IT was all over the news, and just over a year on, the memory of the horrifying gang rape case in Delhi lives on. In case you happened to be in a black hole throughout last December, this disgusting and revolting act occurred on a public bus, where a 23-year old physiotherapy intern and her male friend boarded a bus after watching Life of Pi at the cinema.
To cut a horrendous story a little shorter, this poor girl, named by the media as Nirbhaya, meaning ‘fearless one’, was gang-raped by six men that evening on the bus, and sexually abused with a metal rod, causing grave intestinal, genital and uterus wounds, eventually leading to her death shortly after.
All six men were arrested. One of the five adults died in custody (some say suicide, others say murder) and the one minor was sentenced to the MAXIMUM penalty of three years imprisonment, guilty of rape and murder. I mean really, THREE years? Apart from being disgusted at this sentence, grossly and inappropriately inadequate, the remaining four adult men were sentenced to death by hanging. Something doesn’t really make sense there to me.
But, yes, a year on and Nirbhaya’s nightmare and untimely death has resonated with the entire world, creating an increasing need for the empowerment of women. I don’t want to bang on about feminism because, sadly, I think the whole thing has become a bit of a cliche in itself. But one Mumbai film school have created a short film demonstrating the often unwanted leering and stares from men.
As a girl, I am familiar with the creepy stares and smiles from men who seem a little too friendly, and although often harmless, these men can be rather untoward. Women are not faultless. And women commit disgustingly cruel crimes too. But this sin; this crime of six men is truly revolting and death doesn’t seem punishment enough to me.
Although this blog is but the tip of the iceberg of the story of Nirbhaya, the shocking incident is yet another example of how, in my opinion, society is pretty fucked up. How that sort of act is possible is beyond my little head, but sadly until they happen, people don’t often acknowledge their severity and seriousness.
My heart did, and always will, go out to that girl, only two years older than me. And her family. The atrocity leaves me speechless and I think this video is the start of a long road on the journey to female empowerment that doesn’t simply advocate for the, in my mind, sometimes trivial feminist issues.
It stands for respect of women as humans in the simplest form. If we don’t have that worldwide, then what do we hope to achieve?