Home > People, Places > And they lived fearlessly ever after…

And they lived fearlessly ever after…

 

After Amanat - the fight continues

Pink Rising in India?

So then, what is it about this 23 year-old girl who raised the conscience of India on December 16, 2012?

Was it the barbaric way in which she met her end?

Was she the last straw that broke the back of an overladen camel?

Was it her young age, her thwarted ambitions and aspirations, or her
parents’ unfulfilled hopes, dreams and expectations?

Was it her last wish, to be able to survive and make it out of her nightmarish ordeal?

All the above perhaps, and maybe just something more.

She did not step out with her friend that night on a mission to alter the conscience of her country. She had no intentions to lift the blinders off the eyes of a male-dominated society either. She was clearly not out to get the media to christen her with a fancy new name. And it perhaps did not matter one bit to her or her family if she were labeled a brave-heart or not, while she struggled to survive at the hospitals.

Look again, look beneath all those glossy labels that were bestowed upon her and you will find just another young girl, with her whole life ahead of her. Someone who was out at the cinemas one weekend and stepped into the wrong bus on her way back home, for which she paid with her life. And yes, it happened in the ugliest possible way right around dinnertime in the capital of our country.

Over a decade ago, my college curriculum included a documentary titled ‘Memories of Fear’, a film by Madhushree Dutta. I still remember how sensitively and accurately it captured the fears a girl grows up with in her journey to womanhood and beyond.

What was called fear in my mother’s days became awareness for the world at large with the passage of time. The truth is that the vacuum that builds up in a girl’s stomach as she quickens her pace through a desolate road, looking back every other minute to ensure there is no other shadow lurking behind her, is nothing but fear.

Fear is the single common heirloom, that as girls in India, we all inherit from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and friends. Fear for self-preservation, and of men who can do things to hurt and shame us. We learn to weave this fear seamlessly into our lives and never even realize when it becomes second nature. This perpetual fear eats into a woman’s carefree spirit and keeps her on guard at all times.

A friendly pat from an uncle on the bottom, or a male colleague’s claims of great working chemistry are both met with suspicion, followed by the cold shoulder. While we can turn a deaf ear to despicable remarks about certain parts of our body from a group of rogue teens, it takes longer to deal with the trauma of being groped on a crowded bus.

We figure ways of avoiding a run-in with the neighbourhood lech, and develop at least three different tactics of accepting coins from shopkeepers without having our palms unnecessarily felt. Even on a student budget, we willingly pay a premium for balcony seats at the cinema to avoid the flashers in the front stalls. As a general rule, we prefer the safety of aisle seats both in air and on ground. We have heard about hidden recording devices and two-way mirrors in changing rooms, and are alert even before we take off our stoles. We prefer to avoid places, situations and people who make us uncomfortable or give us the creeps. Many friendships do get affected, and sometimes, even years of trust come under scrutiny too. Personal freedom and professional progress are rarely unfettered for a woman.

Between growing up to be a lady and becoming independent in a society that is full of frustrated and perverted men on the prowl, it should not come as a surprise that girls grow up faster. Do we even have a choice?

As protests continue across the nation for this young girl who has lost her life most tragically, everybody seems to have their own views on what needs to be changed, who needs to be blamed or how the offenders should be dealt with. I do pray and wish that these protests and vigils bring about some meaningful change for all of us. But I also think it is time to dig a little deeper.

Decades past our independence, on the brink of a day when a jolly ride into space is no longer just a dream, it is a shame that in the world’s largest democracy, a woman cannot be guaranteed a life free from the fear of being manhandled, attacked, abused, shamed, ridiculed or victimized in any form simply because she is physically weaker. Long before we encourage our sons to be MBA’s, consultants, doctors, engineers or scientists, we need to teach them to first be humane.

They say that she was out to watch Life of Pi that fateful night.

Ironically, a movie that is a story of survival against all odds by relying on faith. She did not make it after a fortnight, but perhaps in her fight for survival lies a cue for all of us, to have the faith that we can indeed bring about change if we continue to make ourselves heard.

I am not giving up hope yet.

Someday, I hope little girls in my country will be living in a time when they can relate to fairytales again.

PS:  I have just written an update on this post in a new article titled The world has moved on
For those interested,  I had also written an article on this subject way back in 2009 called Flagging Fear

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  1. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com
    January 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Outstanding post.

  2. January 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Beautifully written! I can’t even begin to understand the mindset that makes it okay to treat women as inferior and that says it’s okay to rape women because they deserve it. Women should not have to live in fear and constantly have to look over their shoulders for attackers. I don’t know what the answer is other than, as you say, to teach our sons to be humane. I am reblogging this in hopes that more people will be aware and perhaps play a small part in fixing the problem. And I think it will take all of us working together.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you Ruth Rainwater.
      I suppose we have already moved a little ahead by taking the first step forward by
      A. openly demonstrating that this incident will not be forgotten
      B. demanding quick and effective justice
      C. demanding a change in law /jurisdiction
      D. most importantly finding a collective conscience
      Yes, the roots are deep and dirty but I am hopeful we will get to a better place someday.

      • January 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        I am glad that there is change coming, but sad that it had to take a death to do it.

  3. January 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Reblogged this on A New Beginning and commented:
    A beautifully written piece about the young woman in India who was gang-raped and died from her injuries.

  4. backpacker3388
    January 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Reblogged this on The Hitchhiker's Backpack and commented:
    I couldn’t have put this in better words! Thank you!

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks Backpacker3388, good to know there are people who still think on similar lines

  5. January 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Powerful blog. I came upon this while searching for inspiration to write up my feelings on this event and on the state of women in the world in general. I humbly admit that my viewpoint is a bit more militant, with a call to action required. It is not enough to demonstrate. It is not enough to hope for change. It is time for action throughout the world, and I truly believe that women who have lived in fear for so many generations have finally had enough, their fear slowly being replaced by determination. It will start with youth, a 15 year old has already led the way. And this poor young woman? She was proof that no one is safe anyways, so fear becomes acceptance, which opens the door to action. There will be change. It may be bloody and prolonged, but it will happen. I can literally feel it in the air, and I pray for everyone’s safety.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Out of Bounds, I fully support your sentiments for what is long overdue to women. Between the wide spectrum of how you strongly feel for the need to garner some action on this issue, and someone who has finally found the courage to talk about this to another woman in her family, I think every step forward will help in its own, strong way. I can certainly sense that this issue has finally raised a storm of questions about safety and equality for women in my country and this in itself is a revolution of sorts for me.

    • January 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Beautiful. Perfectly captures the problems our society faces. One thing you should keep in mind is the fact that this happens everywhere in the world. Girls in Somalia are treated like slaves.

      • skaushiva
        January 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        Thanks Noorkhan96. You are absolutely right, girls and women across the world face abuse in some form and although I am specifically regionalising this purely on account of what I have seen, heard or experienced myself, the message from this post can certainly be extrapolated to the larger context of women’s issues.

  6. January 5, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    What a great post. It boggles my mind when I hear stories like this happening around the world. Woman should not live in fear and men should not be taking advantage of that fear. There is no answer on how to stop this, but I do hope that woman can go back to daydreaming about the future of their life and what they want to accomplish in life. As that is what a young woman should be doing. Not looking over their shoulder to make sure they are safe. Again, thank for this post. It’s a great reminder of what woman have to go through in some countries. And when I have kids, I will make sure to teach them how to be respectful and humane, as that is where it needs to start.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Thank you Francesca McGrath. You have latched on to the most significant point – starting with this change in mindset in our own homes. Now, if only everybody could pick up this point as easily!

  7. January 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    First, congrats on getting freshly pressed! While I look out for freshly pressed blogs everyday, it came as a pleasant surprise to me to see an Indian name here.
    However, the topic of the blog brings a lot of sadness. About the sad state of affairs related to women in the country. Never knew of all the long list of fears a women has growing up in this country!
    Like you have said, “Long before we encourage our sons to be MBA’s, consultants, doctors, engineers or scientists, we need to teach them to first be humane”. Before we really go out and light a candle, we have to stop playing the role of bystanders when something wrong is happening. People have become so devoid of empathy, it is surprising.
    I am apprehensive if this episode also goes the same way as Baby Falak. People have almost forgotten about the gruesome incident!

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you Dhirendra.
      You are right in that the subject is dark and daunting but I suppose it is a noteworthy milestone that we are finally making ourselves heard in any way we can. Bystander apathy is a fundamentally human trait and a well researched concept in psychology, and therefore not something that only we Indians can boast of. True, there are cases such as that of Baby Falak and the lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha (from Bombay) that got a lot of attention initially and then, sadly, fizzled out. But it is important to note that for every such known recollection (even if nothing concrete has materialised), there are hundreds of instances that have just gone unnoticed and unreported. In this case, interestingly, the bystanders have actually pushed the government out of it’s comfort zone, and contrary to the academic definition, where the presence of more people reduces the possibilities of effective intervention (a concept my husband refreshed my memory on, so thanks PK!), the snowballing attention this time will hopefully bring about some change.

  8. January 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I wish the same that little girls in your country will be living in a time when they can relate to fairytales again. I hope this happens in our lifetime. Do you think that will happen?

  9. January 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    This is so sad. One thing you mentioned more than once is the word “shame.” In America, we teach women that are assaulted that it is not their fault and there is nothing to be ashamed of. So the fact that a society-imposed shame even exists is so sad to me. That the victim of a crime should feel the shame just for being the victim is deplorable. I’m so sad for the extended suffering of this innocent young woman.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Hello Alienredqueen (love the name!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Whether a society can “teach” its women to overcome shame arising from abuse, or as happens in India, where the immediate family feels a common sense of violation, the problem with sexual abuse and how it affects a woman’s pride and privacy, is that shame is an almost natural reaction.
      What is far more important is for society to safeguard a woman’s sense of privacy and self respect to start with.
      I would like to believe that change is definitely underway.

      • January 5, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        You are completely right. I agree that shame is a natural response to personal violation. Maybe I misworded my response. I guess what I meant is that it seems like some societies perpetuate the idea that this is a “shameful” thing for a whole family. As if the victim somehow invited the shame. Like the woman who beheaded her rapist in Turkey to keep the “shame” of her rape from effecting her children. Basically, in some places, the way society treats rape amplifies any natural shame the victim might feel.

  10. icittadiniprimaditutto
    January 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Reblogged this on i cittadini prima di tutto.

