The recent Delhi rape of a minor reminded me of what happened in December, both in Delhi and also close to my house when Damini was struggling for her life ….
A six year old was gangraped and left in our neighboring colony – left to die. Some good Samaritans from our area collected whatever was left of her, a bleeding scrap of womanhood, torn from cunt to ass, stomach badly injured (yes, I will not gloss over facts), and deposited that pitiful heap at the hospital.
Then the tamasha started …
The girl came from a very poor family – surprise surprise!
The boys were from a village close by, and they were unpleasantly shocked that the girl still clung to life. Why did she not oblige them and die? Worse – she recognized them.
They were even more intimidated that citizens, the educated and comparatively well off ones cared.
So they looked around and got some local neta (belonging to their caste) into the picture.
The neta tried to bully the doctors into listing the child as a patient who was 22 years old. Apparently child protection laws are not as lax as the woman protection laws. The doctors (it was a government hospital) refused, stating that they could not justify the treatment that they were providing the child as the same they would have given a 22 year old in this case.
The neta bullied …
The doctor went on leave rather than argue with the politician.
The child fought for her life, clung on to it grimly, though even a small movement from her made her pee, though some of the intravenous meant to feed her oozed out of her stomach.
Women activists that I had contacted wanted to start a morcha – create a noise.
Backdoor negotiations were going on to hush up the case. A price was being settled upon. A price for the life of that abused girl child. I even heard someone say, “What is left of her, anyway?”
Within a few days of her being taken to the hospital … she was found in the hospital dustbin, dead.
Her parents, migrant labour, were nowhere to be seen.
A janitor told me with a shrug: “She would have required constant medical help as long as she lived. Gareeb aadmi, (poor people), how can they afford it?” I opened my mouth to say something nasty and saw that stony look in his eyes. How many times had he faced the tyranny of the rich or well connected? And how many times had he been forced to cut his losses in a similar way?
I went out, sat in the car trying to come to terms with what I had seen, just been a part of. The cold December morning seemed colder, dead, horribly so, like that small thing that had once been a six year old girl playing in the colony… before she was raped. There was nothing left to do but ring the women activists who had planned a dharna. There was nothing left to fight for.
It jolted me out of my upper middle class complacency. We take our safety for granted, we girls/women who belong to the upper classes. I know we are not safe – but we are much safer than our poor sisters, who have no recourse to “political connections” and the law.
I talked to a cousin who is a family counselor, a psychiatrist, trying to come to terms with something so grim. She explained that to some men, women are objects. I knew that!
But did I? I knew it, like every woman in this country knows it – but we somehow do not want to admit it. An artist’s representation of what men view women as – yes even a six year old child ….
What was done to that child and the child who was found recently in Delhi is complete objectification. Use, abuse, throw. If the girl survives, bad luck. It will cost some money – which can be paid, and the abusers walk away with impunity.
The police will try to hush up the case – even slap a woman if she protests. And why should they not? They have been brought up to think of us as stupid cunts. How dare a woman raise her voice? How dare she look me in the eye and challenge me? If she does, she deserves to be slapped and shown her proper place in the society!
Scene from the protest in Delhi in December
Nothing has changed ….
We are human and have the right to live lives of dignity.