The Story of Nirbhaya
It’s almost 3 years since Nirbhaya has left us. On 16th December 2012, a young 23-year-old girl was brutally raped inside a moving bus. She gave us the courage to fight, and she inspired us. We wanted her to come back to life at any cost.
But we couldn’t save her. She passed away on the 29th of December 2012. People called her Nirbhaya, Jyothi, Damini, and Braveheart. People promised to get her justice.
The protests that followed showed the zero-tolerance level people had reached. The government launched many schemes to protect many more Nirbhayas like her. But then, all these schemes seem to have confined themselves to paper.
We lost many brave hearts like her. And who so ever raised their voices were suppressed. Justice is still a far-off dream for many. Governments have changed, but things remain more or less the same.
Things seem to have worsened with time. Questions are being raised against boys and girls who sit together in class, and religious leaders publicly declare that the duty of women is to cook food and give birth to children. And as always, what you wear is still not your choice.
A few days back, a minor girl was raped by her classmates, and these brutal so-called classmates went to the extent of circulating videos on Whatsapp. A month ago, news channels were flooded with Durga Puja celebration telecasts, and people were running behind girls for Kanya Puja.
And then there were girls crying out for help and kindness in different parts of our country. While Maa Durga, Maa Saraswati, and Maa Laxmi were being worshiped, Durga, Saraswati, Laxmi, and many others were trying all possible ways to protect themselves from evil eyes.
But in a land of hypocrites, these cries seemed too insignificant. She left us with the dream of a nation where girls can live peacefully. But it seems that her dream will continue to remain just a dream for decades to come.
You are safe if you are a minor
The minor who was involved in the rape will be soon set free. He was sent to a juvenile home for an imprisonment of 3 years. The maximum punishment that they could give to a minor in India.
Nirbhaya’s parents have recently moved to the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), stating that the minor will still threaten society. They have also demanded that the court should show the face of the minor to the world.
With more and more minors being involved in such brutal acts, the government came up with the Juvenile Justice Bill, 2015, which allows juveniles of 16–18 involved in Heinous Offences to be tried as adults. The Lok Sabha has passed the act, and it is now pending consideration in Rajya Sabha.
The Act has raised many questions regarding child rights, but you can leave those little demons like that. Imprisonment of just 3 years for someone who has brutally raped and killed a young girl?
Such petty punishments for such monstrous acts will only lead to an increase in such acts. Nirbhaya’s parents are organizing a tribute (Sradhanjali) to her on the 16th of December.
We need to wake up the Kali in us.
With crimes against women increasing at an alarming rate and with our political and religious leaders coming out publicly supporting the criminals and blaming the victim, the only ones who can help us are ourselves. No one is going to come and save us. It’s time to wake the Maa Kali inside each of us to destroy the evil ones.