Of Lost Opportunities

Dear govt of India,


BBC is not who you should have a grouse with. Pick the right battle- for this is an important one.

This isn’t the first documentary that will get made on the Dec 16 rape. This certainly isn’t the last. Or for that matter, the best or the most nuanced summation of what happened.

It merely puts together voices of all those involved. Was what the rapist said wrong? Of course it was! The men raped her so brutally she should not have survived a day, let alone a week.

What were we expecting? Remorse? Guilt? Shame?

That’s a tall order. And we don’t live in an ideal, utopian world. I wish we did. I wouldn’t be writing this rant if that were true.

There was a reason when the verdict was announced the HC called it ‘the rarest of rare crimes’. The brutality of the attack was a clear indication of the depths these men were capable of stooping to. Why is their appeal still pending with the SC? Why hasn’t the sentence that was handed to them been executed?¬†Are we still expecting them to reform, show us a change of heart?

Like someone very rightly said, the documentary is NOT about India’s Daughter. It exposes the truth about India’s sons. It’s an uncomfortable watch- and what appals me the most- is how on one hand you have the rapist who speaks in this absolutely matter of fact tone about how the rape was provoked and recycles the old ‘she asked for it’ argument. But the fact remains, atleast he is inside jail. At least, HE is no longer a menace to society.

But, what about his lawyers? What about the two men who talk about how women have no place in Indian culture? Who brazenly defend their idea of ‘the ideal woman’- one who shouldn’t be out on the streets for then ‘she is asking to be sullied?’

Where is our outrage over that? Why don’t we care?

These men aren’t alone. Heck, I’ve heard many women talk like this. This isn’t about how men in India don’t respect women. It’s about how women in India aren’t respected. Period.

We live in a day and age where in other countries same sex marriages are getting legalised a dime a dozen. Here, back home in India- martial rape is still not considered a criminal offence.

Here, rape is STILL about the woman’s attire, her desire to not conform to archaic gender roles and about men ‘teaching’ modern women a lesson.

Why I think everyone SHOULD watch that documentary is because now you can look the devil in the eye- know your enemy. THIS is what women in the country have to worry about. THIS is what we are scared will happen to us.

THIS is why we feel victimized, hounded, backed into a corner, angry, upset, disappointed.

What we should worry about is the fact that there are thousands like the rapists and their lawyers who haven’t been caught. Who walk among us. Who could be raping another hapless woman while you’re reading this.

So, stop flailing your arms at how the documentary shouldn’t have been telecast. You’ve ensured everyone who wasn’t going to watch the documentary will now have a reason to watch it. You’ve ensured the documentary will be success.

Now it’s your turn to ensure that what happened on Dec 16, what happened last month in Rohtak and what happens nearly every 20 minutes to some girl somewhere in India never, ever happens again.

Yours truly,

An outraged 24-yr-old girl

About Neha Poonia

Fledgling Journalist. Unapologetic Feminist. Devourer of the written word. Closet Time Traveler. I write to make sense of the chaos in my head and around me. ( @NehaPoonia on twitter)

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