  11. January 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Beautifully written with such feeling. I also thought of Malala Yousufzai, the 14 year old Pakastani girl shot in the head because she wants an education. May they not have suffered in vain.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks Experienced Tutors. Malala, Pallavi Purkayastha or Banaz Mahmod, are just a few names in a sea of unknown faces. I do hope this collective conscience brings about some reform.

  12. January 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I hope there comes a day when women can walk the roads safely, when men respect women’s wishes, when men (irrespective of social background and economic status) understands a woman is human first.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      And my wish list can go on and on Amira, could not agree more.

  13. January 5, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Phenomenal article and very well written.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you Jeangarrell!

  14. January 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Your words rightly present the trauma and day-to-day worse situations faced by EVERY girl irrespective of class, age and appearance. The symbolized word “fear” is so strongly felt nowadays that it seems to dissolve in oxygen and not letting women to gain spiritual independence or peace of mind.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks Swati…many of us have walked around and been fortunate to just get away with nothing but our fears. Some of us though have not been as lucky. Time to speak for the others.

  15. January 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    It was really heart breaking to see that girls struggle through her last days but you know what was worse; having to see another ‘Breaking News’ on TV the right next day ,about yet another rape case of a 7 year old ! How soulless can a person be to not get affected by the media furor and the protests.
    it’s gonna be a long long time before there comes a day when we can walk through the streets without being subject to lechery.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      And Ntyagi9291, sadly, these cases will go on. In fact there has even been a rape on a bus soon after. No change in a country as large and complex as ours can come about overnight but we need to ensure that time does not heal this too. We will get to carefree days…we need to be optimistic first and keep the fires burning.

  16. January 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I think all these protests are a sign of changing times. In my dad’s day, protests couldn’t get soldeirs out of Vietnam, only money problems did. But ever since the Arab Spring began, ordinary citizens can band together to change a country and the world. I’m not sure how things will play out in India, but I predict something big will most likely happen.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      And so be it Rami Ungar, and about time too. I do hope you have a nose for tomorrow :-)

      • January 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        what’s tomorrow?

      • skaushiva
        January 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        Oh just an expression as a part of your comment that reads “…I predict something big will most likely happen.”

      • January 5, 2013 at 11:25 pm

        something’s happening every day. the chance’s that it will be bg…well, first you have to define big.

  17. January 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Reblogged this on The Crooked Trident and commented:
    Just read it!

  18. January 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Beautifully written. Thank you!

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks Fiona McQuarrie!

  19. January 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Actually I think it should read Domestic Abuse Awareness Time

  20. January 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    This was such a beautifully written post. Filled with truth and hope. Since the day I heard of both the attack and her death I have been sick to my stomach with fear for women in your country. It is something I have never known about of India, a country I’ve held in warm regards for it’s beauty and history.
    I too hope that the protests will be a sign of change – big and fast – change. Our world is moving in great leaps and thanks to the many Media and Social Media connections getting out so quickly, more and more people have a voice. It only takes each person to use their voice……added together there is power.
    Let not her death be in vain.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Thank you Mountain Gypsy.
      Women all over the world share your sentiments about this tragic incident. It would have been something for this girl to see the storm she has churned in our minds and hearts. I share your views on how social media has helped string together scattered thoughts and voices and look forward to contributing to a fundamental change.

  21. January 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Reblogged this on financepractice.

  22. Satish K
    January 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I only wish this new found voice of India against ruthless, shameless, heinous acts against women shall not subside and bring in a better place to live for everyone. Like you said there will be a day when women can live without fear..but sadly it will be time consuming. I believe stricter laws won’t be of much help. Its the individual attitude, character and his upbringing which is the root of the problem. Should fix it. Things will start falling in place.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Something as fundamental as re-wiring our system is bound to take time Satish not much we can do there, but it is important to not lose sight of the goal and at the same time be optimistic and give India a chance. Like you say, charity begins at home.

  23. January 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Beautifully written and I so loved this subject being up on FP. Thanks to you and WordPress. My two bits:

    I think sex crimes against women are endemic to most of the cultures and subcultures that form the Indian society. And the problem is not just that it is widespread, but more so because it is normalised. The fact that we have 3000 year old myths to support the great tradition of woman-bashing doesn’t make matters any easy.

    Someone also commented about the issue of “shame”. Perhaps only an Indian would know and understand how “shame” is hailed as a virtue in a woman. I think the right word for this is “lajja” which, translated, would be a compound of blushing, guilt and shame. If you’ve watched DDLJ well, you’ll remember how Amrish Puri marvels at the “shame” his daughter exudes on being informed of her marriage.

    And that’s just one problematic symptom of the complex narrative of shame. Throughout history, and this is not just about India, people have used various methods to defeat and discredit enemies and competitors. And nowhere else have men across the world share such bonhomie except in committing sex crimes against women to settle scores.

    Surpanakha got her nose chopped off because she professed love to a man. Draupadi got married to five men because those five imbeciles apparently did not find it in them to discuss with their mother that a wife is not something to be shared amongst brothers. Sita, as the BJP minister Kailash Vijayvargiya explained, was punished because she chose to cross the limits set by a man – The punishment being abandonment after being impregnated with twins. Amba refused to marry Vichitravirya because she was in love with another man, who abandoned her because she was abducted by Bheeshma and hence polluted. Add to this the monstrosity of the Manu Samhita that completely cements the position of woman as second class citizens, and you know why the teeming millions of India, who still live their lives by these books and not by Mr. Ambedkar’s constitution, think of rape as no big deal.

    I will not comment on Islamic principles to ensure this is politically correct. The real question is why are 3000 year old texts still relevant and a 65 year old constitution seems to be all but bypassed? And the only reason I can think of is that it’s poorly written as far as women’s rights are concerned. Our Constitution still does not consider marital rape with the same seriousness as rape, the maximum punishment for marital rape being 2 years as against 10 years for the other one. Rape, by the way, is considered only as penile penetrative sex, and rampant mischiefs like groping, stalking, passing lewd comments, etc. is not mentioned because such things don’t leave behind obvious evidences like a bleeding vagina or a hanging intestine. Talking about evidence, take a look at sub-section 5 of Section 155 of the Indian Evidence Act. It clearly states that previous moral (read: sexual) conduct of a person will be up for scrutiny in an event that a woman accuses someone of rape. Which is a way of saying that sex workers, or someone in a physical relationship with a man cannot claim to have been raped or get justice even if they claim so; I’m being impolite – our constitution is an ode to politeness and euphemism in contrast.

    The reason for this long rant? Inasmuch as I would like people to know about these, I don’t think anything will change unless we educate our people. Unfortunately, my experience of talking about women’s rights have elicited various responses like smirks for the “citified anglophile” and indulgent smiles of the complacent Manu Samhita follower who has nothing to lose in hearing out my psychobabble… yet I don’t see how any amount of legislation or policing will help without a massive drive for education. And a single life looks like too short for this, no?

    • January 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Up until I read your post I was thinking along similar lines and you have said much for me. While I totaly understand and agree with the hope for the future as described by Mr. Kaushiva, I can’t help but accept that rape is so typical of the human condition in general. For example, who mourns for the thousands of German women raped, and sometimes murdered, by the Soviet Army as it entered Germany/Berlin in 1945 simply for revenge… or for the thousands of Chinese women raped and murdered in Nanking in the 1940′s simply because they were thought of as an inferior race? Or for any women raped throughout history, for that matter.
      Why is it that humans, of all the animal species, is the only one that includes rape as a form of species reproduction? Why has Nature made the human female poorly physically adapted to defend herself from rape from male humans while the rest of the animal kingdom the female can defend herself or is in fact more dominant physically? More to the point… what is in the human male mindset as it relates to instinct that can trigger a desire to rape? You are correct… we have a lot to learn about ourselves. Just passing a few laws or promoting religious edicts will not solve the problem.

      • skaushiva
        January 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        Thanks for sharing your views Doug’s BoomerRants.

        I suppose being bestowed with intellect sometimes just does not suffice. There is a lot we have to learn not just from our own mistakes in time but also from those around us. There can simply be no rationale to justify something as deplorable as rape. And to think that something like this can offer someone a form of gratification only goes to show we have further to evlove.

      • January 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

        “Why is it that humans, of all the animal species, is the only one that includes rape as a form of species reproduction? Why has Nature made the human female poorly physically adapted to defend herself from rape from male humans while the rest of the animal kingdom the female can defend herself or is in fact more dominant physically?”

        Actually this is NOT true. In all species, rape is common. You think female animals chose when to mate? Look to ducks to see otherwise where the males drown females to try to mate with unwilling ones. In all cats the females are smaller, weaker and mating is very painful. In bonobos there is no such thing as rape as sexual intercourse is used as everything from a greeting to true mating. Even in species with complex courtships such as birds of paridise, unwanted mating happens. We have seen it on video. And there is even a species of mouse that will mate itself to death with as many females as it can, willing or not.

        What happened in India and happens around the world is tragic. But do not delude yourself into thinking it is un-natural somehow.

      • January 7, 2013 at 12:21 am

        But we are human beings, not animals. ( or are we?)

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Sampurna that was a very insightful read, thank you.
      There are so many points in here that we, as a society, need to re-evaluate with seriousness. It is scary when you pause to consider how sex crimes are an accepted norm in the world that we live in. And, when this is superimposed with daunting tales from our mythology, and merged with a good dose of insufficient laws and rights provided by the Constitution, it almost sounds like we are at the doorsteps of doom!
      I endorse your views on how no single entity can bring about a miraculous change. We need to take a step back and see the bigger picture here. We need to acknowledge that whatever change is needed has to be initiated by each of us, irrespective of whether we have been victimised, know someone who has suffered, or even otherwise. Sitting back and sitting pretty now will only leave us wallowing in a rotting society.
      True, life is short, but I am convinced we can still do meaningful stuff.

      • January 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm

        Thanks, skaushiva. You’re right about taking action. We must begin somewhere.

  24. January 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    The solution to this is to increase the conviction rate for rape and related crimes. No sense in making the punishments more severe; the problem is that very few people go to jail for rape.
    What scares the pants off me is that no one helped the girl and her friend when they were lying on the ground mutilated.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      I’m not so sure Bharat if merely increasing the conviction rate will serve as an effective deterrent. We all know there are ways and means to buy oneself out of any sticky situation. If you ask me there is a conviction rate problem for a lot of other crimes in India!

