Thursday, 5 March 2015

I'm Not Proud of My Country

When I started writing this evening, it'd been a simple enough fictional poem. Bu when I saw the Nirbhaya documentary, I changed my course. Here's what I wrote on Medium.

Please do see the documentary before the Indian government acts like a douchebag, and bans it. For those unable to open or access the link, following is what I wrote:

Hi. I’m a daughter, a sister, a friend, a cousin. A woman. I AM A PERSON.
I’m an Indian. And I’m not proud of my country.

I belong to a family that’s liberal. A family that is open-minded. A family who was proud to have their first born child, a girl. A family that doesn’t assume the limits on my clothing. A family that doesn’t bar me from partying late in the night. A family that has every means to keep me safe and protected. A family that loves me. And I thank divine providence every single day of my life.

I’m not like the little girls born in poor families who judge them down to be a mortifying curse. Or the families who are only too happy to sell their daughters -who haven’t yet struck puberty, to be raped, beaten, humiliated and stripped off of every ounce of integrity- for some money that won’t last them for even a mere month. Or the families who rape their own daughters for an orgasm that’ll last them few seconds against the lifelong dishonour to that girl.

I’m not the little girl who was sold, only to be trafficked from one hand to another like filth, so that her brother can be educated. I’m not the trafficked little girl whose vagina has felt semen much before her own blood. I’m not the little girl, who is ogled, not because she might/mightn’t have a bosom or a delectable behind, but only because she has a vagina, only because she’s a means to a horrendous end.

I’m not the teenager who is embarrassed of my changing body because of the comments the roadside romeos throw my way. I’m not the teenager who’s scared about informing her own mother of her vagina bleeding for the first time, knowing that information could well send her off as a marriage proposal by her father. I’m not the teenager who’s scared to go to school because, she sees the men who have raped every girl in the village after her puberty struck, on her way to there. I’m not the teenager who can’t see a movie poster of her favourite actor without being beaten to scraps by the men in her family.

Thank God, I’m not the daughter of the bus driver who drove around listening to the yelps of the girl while she was being put through hell.
Thank God, I’m not the daughter/sister of either of those men who stooped lower than the hellish standards of every universe when they raped her.
Thank God, I’m not the daughter of the rapists’ defence lawyers who don’t shudder before calling themselves educated.
Thank God, I’m not the daughter of the Commissioner who thinks the city is safe, and proudly states the charge sheet was filed within 17 days, instead of 90, of the crime; instead of being ashamed that such a heinous act happened in the first place.

The rapists are right. We need to get punished. We need to be taught a lesson. How dare we wear anything but salwar-kameez. How dare we even think of talking to a male other than whoever our husband would be. How dare we use our own two feet and walk out out of the house after sunset. How dare we scream or retaliate while we’re being taught a lesson through rape. How dare we consider ourselves, even for a second, anything but a male dildo. How dare we consider ourselves, a human.

That night, they didn’t rape that woman. They raped her courage, her spirit, her integrity, her strength, her smiles, her joys. THEY. RAPED. HER. RIGHT. TO. FEEL. LIKE. A. FUCKING. HUMAN. BEING.

I can’t understand her pain. Or of any woman who is put through this hell. I never will. I can never understand her guilt of dying due to pain. Her guilt of not being strong enough to fight that pain.
I cannot understand what it feels like to have my screams muffled while I’m hurting.
I cannot understand her willingness to live and fight while her body and soul are ordering her to die.
And I cannot understand the mindset of this country, who worships goddesses, but needs to have an example carved by the humiliating rape and death of infinite women to understand how backward, still, our country is.

India, is not a the world’s most powerful developing country. India, is the home of educated illiterates.

I’m a daughter, a sister, a friend, a cousin. A woman. I AM A PERSON.
I’m an Indian. And I’m not proud of my country.