battling for her life as her male friend lies in another, as he too was beaten up by the molesters. A movie night turned into a nightmare for these two young souls. The girl, a medical student and the boy, a passed out engineer and a civil services aspirant wouldn’t have thought to witness such a night in their lives. But, it happened. The girl was gangraped by five men in a moving bus, after beating up her boyfriend with a rod. The girl has been hit with a blunt object and besides injuries from the sexual assault, her whole intestine has been damaged.
As i read this news, however hard i tried to forget about it and focus on my studies, i just couldn’t. What i did was read more about it, and while doing so i came across many comments below this news. Comments by fellow Indians, blaming Shiela Dixit, Delhi Police, Hindus, Muslims ( a rape can instigate communal riots in our country), bus drivers, education, hormones, the list goes on. What no one thought about, was the condition of that girl. The news channels got a new thing to discuss, bloggers like me got a new post, police got a new job in hand,but what about the girl. What did she get? Lifelong scars, fear, or probably death. Soon enough we’ll also get few people questioning the girl over what she was doing with a male friend at 11 pm in a bus. A certain sect of people in our country believe that modernisation, mobile phones, television, and even chowmein are responsible for the growing crime rates against women. To clarify the doubts of such people i would like to write about one such incident that i can never forget. Infact whenever i read or hear about rapes, the same incident come across my mind.
It is a really old incident, probably in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s when i was around 10-11 years old. I lived in a really small town not a modernised city like Delhi. There were no cell phones. The only channel we watched was Doordarshan. Like everyday i was reading the newspaper and in the front page was the news of a women who was raped at her own house. Her son was first murdered in front of her eyes( hit by an iron rod) and then she was raped by 3-4 men who were hiding beneath the bed in the daytime. As soon as it was dark, they came out and raped her. The lady here wasn’t a modern(in indian dictionary) girl who could surge the hormones of these innocent men by wearing provocative dresses but a married young woman with a 5 year old kid. She was infact the wife of a man working in the Indian army, who was posted elsewhere during the time of the incident. I read this news and i didn’t understand anything, though i knew that ‘hatya’ meant murder, ‘Balatkaar’ was too difficult a word to understand at that young age. I was a kid, i didnt knew what happened. I understood all those terms when i grew up. Why this incident is still so fresh in my memory is because, i saw those 2 dead bodies. The mortgage was very close to my home, i just went nearby to buy something and saw those two bodies wrapped in white cloth. And i instantly realised that those are the bodies of the people i read about. I still can’t forget that, not even after all these years.
This incident is about 12 years old, but as i thought about it and about this Delhi girl today, i can’t help but cry, cry for their loss, for the pain they went through. They were punished for no fault of theirs.
The police can find those suspects, there could be court cases, they could get Death penalty for this heinous crime ( which i don’t think they will in our country) but could we ever make them feel what this girl felt last night. No, we can’t. Though i strongly believe that rape is the cruelest crime, i don’t think that death is the ultimate punishment. Death means freedom. It won’t help anyone of us to make that girl feel any better. If somehow we accept or digest the thing that a single person raped a girl, i just can’t believe how could five people turn into devils at the same time. Why didn’t their conscience stop them, not even one of them? How on earth can someone be so brutal?
As i write about it here, that girl is fighting for her life. Last night when all of us were securely sleeping in our rooms, that girl was getting raped in a moving bus, in front of her boyfriend. What could be more terrible. Death? I don’t think so.
I could have been in place of that girl. It could have been my friend, or my sister. Or you. I am scared, i am crying, i don’t know what to do about it? I just can’t take it off my mind.
Can she really live again? I don’t have any answer.