      Well god bless the lone man who had the courage to stop and call for help on the flyover that night. But then think back about what happened to Pallavi Purkayastha who dragged herself to her neighbours and rang the doorbell several times but got no response…as witnesses, we fear how the system will trap us or punish our own, and sadly, it is too real a fear to ignore in India.

      • January 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

        To address that we need to bring out a Good Samaritan law akin to France where helping someone in need should be a fundamental duty. It’s not too difficult to achieve either. I read somewhere that allowing an eye-witness the option to be/not be a part of the court proceedings will effect a great change in the way our society works. We all know that people want to stay away from the police, don’t we? And this is one change that must come top-down… i.e. the onus is on our legislators to bring about such a law.

      • skaushiva
        January 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

        That sounds like something that could be toyed with Sampurna, and I am also convinced that our judiciary babu’s would not forgo the opportunity for an ‘official visit and study’. So long as they come back with something to ruminate. What will then remain is to convince the people and I suppose Bollywood could do. If they can find the time to promote marathons and states, they could spur this too. Well, at least the lot that won’t be affected by it personally!

  25. January 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Half a Story's Blog and commented:
    These might as well be my words…

  26. January 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Your words are very powerful and poignant. The hideous event has set the eyes of the world on India and no one wants this poor woman’s suffering and death to go unnoticed. Changes must be made from the ground up and you’re so right about starting with the young boys.

    This is an amazing post, Skaushiva – and I hope it’s one of the first steps that lead to change.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Dianne Gray, appreciate your thoughts on this piece. I am hoping every voice loud and feeble is heard this time and can help build a new world.

  27. January 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you for bringing some hope into these dark circumstances. Darkness pervades every country in differing forms. I am sorry that in your country, the pain for women is so great. I pray for light to shine! Glad you were FP for this fine post.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you Melanielynngriffin. It is encouraging to see that this time the pain and pathos brought about by this incident is shared by men too. I am thankful that FP is making it possible for me to reach out to and listen to others out there who share my sentiments and offer suggestions.

      • January 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        It seems similar to me to the awareness finally being raised in the US about violence and oppression against gay people. So many beaten up, murdered, emotionally abused — I wish us all peace!

      • skaushiva
        January 5, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        Absolutely. Everybody has an equal right to fight against oppression of any sort.

  28. January 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    We have to have hope!

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Always Mcgeeles!

  29. January 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I applaud you for this!

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks C.R.

  30. January 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Extremely well said. You absolutely got to the heart of the matter. You also reminded me that, when I stayed in Delhi, I never went out past 8 pm. It isn’t about 6 sociopaths. It’s about a culture that needs to change. I hope this is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    • skaushiva
      January 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Absolutely Ashana, fingers crossed XX

  31. January 5, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    I am hopeful that this tragedy serves as the catalyst for deep change that so many organizations and so many people have been working towards for such a long time. But as you eloquently indicate, even if the government cracks down, much of the struggle will involve the need for a deep cultural shift in its view of women throughout India.

    Some of the media reports in the U.S. claim that after the attack, she and her friend were on the side of the road, bleeding and naked, and yet were passed by many cars. I hope that these reports are exaggerated, but the image they elicit indicates a tragic lack of empathy for the female plight. But it is not only India that lacks empathy: 1 in 4 women are sexually abused in the United States as well, and few (if any) ever receive retribution, thanks to a twisted judicial system. This injustice not just India’s problem, but a global failure.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

      Bethanymclellan, what happened in India is just a representation of the abuse and violence that women all over the world encounter. But the way it happened and ended was what caused the flare and surge of conscience in the people across the country and the wave is now moving outwards. Perhaps collective voices and thoughts can help sound an effective, adaptable way forward.
      I have not come across any specific reports on how many people/cars passed by this girl and her male friend who she was returning with but I am quite sure it was a while before one of them paused to re-consider. God bless the man.

  32. cynicallyidealistic
    January 6, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Beautifully written piece. Thank you.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Thanks cynicallyidealistic

  33. January 6, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Reblogged this on bearspawprint.

  34. January 6, 2013 at 3:22 am

    A moving post. Thank you for your words. May the change we seek come more swiftly than we think. Strength and solidarity to all the women and girls that are living this reality.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Thank you glimmerswimmer. Apt and very well said.

  35. noahbody123
    January 6, 2013 at 3:25 am

    An excellent post. My prayers that some real and effective change follows this tragedy.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Thank you noahbody123.

  36. January 6, 2013 at 5:30 am

    That is a wonderfully written and mirrors my sentiments exactly. When you talk about the two-way mirrors and the aisle seats, about the shoulder pats from the most benign teachers uncles also raising ‘alarm bells’, the groping in buses while going and coming from work and the balcony-seats in the cinema I know its all me. Another one that I saw my friends struggle with was the ordeal as teens and young women going to buy sanitary napkins from a medical shop and the torture it entailed while they waited for the shop to empty of other buyers or a female attendant or the oldest male employee to help you. Why? Such shame associated with a normal bodily function and the need to hide it. The legacy of ‘shame’ that surrounds us women has to end. The idea of ‘;what will people say’ is sometimes more horrifying than the actual misdemeanor we have suffered forcing us to remain quiet. It is going to take more decades to get to the place where our daughters will be comfortable enough and nonchalant enough about themselves and about the things that seem so easily to shame us and make us cringe to speak up and take a stand. With age, I have calmed down a little, with the concept of shame and outrage taking new meanings.
    I also completely agree about the ‘naming’ of the girl by the media and what it means or maybe doesn’t mean to her grieving family. Even now, everyday we hear the politicians say some new one-liner that shakes your belief in basic humanity. She has become an unwitting symbol for millions of Indian women.. but I hope she can rest in peace now wherever she is, while the rest of us struggle openly and continuously with the aide of social media/ on-ground protests for a better police system, a curriculum in schools that teaches young children respect and deportment towards the other sex, regular seminars in the gram panchayats about the rights and freedom of women, the need for CCTV camera’s all around cities and in and outside all stores must be made mandatory, and so on.

    Not just a rape law, we need a long list of these tweaks in the social fabric itself.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Thanks Malvikajaswal.
      Oh yes, who does not remember that visit to the chemists or local shop that sells feminine towels. Especially when they come specially wrapped in a black polythene bag making it very subtle! There are scores of other such experiences, two-wheel riders who tease you and scare you by their unnaturally close proximity, men walking on the footpath in crowded areas who just use other people as a camouflage to feel you…unfortunately, the list is endless.
      You are absolutely right in saying that our social fabric needs a massive overhaul. We just need to be patient and look out for the right weave/pattern.

  37. January 6, 2013 at 7:08 am

    A touching post. I just can’t imagine how it will be for the woman’s family.

    Years ago, when I was still a primary student, I was attacked by an unknown man when I was walking back home alone from a community center. It was during the day (about 4 p.m.) and right beside a busy road. This man came out from a bush and looked suspicious but I didn’t really thought of something bad until he pulled my shirt from the back, grabbed my collar and tried to dragged me into a bush nearby. I screamed and screamed but I was too panicked to screamed ‘help’. It’s like the word stuck in my throat and I just screamed like mad. Every passers by seemed to not care of us struggled. I was quite tall and quite big for my age and I guess that’s a blessing for me at that time. I gave him hard time and finally, two men pulled up by the roadside and asked what’s going on. The attacker blurted out that I was his sister and too terrified, I just screamed back and said I’m not his sister whatsoever. I don’t care if he’d a knife at that time, I was panicked. Right then, the attacked ran when the two men started to know the situation. He was fast and escaped when they gave pursuit. I never heard any catch was made even after I had it report. I just wish no one fall for the attacker. I had escaped the worst fate that could ever happened to me with just scratch and bruises and I’m thankful everyday that I don’t end up dead or rape. I am just lucky.

    I had hard times going out alone after that day. I had hard time trusting anyone especially male and I always had an umbrella with me if I had to walk somewhere by myself for defense. I don’t share about this much but just to share bits of what I came to realized afterwards. The experience was traumatized but the society was harsh. There’s hardly anything happened to me but somehow rumors spread that I was raped. It was frustrating and sad because people tend to talk about you. They may not have bad intentions but then, human are human and gossiping is what we do best. I never knew what they really think of what happened to me but all I can say is that it was rude and simply a bad attitude. It wasn’t just happened in India but all over. It’s the society, it’s not the culture or religion. It’s the mouth that just can’t stopped talking bad.

    My mom never allowed me out without companions for years until I’m off to college. My experience was nothing and my mom freaked out for years, I can’t say much what the girl’s family had to go through.

    I’m sorry I wrote so much. I don’t really share about this but with what happened to the girl, I can’t help feeling frustrated for her.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Thanks for sharing something so personal that has affected you and your family so deeply mysweatyshirt. Yes you were fortunate that those men came as a distraction and that helped you in the situation but being in it alone is scary enough. It is what followed that is worse. Your mother lives with a fear for your safety for life, you fear walking alone and carry an umbrella for self defence, I am sure you are super alert at all times, these are truly the sad and frustrating bits. Having to do this every minute of the day in familiar surroundings, amongst familiar people with no moment of respite.

      I am sure this tragic incident in the country has shaken you up in more ways than one and perhaps affected you a lot more. With time you are lucky to have found back your voice, so speak up and share what you can with others as there are hundreds of girls out there who lack the courage and will take some inspiration from you.

      When curiosity gets no answers then the mind cooks up some real fancy stuff. Don’t let loose talk affect you negatively.It is not worth spending any energy or time over it. You have been blessed with a life to live and have a family that loves you dearly, make the best of it.

