ASIFA. The only name that I’ve seen or heard in the last 48 hours. Her story has abashed me to the core.
On January 10, Kathua’s Rasana Village in Jammu & Kashmir an 8 years old Asifa Bano went through something that’s enough to shame the humanity.
The innocent child was gang raped innumerable times within a span of 3 days and later her crumpled and mutilated body was found in the forest, smeared with blood. It seemed another isolated, horrific episode of sexual violence in India, perpetrated against a powerless girl by brutal men.
But it’s not just that. It’s a million more things that as a nation we’ve been ignoring since long. And this ignorance haunts me, not only me but every woman in this country. We live in a country where teachers teach the girls to wear longer skirts, where parents don’t let their daughters step out after dark, where priests rape children, where fathers rape their daughters, where police tortures the victim and not the culprit, where men masturbate at women in public transport, where women lack unity, where our law lacks seriousness and we lack empathy & humanity.
Yet again, despite all this, we have let ourselves down. Not only by letting something this gruesome happen but by letting it become another battleground in India for political and religious wars.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday finally broke his silence on Asifa Bano’s episode saying, “Justice will be done and not a single criminal will be spared in this case.”
What sort of justice are we talking about? We have become so accustomed to all and any crime that the aftermath is just another drill. Why is it that the hell must be experienced before there is a cry for life? Rape, then brutal murder, anger amongst the civilians, cute little candle march for no reason, a trending hashtag, a few tweets and then forgotten in 4 weeks. This is how we operate.
This is our country, where people of the ruling regime plan the rape of an 8-year-old Muslim girl, Asifa to spread terror among the Muslim community makes me sick. Its enough of the ideologies and the hateful monsters that they empower.
Yes, I’m ashamed to be a part of this community and this country as a whole.
I fail to realize how many more episodes like Nirbhaya, Shakti Mills, Uber Rape case, Asifa etc. we need for a stringent law and order enforcement against such heinous and inhuman acts of violence against women in our country. Or we have just forgotten them already?
Each one of us from the female community faces sexual harassment, discrimination, molestation, stalking, threats of violence in our day to day life, What next? Are we waiting to become a nation of men with unsatiable lust?
Today I grieve for Asifa. To me, she isn’t a Muslim or a girl child, or someone from a lower caste. To me Asifa is India. And so, I grieve for the India that is dead.