This is about an alarmingly shortening distance from Delhi to Kerala to our homes, wherever it may be. If the title gave you an inclination that this is going to be a short story or something, I am sorry, this is downright facts.
I am speaking about the brutal rape, and murder of Nirbhaya in Delhi in 2012 and the inhuman rape and murder of Jisha while she was at her own home in the Ernakulam district of Kerala a few days before in a similar fashion. Don’t waste your time guessing about the similarity. I will tell you: rode thrust into genitals bringing out intestines; 11 inch wound in the chest, made by something sharp, perhaps a knife (you should understand here that the rapist came well prepared: to kill her after the act); wound all over her body. Last time something struck me so emotionally was when Soumya (again from Kerala; most literate, I suppose), a girl in her early 20s was pushed out of a running train, raped and murdered by repeatedly striking a stone over her forehead. Diabolic act.
My aim is not to give you gory details of all such unbelievably horrible incidents, but to share this anxiety: the distance from Delhi to Kerala to our homes is shortening at an alarming pace. It was Soumya in 2010, Nirbaya in 2012, Jisha in 2016, AND IS THE NEXT VICTIM AT MY (YOURS, TOO) HOME?
The need of the hour is to pay heed to the signs of time and wake up. Never to sleep again, at least until we drive home to the consciousness of the Indian society that rape is the most heinous crime and rapists do not have the right to a dignified life or death. How are we going to do it? I do not know all the ways we can sound the alarm to resuscitate all the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters of our nation from their slumber, but I know one way that will surely work; one way for which I do not need anybody’s permission; one way that God has bestowed his blessing upon me with: I AM A TEACHER.
Some say a teacher can affect eternity; well if so what if all the teachers of this nation work together? We are unorganized and working together to chain this brutality may seem strange, so let us work individually. You the way you like; I the way I feel it fit. We have a common aim: to shake the consciousness of our nation, to sensitize our nation through our students.
I am not of the opinion that women are to be protected; nobody needs to work like a body guard wherever they go. BUT GIRLS AND WOMEN ARE TO BE RESPECTED: wherever they are, whatever time of day or night it is, women are to be respected. When a woman is alone, it is not a mere opportunity, but it is an opportunity to be more responsible.
Wake up educators; before the trance begins…the distance is shortening…