    • January 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      What a blessing, two men stop their car, and came to investigate– so as men, some have been raised properly. An incident just happened, different circumstance, but being male, and one raised to respect others, I attach this to your comment. Begging children were sitting outside a popular fast food place, Jolly-Bee. A private security guard, of which we have no shortage of, approached the children menacingly. With his shortened wooden club held threatening slightly to his front, he kicked the children, not with full force, in a manner to intimidate them. The girl, not yet a teen was only mildly not allowing him to bully her. Because of his continued assautive behavior the children did leave the area. After I finished my little snack, I went out and verbally dressed down the security guard. He did not threaten me in any fashion but he looked a bit stunned. I was not the least intimidated by him– because he obiviously was a bully and a coward at heart. None of he passerby, like those. you spoke of, joined in or paused long enough to see what I was concerned about with this guard who just daringly assaulted children in a very busy public place. I want to get to mindset. What is the mindset of these beggar children? What will happen in their adult minds? These were not teens even. It is possible they were tools of an adult sending and schooling them to beg. Protective Services need to gather in these children, find the predator adult who sends them out, parent or otherwise, and they are the ones to send to jail. Mindset! Sad to say, children left in this kind of poverty enviornment will grow to be some of those that commit very visible crime. Unlike the Wall Street bunch, who are destroying the world economy, white collar criminals– who questions their mindset. I am glad you know all men are not created alike, and some of us are raised to value all regardless of gender. I just felt a connection with you and your comment.

      • January 9, 2013 at 5:11 am

        After what happened, every time I heard news of woman got attacked, raped and died tragically, I can’t help thinking of the odds that I might have been through all the gruesome scenarios. I am so thankful for the two men that came for me. They saved me. They are the kind of men you want to be in your neighborhood and I would love another person as you for what you did for the children. We need men that stand up for woman and children.

        When I think back of the passersby, I could say that I’m pissed that for so many people that day, so little paid attention to what happened. Yes, it was my fault I didn’t screamed for help but when you are in that kind of situation, you can completely feel in a blackout. I can’t screamed, I can’t think. I was just a primary student who didn’t know the dangers of the street and he choked me by grabbing my shirt by the collar.

        Victims usually can’t think much under attack and whoever in the area is their best chance to escape. Passersby killed the victim’s chance when no one dared to do anything, didn’t pay attention and didn’t care. Just like my attacked, they could have ask just like the two men to make sure what happened but of all the people that was in their car waiting in line in a four junction traffic, only two cared and did something to helped.

        The latest case of the Indian woman, I feel absolutely mad that few people cared to help them after they were thrown from the bus. They were suspicious, I understand that with all the roadrunner cases, but seriously, they shouldn’t ignore the woman who was obviously in pain. Bystander effects, I know that now, but the situation was pathetic that no one took action immediately. My opinion, there is a need to teach the public to react in situation as such. Being the victim or the passersby.

      • January 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        Several times my computer has changed screens before completing a reply. We live in a very fearful global world. Many do not know or care to know– no greater love has any person than to lay down your life for another, least more a stranger. It takes knowing there is a greater love and compassion beyond this mortal life to live by such a belief. We are blessed when someone responds in the hour of another’s peril– because a great price has already been paid to allow us entrance before the creator of all life.

  38. January 6, 2013 at 7:10 am

    What a fantastically written blog about such a sad subject, I agree that fear has been installed in us from a young age! When I was younger I had no ‘street sense’ and would spend time with strangers, wander off and the world seemed a safe place in my eyes (much to the frustration for my mother) but after years of watching Daily news where there have been attacks, rapes and even death for innocent people its hard to believe life will ever be safe! It saddens me to think that I dont want children purely because of the world they would be bought into- something needs to be done x

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Thank you Sarah-Jayne. I can still recall my childhood days when I was allowed to go all over the city with our household help and her family. Nobody would dare that today with their little girls. So much has changed or maybe it has always been this way and incidents are just more public now. Fear is sadly not just a story anymore.
      Choosing not to bring a child into this world is one’s prerogative, but I do know that children brought up with the right fundamentals, knowledge and value are what will make up our society tomorrow, so they are a very significant part of our society as it will be.

  39. January 6, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Well-written and deeply moving. I have visited India and thought i understood it to some extent … i didn’t.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Thanks helenamallett. We are such a large, diverse and complex nation of people that it would be some challenge to understand us all. But I suppose the same cannot be said for the the basic values and spirit we should all have been taught at home. I have no doubts that if my grandparents were around today, they would struggle much like you. But don’t read her wrong, she is still a very warm, beautiful and welcoming country.

  40. G
    January 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

    so very well expressed.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

      Thanks gcaffe.

  41. January 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I am deeply affected by this tragedy, and I’m thankful for your article. Sometimes I wish the government can just leave those bastards to the hands of the crowd, and let them suffer the worst possible death… it angers me so much. But I do wish that future generations of men there in India will learn to respect the integrity and intellect of women. It’s about time.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Thanks Josephine Rose.
      Well, unfortunately for these men (and the boy) they are just one of us, they have no political or business tycoon lineage and so they will face the wrath of the judicial system. And they deserve it too. But making an example from one incident is not what we need. This incident has to be a movement that brings about a sea of change all the way from our home to the parliament. Let us make ourselves heard and keep the flames burning, change will come about.

  42. January 6, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Excellent post. As a father of a two year old girl I shudder at the thought of society that my daughter is going to grow up in. I hope the outrage does not die down this time. Who knows maybe an Indian Spring is the making.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Thanks Avadhut. I do hope parents of little boys also find something in here to ponder about as they can really make all the difference.
      Fingers crossed…hope the Pink Rising flies.

  43. January 6, 2013 at 10:47 am

    A great post.
    I hate to admit that, our society and government is still not changing. :(

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks Hanmonique.
      Voices will be heard sooner or later and change is bound to follow…it may take long but these things rarely happen overnight. So keep the faith.

  44. January 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Reblogged this on INSPIRATIONS AND ASPIRATIONS OF LIFE….! and commented:
    politics in my country embarrasses me..

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks Annanya…it is not just politics, we are embarrassing ourselves with our behaviour.

      • January 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

        i know. but we do stand against it. thinking about that girl makes me cry. and i hate the nations politics because when she was struggling for life sonia gandhi and man mohan singh were busy thinking how to raise voters for the party. sonia gandhi her self sent people to spread voilence amongst the crowd and police was forced to attack with water. i mean rediculous. i thonk even you might hate them for this.

      • skaushiva
        January 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        Politics is not clean in any country. For every one who has jumped onto this bandwagon with their own agenda (Sonia Gandhi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat or anybody else) this is just an opportunity, that is how things have always played out. It is important to be heard over the din of these voices and more important to not die under them.

      • January 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        i dont deny the facts. but yes when emotional side of my head talks i do hate them. practically yes politics is like that i do agree.

      • January 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        and guess what they want girls to learn self defense. but i think guys need to learn not to rape. they call her “the victim” but dammit she has a name. it seriously pinches when people with power talk as if they are helpless.

  45. January 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Reblogged this on suasion and commented:
    Well said.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks Sumaiya!

  46. January 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Beautifully written post, and one of most intelligent and troubling accounts of life in India that I have read in a long time. Thank you, and hope that it raises awareness eveyrwhere.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you The Sandwich Lady. I sincerely hope that voices echoing similar thoughts reach far and wide and help bring about some positive change, no matter how small.

  47. January 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Your articulacy and insight are both moving and inspiring. Also inspiring is the very public response of many Indians in the wake of this appalling crime. In a sane world every rape, every murder would provoke this kind of response – how sad that violence is more often than not tolerated, excused, normalized and accepted as part of some natural order, even celebrated. For this reason – and I realize many will disagree – I don’t believe executing the rapists/murderers is the right response: for a state to exercise its power legitimately and responsibly it must act, and be seen to act without hypocrisy, and a violent response to a violent act is just that. There’s no evidence to show that capital punishment is effective in deterring criminals: on the contrary, the most violent countries are those who utilise capital punishment. The short term solution is imprisonment for convicted offenders; the long-term one a complete overhaul of the harmful hierarchical structure of our societies; a change in which women will be – and perhaps only women can be – the leading lights.

    India gave the world Mahatma Gandhi, and it would be unsurprising and totally fitting if it were to produce a feminist ‘Gandhi’ to take peace and equality to a worldwide audience. Violence – against women or otherwise – is far from an ‘Indian’ problem and we could all take inspiration from the public protests there.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks Guls for the compliment and for sharing your views. I agree that this is a universal issue and punishment can only go a certain distance. What we really need to be focus on, as you have pointed out too, is changing the perspective of both men and women. A sensible leader (I am not gender biased) with a team that has the right sense of purpose should be able to lead the country on the right path.

  48. January 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Reblogged this on musicbugsandgender and commented:
    A post that women and men everywhere should take the time to read – the public response of Indians in the wake of Jyoti Singh Pandey’s rape and murder can be an inspiration to many across the world…

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      I would also appreciate if you could please not refer to the name of the girl while sharing my article, I’d just like to retain it that way. Thank you very much.

      • January 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        Apologies to you, Suchitra. I’d read in a newspaper article today that her family wanted her name to be known, and – incorrectly, it seems – assumed you hadn’t mentioned it yourself because it hadn’t been announced at the time. I’ll remove it from my page, though at least one wp user has already reblogged it to date so a complete redaction isn’t possible, sorry.

        Andy.

      • skaushiva
        January 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        Thank you very much for getting back to me on this Andy and making the change. Irrespective of how her family or the media feel I do not think this will in any way add to the message. There are hundreds of girls like her who have remained unknown and unheard of to date and keeping this position blank is in a way , I feel, a small tribute to them too. Appreciate the change you have made.

      • January 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        Not a problem – it’s your writing and I respect your wishes on how it’s presented. Gotta say again, such a great post – passionate and informative without being sentimental or sensationalist in the least. If you’re not yet a prizewinning journalist you should be. I’ll definitely be back to check out your blog some more.

      • skaushiva
        January 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        Thanks Guls, I used to be a journalist when I started working but no prizes ever showed up! Sure hope I can convince a publishing house to take a look at my stuff someday.

  49. January 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Where I am me..

  50. January 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    A post that will touch every soul that reads it. Keep up the good work.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks Parul

  51. January 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you so much for this. Such a beautiful and poignant piece. I am thinking of the women in India every day. Before this incident I was almost entirely unaware of just how bad it is. Hopefully this tragedy is the breaking point and will bring about the much needed change. Women are not inferior in any way, not even physically, and it is time for us to rise up and demand our place as equals. My heart is with you and all the women of India.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you Hrygth. We do hope the collective conscience has the ability to steer us towards a long overdue solution to this issue.

  52. January 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Reblogged this on jamiesaeyo and commented:
    Powerfully written post on the tragedy of the Indian girl which sparked off the protests across the country. After reading this, I got to realise how more fortunate we girls in Singapore are. Not only are we able to stay out late without the fear of “men who can do things to hurt and shame us” nor do we have to grow up with the “perpetual fear that eats into a woman’s carefree spirit and keeps us on guard at all times”. I sincerely hope that the jurisdiction in India will not lax on such issues ever again and return all women the “freedom” and dignity that we ought to have. Sooo, to the 5 men that were sentenced for this horrific act, it’s pay back time.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks Jamiesaeyo. I must admit that of all the people who have written in response to my post you are the only one who has written about feeling a sense of security. I am sure there are many others in several countries out there who feel just the way you do and I am glad that some of us don’t have to live with this burden all our lives. But it is good to hear that the subject still affects and moves all of you. That to me is good news as the rest of the world plays catch up.

  53. January 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    do you really believe she has altered the conscience of the country? more and more reports of equally or more brutal incidents and rape, from different parts of the country have come out in the days after, n does anyone give a shit? maybe it was because it happened in the capital city. maybe it was because the injuries she sustained were so hideous. but already the newspaper pages are giving way to other ‘sensational’ news items. we have seen this happen over and over again. give another fortnight and this girl will be forgotten too.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Anjali oru kaduvakutty, I certainly think she has raised the conscience of the nation. People are still gathering their voices and making themselves heard whether it is in balmy Kerala or freezing Delhi. And no change can come about overnight. It is the common man who needs to become an instrument for change. And we can all start by simply being optimistic, of course that’s no guarantee as to where it will lead us but if everybody were to give up just as the flame begins to flicker we will just not be giving ourselves a chance!
      The media is not completely relevant here, it will begin to cover anything that guarantees more eyeballs, it is not wedded to this cause. If we seek something that we believe in, there is no point relying on how many celebrities, big media names associate themselves with the cause. The cause alone has to move us. And if anything, blind cynicism is the wrong starting point.

      • January 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

        I like your optimism. A week n more later, nothing about the incident is being heard down here in balmy Kerala….

      • skaushiva
        January 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        Anjali oru kaduvakkutty, a few days ago, Trivandrum witnessed the One Billion Rising protest which is Eve Ensler’s global campaign to end the violence against women. So I am not exactly sure what you mean by ‘nothing being heard’. If having this ‘piece of news’ linger in the media is critical, it may be interesting to note that international newspaper headlines have been featuring an aspect of this incident every single day over the last few weeks.
        This is not optimism out of thin air, but decades of pain, anger and frustration that have led to a resolve in the minds of many like me. So, it is easy to see why the cry for reform, on a universal cause such as this, is catching on like wildfire the world over. On the other hand, for others who cannot wallow out of the pain, anger, blame and chain of frustration, this could seem only seem like a whimper. All I can say is that if one cannot be optimistic, one need hardly be cynical.

  54. January 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    “…and develop at least three different tactics of accepting coins from shopkeepers without having our palms unnecessarily felt. ” You are damn right. I have noticed this.

    Truly said.
    Deeply written post.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks Bhagyesh Pathak, this is the point, some of these things are so small and seemingly insignificant but a girl/woman has to have a plan of caution tucked in her back pocket at all times.

      • January 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm

        Yes,small things,of which we are so much used to that we have accepted as the second nature.

      • skaushiva
        January 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        Not accepted as much as not having a choice…

      • January 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm

        Means accepted ultimately. Either we accept or don’t. There is no middle way.

  55. January 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Hi…
    Well.the burning issue of India..& its pathetic 2 c the way it is dealt with. I was jst thinking abt posting sumthng on this.. bt didn’t had words on wat 2 write & how 2 write. U presented everything here fairly well.
    Its disappointing that these cases are happening everyday & in abundance and still thr is so mch delay in taking actions against those wild criminals… the voice of India is crying fr justice but don’t understand wat is holding..
    I hv always felt proud 2 b an Indian.. bt now is the time wen I feel ashamed 2 b an “Indian”.. how can I respect a nation which does nt bothers fr the safety & respect of its citizens.
    Lots of people now ask me and my collegues – “Oh! so u r fm India.. Its so unsafe thr..how u ppl live thr ? ” And, I am left with nothing 2 defend my country.
    I hv not been 2 india gate, I hv nt been 2 jantar mantar… I m guilty tat I m not giving my contribution in the protest.. bt at the same time .. I question– Is it worth protesting in front of those who can only think of politics, discussions, arguments only & not of the safety & voice of their citizens?
    Just waiting for a miracle… just waiting for justice… just waiting for a better envirnment 2 live in.. just waiting for more respect & more safety.. just waiting … (Don’t know if our lifetime vil b sufficient enough for this wait..)
    But, lets hope for the best.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks Erakanksha. In a few earlier comments, I have shared my views with others who like you who seem to be somewhat less optimistic in the current environment and given the little historical data we have on outcomes of incidents like this one. In short, we are seeking a big but fundamental change in the way we think, feel and speak as people. The government and jurisdiction can offer some respite but to eradicate this issue we have to start small and start at home. The power of your voice and undying faith can go a long way, do not underestimate it.

      • January 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        yup… v shud b positive.. n its v who hv 2 move ahead fr changing this.. fr v r also a part of this society..

  56. January 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous post, which sadly also made me sick to my stomach. You describe the oppression and fear of being a woman incredibly vividly. I was astounded to read the lines:

    —- “The truth is that the vacuum that builds up in a girl’s stomach as she quickens her pace through a desolate road, looking back every other minute to ensure there is no other shadow lurking behind her, is nothing but fear.

    “Fear is the single common heirloom, that as girls in India, we all inherit from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and friends. Fear for self-preservation, and of men who can do things to hurt and shame us. We learn to weave this fear seamlessly into our lives and never even realize when it becomes second nature. This perpetual fear eats into a woman’s carefree spirit and keeps her on guard at all times.” ——

    This summed up exactly what I have never been able to verbalise. I’m also working on a post at the moment (published later this evening) on male privilege after a response on one of my previous posts on Google Plus received a comment from a man saying that women have no reason to fear men; they hold all the power since they are attractive, and being beautiful garners power. From his perspective, he can never understand the oppression described above. I’m going to check out the documentary you mentioned.

    Excellent post, I’ll be checking back here. Thanks for this!

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks very much Sarah O’Rourke.
      It is good to know that similar lines of thought are going on around the world. Look forward to reading your post.

  57. aprilhouse23
    January 6, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    What a great post – I just did something similar – just a quickie but we are on same wavelength I think: http://themushroomruminations.wordpress.com/

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks Aprilhouse23.
      Just had a quick look at your lovely piece and what screamed out loudly for me was her name.
      I recently exchanged my views on this with Guls who had re-blogged my post but used the girl’s name and I mentioned how irrespective of how her family or the media feel, I do not think this will in any way add to my message. I do not believe I need to know anything more about her (name included) to feel for her or her family or make the tragic episode any more real. There are hundreds of girls like her who have remained unknown and unheard of to date and keeping this position blank is in a way, I feel, a small tribute to them too. Having said that, I completely appreciate your stance and your view on the subject. I have a question for you though, since you feel so deeply about labelling, does declaring her name not amount to a certain form of labelling too?

      And you are right on the wavelength, besides other things, I am a big Atwood fan too!

      • aprilhouse23
        January 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm

        Aw.. thanks for reply :) My thing about ‘names’ is that your personal name becomes a part of you – it’s not like a TV or book title that simply identifies you from all the rest .. it’s more like the title of a poem – which becomes an intrinsic part of the poem. Think about how you feel when someone gets your name wrong, think about the different versions of your own name you use in certain situations e.g. sometimes you give your title Ms/Miss/Mrs (these alone are significant), your full name or just your first name. Also think about nick names between friends and what they say about your relationship. So names are important and unlike labels which dehumnanise you, names personalise you. (Notice Atwood never uses personal names so that she is representing anybody and everybody but she always uses the singular pronoun ‘she’ – to point to a specific individual) Nice ‘chatting’ to you. :)

      • skaushiva
        January 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm

        See what you are getting to and thank you for taking the time to clarify this for me.

      • aprilhouse23
        January 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

        Thanks for reply and opportunity. :)

  58. January 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I really like your blog and would love you to feature on mine, http://www.5thingstodotoday.com. All you have to do is write five suggestions along with a link back to your site. Please check out the blog and see the sort of things people have written about.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Sounds like fun and interesting 5thingstodotoday! Will give it a go tomorrow. Thank you!

  59. January 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Reblogged this on All The Anomalous Bits and commented:
    I will never forget this. As someone whom rape affects a great deal, I hope this wakes up the world.

    • skaushiva
      January 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks Chizzy for spreading the word.

      • January 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm

        You’re welcome! And Thank You for writing this and bringing a tear to my eye.

  60. January 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Great words. Great tribute to the young girl. Xx

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

      Thanks Bewis!

  61. January 7, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Let us all pray for the day when women and girls everywhere can walk without fear of attack or harrassment. We have reached the Golden Age in this year of 2013 – a time when light will triumph over darkness. The young woman’s tragic loss of life has united much of your country and your neighbors around the world – undoubtedly her name will be recorded in history as the woman responsible for bringing about long overdue change in women’s issues.Om shanti, Beverley

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Spot on Ghostbusterbev.

  62. January 7, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Beautiful piece. From one Asian to another, I also live in a small city where in 2012, the number of missing young women rose to 20 in a single month. These women would later on be found in ditches, raped and murdered. This pains me because our city used to be safe and quiet. Things are changing.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Thank you yipyipper. I suppose violence and abuse have stopped distinguishing between rural and urban, large and small, men and women, young and old, all alike. The change over a period of time has unfortunately not been for the better. I hear your pain and do hope this small spark helps bring about the much needed reform all over the world.

  63. January 7, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Thank you. As someone far from India I have been gripped by recent events, and this tragedy. Your insight is welcome and your words are wise.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 8:02 am

      Thank you for your kind words Deborahtd.

  64. January 7, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Reblogged this on Treasured Trifles and Trifled Treasures and commented:
    Every word in the article is so true….and I totally can relate to it, except that I am starting to loose hope that there will ever be a time when girls will be able to walk around fearlessly after sunset in any part of the country

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Thanks krithya G. Losing hope should not be an option until it becomes clear that there is no way forward. It is the easiest thing to do. If people have false notions about how easily sweeping changes such as these can come about, they are mistaken. It is bound to be an unclear, perhaps long and even prickly path.

      • January 8, 2013 at 3:04 am

        Hey
        You are right, its the easiest thing to do, but then hoping against hope is also not a wise thing to do.
        The loosing hope for me comes more from a feeling of helplessness, Yes we will all try in our own small way to change something, and I know changes do not happen overnight, but they might not happen in a lifetime too is what I was trying to say, may be some day what “you” hope for will happen, but I do not see that someday in the near future…..
        though let me tell you secretly I wish may your optimism win and my pessimism be beaten to death!

      • skaushiva
        January 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

        Well mere hope never got anybody anywhere. Let us have no doubts about it. Likewise,losing hope before attempting to do anything for the cause is just as useless. Don’t forget that every mango you plucked or every coconut that has chilled your parched throat was planted by someone who probably didn’t enjoy as much of it. In similar vein, it would be a tad selfish to give up simply because there seems to be no light yet. For if we will have found the right path, at least those following the trail can get to the end of the tunnel sooner. Keep the faith in things big and small.

      • January 9, 2013 at 2:11 am

        With all due respect to your words, if it makes you happy, I do one of those useless things, do nothing and just loose hope!
        Okay before this turns out to be a heated discussion, I want to apologize if whatever I wrote has offended you in anyway (because it seems so from your replies). Your comment is a very thoughtful one, but faith, trust, hope are slowly loosing their place in my heart and in the hearts of so many people I see around me.
        They are being replaced by a sense of fear and insecurity which the strong few battle each day, while the ones who cannot just accept them and learn to live with them. I guess I belong to the second group!
        “keep faith in things big and small”..Of course I will try. thanks!

      • skaushiva
        January 9, 2013 at 9:12 am

        krithya G, I am not offended by anything you have said. You have a right to have your own view, choose your course of action and stick with it, just like the rest of us do. Only, if you choose to do nothing, then I think there is no question of losing hope. Hope has a place only when fighting for a cause. There is also no question of hope being replaced by fear or insecurity as these are feelings we live with anyways. Either ways, what we all want is a safe and secure society, and I do hope we find the right path to get there soon.

  65. January 7, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Beautiful post. You said everything I wanted to, but never could have done that half as eloquently. Looking forward to reading more of your articles.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 8:08 am

      Thanks very much Shivani, appreciate it.

  66. January 7, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I hope that this fateful incident brings a positive change in the country and more than that,in the mindsets of each and every person.
    I hope that one day,we will be able to travel in public vehicles and the road without the fear of unknown lurking in our head at all times.
    I hope that one day,the remarks about our bodies while we walk on the road,the gropes in crowded buses,the whistles,the stares and the mindset that openly validates mistreating women will STOP.
    Thank you for this post and I hope all the efforts made towards this change do not go in vain.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 8:09 am

      Totally agree and let’s keep the quest on. Thank you Kaberi Chand.

  67. January 7, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Very tragic story. Glad to see that this crime got noticed. Unfortunately, there are many places in this world where victims can be quietly dumped with the matter never resolved or reported…

    However it is sad to see that while this story resulted in a huge uproar against sexual violence and violence against women, not much notice has been given to this lady’s male companion who was beaten unconscious with a metal bar. Where is the crowd of people with posters ‘NO TO VIOLENCE’ against men? Where is the crowd of people supporting male victims of violent crimes?

    I feel it would be more helpful if all stories on violence provided more holistic and well-balanced picture supporting the same key message: “NO TO VIOLENCE”, no matter whether the victim is male or female; no matter whether the victim was raped, beaten, tortured, stabbed or shot.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Otrazhenie, this post was meant to be a specific cry. But I am sure that most people who are sensitive to issues of violence and abuse would entirely agree with your views on this subject. Yes, her friend was a victim too and traumatised by the incident but let us not forget that the fundamental crime here was on the woman. If he had stepped into the bus alone that night chances are we would not have had an incident. He reached out to save her and help her and in doing that he was attacked.
      This is not a question of who grabbed more eyeballs.
      You are absolutely right that violence on men, women, children, the young and old, educated, illiterate, rural and urban are all equal. This post however is not as much about violence as it is about violation, it is not just about abuse but about the fear that women live with every waking hour. So, it just works on a different perspective.

  68. January 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I was going to write a post about the Delhi rape case too.
    You’ve put together everything I wanted to say and much more sooo much more beautifully.
    I don’t think I have anything more to say about it :)
    Such incidents bring about extremely strong reactions out of us, especially when no change has been brought about over the years.
    Having lived in the same country, I, just like yourself have grown up listening to same stories and I get what you’re feeling :)
    It shows in your writing :)
    Thank you for putting it up so well.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 8:35 am

      Thank you shachilavingia, very kind words.

  69. January 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Reblogged this on Elliot Claire London and commented:
    A must-read. Hoping that everyone, not only in India, would be all united in initiating change with the proper treatment of women. (with my prayers to all victims of abuse)

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks elliotclaire!

  70. January 7, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Here’s hoping that violence everywhere (esp. in this case women of India) will stop. And hoping that the girl who died and others who are suffering in silence out there will be given justice, change and most of all, let of their fear and be able to live peacefully.

    Thank you for creating this wonderful, inspiring post. Our hearts go out to all rape victims..

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      You have summarised this well for me, thanks elliotclaire.

  71. January 7, 2013 at 11:18 am

    u echo my voice!! very well written! its crazy how this fear is just built in to our system! we are so scared to voice the small incidents (like the coins and the palm issue you so rightly pointed out!). Women are treated so inferior at the grass root level in our society. It will take at least few generation to change this!! The good part is the steps are being taken in the right direction!
    penned down some of my thoughts few days back – http://ruchivaidya.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/saga-of-indian-women/
    very similar thoughts…

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks ruchivaidya. I mirror the sentiments expressed in your post. Some of this has come down or perhaps been interpreted this way well before modern times that does not necessarily make it right and applicable even today. What we need is a fundamental change in the outlook and a big step away from any form of abuse or violence. And yes, you are right this cannot happen in a jiffy.

  72. January 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Well written… maybe one day the whole world will wake up and start behaving.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks Woogeroo…I quite like the idea but I really wish it were that simple and straightforward.

      • January 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        I know it is not that simple. But a boy can dream, right? This isn’t only in India, this foolishness occurs here in the United States as well. It is very sad. I concur with boys need to be better taught. I certainly was taught how to behave around women, by my parents and other family members. We all have to start somewhere, I suppose.

      • skaushiva
        January 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

        We should all be able to dream your dream and make it happen for all of us. You are fortunate to have had the right start, and have been sensible enough to stick with it. For the rest that have missed out, this is going to be one long uphill battle. And you are right, it is time to start.

  73. January 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    What happened in Delhi with the young girl was very tragic. Very well written article.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks thodasasomething.

  74. January 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Very well Written ..

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks auppal80

  75. January 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you for this beautifully articulated post. This is a subject the speaks to me on so many levels. Considering that globally woman are still abused and exploited in so many ways. I am watching young women in my country allow men to sexualize them at a very young age.

    More than anything I want to see women be recognized for the divine beings that we truly are and this can only come about with changing mens views on women.

    Not an easy task but one we must insist that if they support our rights that they stand with us openly.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Thank you Nancy Pilling. Your words ring nothing but the truth. Since the subject is close to your heart you may be interested in reading the update I just put up on my site it is called The World Has Moved On…

  76. January 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Wonderful composition Skaushiva. I hope you don’t mind me posting it to the One Billion Rising, South Africa facebook page.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks lennymaysay, go ahead and share the link to this post.

  77. January 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I Liked the post. I am sharing this.
    And you are so damn right about all that we are so afraid of…the thing about palms touching is so true. I hate it…i hate being scared and being alert and vigilant all the time…it totally sucks!

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks ladyhawk87. I have had so many people tell me how they have all experienced this. If you are interested, I have an update on a post titled The World Has Moved On… which I just put up. Have a look.

  78. January 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Reblogged this on The ultimate Kinship Hangout.

  79. January 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Love your thoughts, words and aspiration. Praying and believing with you for change. Xx

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Thanks Deb Noble. I have just put up an update on this subject in a new post titled The world moves on…do read when you have some time.

  80. January 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    You’ve told this story of horrific cruelty with great tenderness. Please do not give up hope, ever. As evidenced by the comments you’ve received, your voice can draw support from around the world. Keep fighting the good fight.

    • skaushiva
      January 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you hillbillyzen13. Very kind words there. As a matter of fact everybody has had so much to share that I put up an update post a very short while ago titled The world moves on, do read.

  81. January 8, 2013 at 1:47 am

    What a beautiful, astounding, poignant and devastating post.

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Thank you Heathen Heart.

      • January 8, 2013 at 7:51 am

        Thank YOU for your post, dear heart!

  82. January 8, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Reblogged this on Things we don't talk about and commented:
    Outstanding and inspiring

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Thank you carol13lewis

      • January 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm

        You’re most welcome ;)

  83. Chaitra
    January 8, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I know for sure this happens all over the world, but what i dont agree to is the rape of the mind & emotion of the victim by making them feel guilty for being the victim. For a couple of days after this incident i sent her healing as i believed thats my way of helping her fight this, and i felt my body give n give energy to her. Thats when it hit me, the amount of loss of self(physically n spiritually) in her was like the black hole… Yet she fought like a braveheart !!

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Thanks Chai!

      It is interesting that you too have picked on a point like one of my fellow bloggers who thought it was deplorable for the victim of a crime to feel shame just for being the victim. That is true, but sadly the problem with sexual abuse and how it affects a woman’s pride and privacy, is that shame is an almost natural reaction. We are just wired that way. But You have done something so wonderful for her and although I don’t understand how it works I am just happy to hear that she received not just thoughts and prayers but help from the world at large. Well done.

  84. January 8, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Reblogged this on Second Chances.

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Mythreyi, may I request you to kindly ensure that this link opens in a new window. Thanks!

      • January 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

        Hi.. I’m sorry, but I have no idea how to do that. I just reblogged your post because it spoke to me and I wanted to share it. The comment seems to have been made automatically by WordPress.

      • skaushiva
        January 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

        No issues with re-blogging it Mythreyi, in fact I appreciate it, would just like you to ensure that when visitors click on the link it leads back to the original post in a new window. Thanks!

  85. Jac
    January 8, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Thank you for sharing!

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Thanks Jac.

  86. January 8, 2013 at 6:53 am

    a honest depiction of what a girl,a woman goes through every second and every moment. I respect and salute your clarity to bring the truth to light so clearly and in a dignified way!
    Hope people who are still unaware of the real situations shall realize something form this

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 7:53 am

      Thanks Soumyav. I do hope we can make our voices heard far and wide.

  87. January 8, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Reblogged this on finding development.

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

      shiggs91, may I request you to kindly ensure that this link opens in a new window. Thanks!

  88. January 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Reblogged this on The Other Side of Ugly and commented:
    She did not make it after a fortnight, but perhaps in her fight for survival lies a cue for all of us, to have the faith that we can indeed bring about change if we continue to make ourselves heard…

  89. January 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Awesome post Such! It’s written very well. You have really pointed out what we have been talking about since then –
    it is a shame that in the world’s largest democracy, a woman cannot be guaranteed a life free from the fear of being manhandled, attacked, abused, shamed, ridiculed or victimized in any form simply because she is physically weaker. Long before we encourage our sons to be MBA’s, consultants, doctors, engineers or scientists, we need to teach them to first be humane.

    It’s really powerful.

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Thanks Suprene…I am sure this has always been important to you and more so, now.

  90. January 8, 2013 at 11:19 am

    There is certainly no doubt Skaushiva, the moment of change is here. I applaud you for your brilliance and special part in this momentous dawn. Kind Regards and see you around!

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Much appreciate your kind words the Blazing Trail. Thank you!

  91. January 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  92. January 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    what to say about this? unbelievable. i followed it in the papers and still cant comprehend it. thanks.

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      You are so right there noerthernmalewhite, it is extremely sad and shocking.

  93. Richa
    January 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    SKaushiva, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. These feelings resonate with most Indian women. Thanks for giving our collective experiences actual words.
     We all share the ‘fear’ and it has become second nature to us. It is like a radar or an alarm something goes off, which to any
    man and a lot of women from other cultures would seem like paranoia.
    When I moved to the US, I felt like ‘myself’ and free for the first time. Not to say the US does not have its problems but comparatively speaking….
    I didn’t have to be on alert if I stood in line, I didn’t have to be home before dark, I didn’t have to be quiet in the company of males my age or older because having opinions is being battameez. I could finally relax and be me.

    I have been struggling a lot in dealing with this rape. While in a way it’s heartening to see the demonstrations, it’s sad that only token talk is being done about how we should raise our sons. It bothers me a lot that there is almost no talk about how we have and continue to raise generations of males fed on being worshipped, overindulged with a completely warped sense of entitlement. Can u imagine the heady power of this concoction? As an Indian male across all income, religious, social etc levels, u have a ‘get out of jail card’ if u have a penis. Additionally, the family and society have failed to teach youngsters- girls and boys, the meaning of respect, and I don’t mean respect as how we use it in india, but rather like a mix of humble and compassion. When we stop respecting we start seeing the other as inferior, who must be shown their right place, their ‘aukat’ if they try to appear anything more. This is the mentality with which we function as society function. You and me and million others have experienced this as a girl/woman, and seen this as an observer. 
    The change has to not be just at the judicial and political level but at the social level equally. The media also needs to do it’s part instead if focussing on worthless news about her name, the status of her relationship with the her male companion, etc. Media needs to hype on change. Fast track courts are one tiny solution to the problem of crimes against women, a part of an immense puzzle.
    Societal change has to come and we need to the pioneers. 
    I will start healing from this heinous crime and this life snuffed out so barbarically, she finally given justice, when India remembers how to raise it’s sons and daughters correctly.

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Well said Richa. And thank you for sharing your views.
      What are we waiting for?
      Society is a web of social relationships and we cannot afford to have gaps in what we believe. It is time we sat down and asked ourselves what do we really need to teach to all those that we nurture. Schools probably need to re-evaluate their curriculum to see if the right kind of value education classes can help reinforce some of these right things. And let’s not forget 1. one is never old to change or to learn something new 2. There is nobody out there to pluck a miracle out of thin air and drop it into our laps.

  94. January 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Like other Indians, I have not been able to take my mind off this – in fact, I didn’t feel like putting up a post last week but, did so only not to disappoint my readers. You have expressed our feeling of fear so well and I would like to add my two bits.

    Media has reported so many shocking cases of rape in our country- of minors, of girls/women in helpless situations in hospitals, orphanages, remand homes – it almost seems like a national past time. The perpetrators are no less shocking to know – a police man who was looking into the case of a rape victim, a teacher and peon in a hostel, an attendant in a hospital, a politician (less said about them the better). Then we have a godman who says that the Delhi rape victim was equally to blame and she should have addressed the drunken barbarians as ‘brothers’ and asked for forgiveness?

    What kind of India are we living in? Who are we to trust at all?

    My daughter was a little late in returning from school today – and in those 5 minutes, my mind was filled with all kinds of thoughts. Such is the fear.

    But, I do hope that some good will come of all the protests. Even though mindsets are extremely difficult to change and unfortunately, in our society even women are not willing to stand by their own kind in such situations, the Delhi incident did shake most people.

    We have written to the Justice Verma commission in the hope that our voice will be heard. We can only hope that justice is delivered and laws are made so strict that men think twice before committing this heinous act.

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Pixelvoyages, it is not just us, the world is tracking this. I have never seen anything like this before. No social issue, from the developing world, has made it to the top news, on international media, every single day for weeks at a stretch. That must say something about how deep this pot of anger, retribution and cry for change is. And even as we scream “enough is enough”, the crime has gone on unabated under the large shadow of what happened on December 16.
      I have shared my views on how much the government or judicial system can do in my other comments and on my new post ‘the world has moved on’, and like many others I look forward to seeing what the government will propose and how the accused will be dealt with. But right now, there is something in your comment that is bothering me. I can only imagine your fear for your daughter under the current circumstances, and it pains me that there is yet another little girl out there who is beginning to sense this fear. That is what we need to change. I think it is time for us to start cleaning up our own homes.

      • January 9, 2013 at 5:22 am

        I was going to say that my daughter is not the one who is afraid but then, realized that she must have sensed my fear. I have never told her to be afraid just because she is a girl but as parents, we do expose our children to anxiety that we feel.

      • skaushiva
        January 9, 2013 at 8:13 am

        Absolutely pixelvoyages, children are very perceptive. Much of this was never spelt out to me by any of the ladies in my home, it is something I saw, gathered and imbibed.

  95. January 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Skaushiva,
    This post saddens me more than can be expressed with words. I live in a different part of the world but I am aware of what life can be like for girls and women in male dominated societies. I am a man, and am ashamed for men of the world who refuse to share the dignity and respect of humanity and decency to the women they live with, work with, are married to, or just meet casually on the street. The terrible reality is that those in power to inact changes are part of the male-dominating society that inflict the problem. I can not find words to finish my thoughts on this terrible situation, but know thay my sympathies and support are with you.
    Paul

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Paul, thank you for writing in. And I truly hope more men out there could mirror your sentiments. Thanks for the support.

  96. January 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    What an excellently written post upon a subject that has touched all women and left many men ashamed of the male of their species…
    Such a sad story about one of many who suffered and suffer just because they are women..

    Blessings Sue~Dreamwalker

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you Sue Dreamwalker. I do hope the sad story has a hopeful ending someday sooner than later.

      • January 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        Yes so do I… But I think my friend as the Energies are changing to hold more of our Feminine energy in this new Era, I think that this lady who suffered so much did not die in vain, but will be a catalysis for changes to come.. xox

      • skaushiva
        January 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

        So be it! Thank you!

  97. January 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Good post. While we rightfully blame men for this senseless, heinous act, I’d like to point out that we women should come down from our high horses and accept some level of blame for the way we are treated, minuscule though it may be.

    Women have taken gigantic leaps of progress in the patriarchal society we live in: we are now not only able to work, but hold high positions in the professional arena. Yet it seems that at home, little has changed. We still do most of the household chores and take care of the kids, especially so in Indian households. We continue to berate other women, and in the process ourselves, when men have affairs. It is always the wife’s fault that her husband has an affair because she didn’t take good care of him. It is always her fault that she gets hit. Then when we become mother-in-laws, we find an immediate target: the daughter-in-law. Any whiff of an argument between husband and wife calls for an intrusion with blame shoved towards the daughter-in-law. No whiff of dinner implies a lazy daughter-in-law who hasn’t cooked. Never mind that she slogs just as hard as her husband and may be having a break? When she doesn’t bear a grandson, it is her fault too. I know of women who do not consider their daughter-in-laws worthy until they have borne a male heir. To a certain extent I can tolerate this sort of misogyny from a man…but from a woman? Does she not realise that she herself is female? Or is she passing down the maltreatment she received from her mother-in-law along with her gold jewellery?

    How would men respect us when we don’t respect ourselves? We need to change at home. We need to teach our sons that women, not just their mothers, but their sisters and wives should be respected. We should stop finding the “perfect bride” for our son and instead focus on them being a good husband to his wife. We should show zero tolerance towards any form of misogyny at home, however benign they may be outwardly.

    The hand that rocks the cradle can shape the world. Said in faith, of course!

    • skaushiva
      January 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks Menaka.
      I hear you, but what I do not quite understand is that even if women choose to do all the above (out of choice, love or compulsion) and ‘lose’ their own respect, it does not make it right for men to go around abusing them.
      And women respecting women, well while much can be said there, it is completely out of the purview of this discussion.

      • January 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm

        I think my point has been somewhat lost in my rantings! What I was trying to say is that women today are in more of a position to challenge historical conceptions and cultural injustice towards us than we were generations ago, and yet we don’t seem to have garnered enough clout to bring about any substantial change.
        Having said that, you are right, it still does not give men the right to abuse women.

      • skaushiva
        January 10, 2013 at 12:17 am

        Right on there Menaka!

    • January 9, 2013 at 5:39 am

      Hi Menaka! I agree with your observation about the dichotomy in the way women themselves treat men and other women in their family/society.

      However, any man with a conscience wouldn’t take advantage of this fact. All adults are free to make their own decisions and while conditioning does play a role, our conscience in most situations directs us towards the right thing to do.

      That said, women do need to support their own ilk. I am sure there must have been many women too who passed by the girl and her friend while they were lying unclothed on the road.

      • January 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm

        Hi pixelvoyage, in an ideal world we would let our conscience guide us, but we are dealing with sick, barbaric men here who think that they can use their physical strength to harm the weaker sex. Add outdated cultural beliefs and lack of education to that and you have an almost insurmountable problem that puts humanity to shame.
        Of course one could argue that this issue is something that plagues even modern, developed countries with improved gender parity and has nothing to do with any of the above; but the way some men are genetically wired to pose a menace to the rest of us.

  98. Val
    January 9, 2013 at 2:14 am

    There’s not much I can add here, but I’ll just say thank you for writing the best article I’ve read so far on this vile crime. So much needs to be done in your country to create balance so that men respect women. And I think the idea of bringing up boy children so that they respect girls and women in the first place is the way to do that – but I wonder how would that happen in the current climate? Wouldn’t mothers be prevented by the domineering men there from doing that? It seems to me that it will take a long, long time. I hope it eventually does happen, though.

    • skaushiva
      January 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

      Thank you Val.
      These changes are needed not only in India, but, from what others have said, many countries around the world that house this demon. A little learning, for all of us, will not be a bad idea.
      A man’s word may be the last in most families, but I also believe that an aware mother is capable of finding ways to shape her child’s thoughts.
      This is going to take time so we need to learn to be patient and stick to it.

  99. January 9, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Thank you for this poignant post. It is true that a country can elect a female PM but cannot view her with the same rights as a man. Much of this is to do with wealth and power too. I read that this girl’s status in society brought her so much attention, but if it were a girl of lower socioeconomic status (as has been so often the case), it would not have garnered as much attention. It is heinous, how we are viewed and treated. I know machismo is everywhere, at different levels of subtlety and overtness, but it worries me that India is like this.

    • skaushiva
      January 9, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Thanks vnp1210.
      I would put this as her attacker’s perception of her socioeconomic standing, but I do agree that if this entire scenario had played out in a sleepy little town we would not have seen any of this hue and cry. Women the world over face abuse and violence in different forms, to different degrees and it is time that all this changed.

  100. January 9, 2013 at 4:39 am

    I just hope her suffering won’t be fruitless, I mean, at least… something, could be better… I don’t know… my condolesences for the victims, hope nothing like this will ever happen again to whoever, wherever, whenever… So sad… :D

    • skaushiva
      January 9, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Thanks Irwan Juanda, many of us here share your view too.

  101. mkesling63
    January 9, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Crime after crime after crime in the media. It never stops. So exactly where are conscious’s raised? Exactingly what is free press doing for us here besides selling press? How many murders, rapes, robbery’s, violations of civil rights before the public’s wake up everywhere and say enough. Governments everywhere you have failed. All must change and loose the Roman thing. Politics doesn’t work and communism/socialism are politics. Nobody wants new royal claims because they have all been worse, just a royal claim on top of the roman crap royal countries already have. SO what are you going to turn to now?

    • skaushiva
      January 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      mkesling63, a nation’s growing conscience does not by itself lower instances of physical abuse and violence. It only makes people pause and re-think about what has gone wrong and what can be done to correct the wrong-doings. People in India are slowly beginning to shake off their slumber and ‘wake up’. And while media has helped in bringing things to light and spreading the word, it is very much a commercial enterprise. News sells, period. The government and judiciary system can all only do so much, the real change needs to come from us. We need to turn inwards, question ourselves and work on building a better society.

      • mkesling63
        January 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm

        So what is your solution to the problem here? You are bashing and defending here. WHERE IS THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM HERE?

        I don’t get thrown into self defense mode like the weak nor do I stop calling it the way I see it.

        So because I find people that do this get angry at themselves and continue with the bash-put in self defense.

        In your words: The judicial and government systems can only do so much. Why you separate them is a mystery Judicial is a government system.

        News sells. That is a given.

        Question ourselves the non criminals? The problem is the criminals not questioning themselves not the non criminal.

        So the solution you put forth here is the non-criminal question yourself for being innocent. Separate the judicial branch from government, which pretty much insults the entire judicial branch and the executive /legislature branches. News keep getting rich on people’s victimizing. Basically keep giving the criminal the attention/fame they want. I would say most do it for attention. Just my years of experience talking here, not a doctor.

        Work on building a better society is what all need to do. Correct. Civic duty never ends.

        SO the question still remains:How are you going to cure crime?

        Now saying that it all starts with the head, you are one up then most. Crimes start with the head. You are on your way to a better problem solver from here or you can continue to see reason put in just a few words and envy it by bashing – self defending.

        Any can fingerprint. Can you achieve by problem solving? Or perhaps you just need to tell me something?

      • skaushiva
        January 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

        mkesling63, I have no inclination to bash or self-defend.
        I am only clearly stating my point of view, listening to what others have to say, and sharing my thoughts. You are welcome to do the same, and nobody here is out to get you.

        Here is my view on matters relevant to my post and this discussion:

        I am not walking around with solutions and this issue cannot have a readily packaged solution either. But please note, I am not merely raising questions here.
        Simple point is, we blame the system for everything. We want to keep our house clean, but we maintain no civic sense whatsoever. We may not be criminals, but the fact that we have a society where men do not fundamentally respect women means that we are failing in what we are teaching our children. That is not the government’s job, or the media’s job, or the court’s job. Yes they need to fundamentally safeguard us but we reach out to these institutions once crimes happen. While these problems exist in other countries, there is a reason why they don’t exist to the same extent. And the fact that people are scared of punishment is only partly responsible. The bigger issue is that in some aspects, we are just not civilized enough, and that needs to start changing at home. And contributing to this should not so much be seen as civic duty but more importantly as an individual responsibility. 

        Yes, I have two things to say, I am sorry, but I so do not get the Roman thing and I do not get a word of what you are trying to say in your last line. But you need not get into that.

  102. January 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    This blog is a powerful memorial to a tragedy I believe both India and the rest of the world should take personally. Steps need to be taken for the betterment of humanity as a whole. For over a year now, ever since I learned of the concept, I have been telling people that we need to push for empathy training in schools world wide, starting as soon as children enter school and continuing until college. Changing adults is difficult and the task often meets more failures than successes, however, teaching children is both easier and has more lasting results. People of both genders need to learn how to feel for their fellow beings and how to understand and respect varied situations without assaulting, begrudging, condemning, or dismissing them out of hand.

    On a side note, I have a bit of advice to pass (particularly to women):
    To tell the difference between one and two-way mirrors, place your finger on the mirror, then look to see if there is space between your fingertip/nail and the glass. On a normal mirror there with be a visible, albeit small space (a centimeter or so), however, on a two-way mirror there will be no space, it will look as though you are fingertip to fingertip with your reflection.
    A mnemonic device for remembering the rule is “If there’s no space leave the place.”

    • skaushiva
      January 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks Little Lauren Logophile, very well said on what should be done going forward. It is actionable and something the educational systems need to work on.
      Thank you also for the precisely explained, and very helpful aside, which many people here will find useful.

  103. January 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    How can we help? I am reblogging this… thank you thank you thank you for sharing…

    • skaushiva
      January 9, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      jenniburkeyoga, thank you for sharing this in your circles. You have already helped by sharing the views of all people on this post. Thank you.
      Hopefully, people will see that for any change, they need to start first by believing, then by learning and doing it themselves and finally teaching others to be more humane.

      • January 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        So wise… I hope this is shared many times then!

  104. January 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Reblogged this on The Gentle Way Of Hatha and commented:
    Please read… and how can we help from here?

  105. viveksonasaria
    January 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Reblogged this on A Step towards Changes – Vivek Sonasaria and commented:
    a Strict law is must. People should fear even to imagine such sin.

    • skaushiva
      January 10, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Viveksonasaria thank you, sure, but this can help only to some extent, we need to work on our thinking too.

      • viveksonasaria
        January 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        yup buddy you are right.

  106. January 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Very well written! I think every girl (in India and other countries with a sad history of patriarchal domination gone seriously wrong) can relate to the fear and repression that you have described here. I am with you in not giving up hope, but I have met several groups of people since this horrible incident and each one seems to think their way is the only right way to tackle the problem! I hope in all the aggression and confusion we do not forget that she was just ONE victim – there have been thousands more before her, and incredibly enough, since she died! And all this is a fight to claim the right to live freely?! When did our nation become such a terrorist for women?

    • skaushiva
      January 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Many thanks Follow The Eaten Path, I could not have said it any differently. It is sad, shocking and embarrassing to say the least.

  107. January 12, 2013 at 2:45 am

    This tragedy is eerily similar in many respects to a story I wrote a poem about back in November. Here is the link if anyone is interested in reading it.

    http://yakskinpocketnotes.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/cracked-seed/

    The story saddened me to no end as this one did. This violence and cruelty towards women must end, we must continue to bring awareness through shedding light on these heinous episodes so that the victims are never forgotten.

    • skaushiva
      January 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Thanks for sharing your hauntingly beautiful verse domtakis.

  108. January 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    What is more disgusting is the way we somehow blame the victim for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Also we have to change the generally prevalent mindset that does not allow for a proper rehabilitation of a rape survivor in our society.
    I wrote a similar post sometime back on

    https://itchyneurons.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/sugar-and-spice/

    • skaushiva
      January 16, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Could not agree more with your views itchy, thank you.

  109. January 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks
    RNA Drops http://www.rnadrops.com/

  110. ria
    January 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Reblogged this on me and India and commented:
    A great post giving a great insight into the culture that has put India in the position it is now in for the women and girls who live there, lets hope that the enthusiasm for change that this awful tragedy sparked keeps up its momentum.

    • skaushiva
      January 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you ria, very kind words. Yes, I do hope the awareness and cry for change can bring about something meaningful.

  111. skaushiva
    January 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    HonieBriggs, sadly it was not one but a group of five men and one underaged boy who were responsible for this tragic incident. Historically we have seen such flare ups dying down but everybody out there thinks and feels that this is a different spark. Who knows how far this will go, but hopefully there will be enough supporters and well wishers to guide the outrage and rising public conscience in the right direction.

  112. January 5, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Skaushiva,
    I was so moved by your exceptionally written post and am grateful that it was brought to my attention. Together our voices may raise awareness; may our actions bring about change.
    Strength to you now and always.

  113. skaushiva
    January 5, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you Honie Briggs.

    Touche!

  114. skaushiva
    January 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    LIKE!

  1. January 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm
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  3. January 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm
  4. January 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm
  5. January 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm
  6. January 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm

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