Sunday, December 30, 2012


1. Mind is stronger than the body. You can accomplish anything that you resolve to attain. Nirbhaya, even in her death, has paved the way for bringing the devilish to the book. She wanted it from the time she was assaulted to even the time when she lay subconscious and her resolve showed in the way she kept her mind alert and recounted every detail in her statement. If a battered, young girl can do it, imagine what a healthy, stable headed person is capable of achieving!

2.        An unknown, young, hapless girl rose to become the symbol of justice and respect for women across the country on the merit of her indefatigable spirit that refused to cower down and on the basis of her irrepressible strength of will that sustained first the demonic onslaught and then intolerable pain beyond the limits set by the field of medicine.

3.       Nirbhaya, it is being said, wanted to survive and live. May she live on in our collective conscience as the one who stood her ground, not only when she could with her life but, also more importantly, with the power of her mind that kept ticking to a purpose while held within an almost lifeless body.

4.       Nirbhaya is a reflection of me – when I was nine and conveyed my displeasure in unequivocal terms to my mother on being touched inappropriately by an Uncle; when I was 15 and crushed the toes of a man rubbing against me in a public transport; when I was 19 and ran behind a man who had just felt me up to whack the daylights out of him; when I was 24 and jabbed my elbow into the sides of a molesting man on Delhi’s infamous Bluelines.

5.       Nirbhaya is a mirror image of my psyche that helped me raise my voice always and that urged me to pass on these lessons of self-respect, dignity and identity to the younger women under my fold.

6.       Nirbhaya has yet again taught us that we are capable of collective rage, common sentiment and profound empathy. What we mustn’t forget is that the cause is not for a day, a month or a season. It is a long arduous battle that we must fight with our own and those around.

7.       The real power lies with each one of us. It depends on what and how much we are willing to endure. The moment we cross that threshold, we can confront anything that is dished out to us, with force. It is, then, the question of which wolf we wish to feed – of fear or freedom.

8.       The terrible, mind-numbing case has yet again shown to us that, sadly, in the name of democracy we live in an Ungoverned State of Anarchy where ‘everything goes.’ We, as people of the country, do not wish to hold people answerable and situations accountable. Whether it is innate patience or sheer laziness, we seldom care to rise up to an incident / cause. We, then, are as much to be blamed ourselves.

9.       Things will not change unless and until we ‘will’ them to change. In the midst of our personal strife and everyday responsibilities are we willing to live that extra mile!

10.   The law, judiciary, policing and Governance in our country are only on paper because we have allowed them to rest there. Are we willing to rake them up into action with genuine demands that stay persistent and relentless?

11.   To say that our country is largely poor and that there are issues of food and shelter to be looked at first is a weak man’s excuse. Dignity, respect, safety are as important and integral to our living.

12.   We need to combat the ‘us’ and ‘them’ divide. What happens to ‘them’ happens to ‘us,’ always. If the city was unsafe and men deadly for Nirbhaya then the city and men with that mentality continue to be a danger to all of us.

13.   More than law and judiciary we need policing of our minds. If the mindset is not educated to change then the core of the problem will lie there and germinate into a full blown crime every time it is watered with any external stimulus or internal demons.

14.   The problem has always laid with us. Till the time we do not teach our men – sons, little brothers, boyfriends, husbands – to respect women, the problem will stay where it is. It is not just the men to be blamed. We women, who have been conditioned into patriarchal, submissive mindset are to be blamed as much – for suffering silently, for instigating, for turning a blind eye.

15.   We know that all men are not bad; just most of them are. But for every Ram Singh, Raju, Vinay or Akshay, there is a man like my father who always protected me or one like my brother who could pick up any challenge to save my honour or the close friend who shielded me from unwanted expressions of interest or my husband whose blood boils if anyone shows even an iota of disrespect towards me. And, I wish, may the tribe of such men show the light to those whose minds are enveloped in darkness and whose hearts have never known a single fine act of humaneness.

16.   That such a heinous crime can be committed against the most innocent, like Nirbhaya. You don’t have to be inviting trouble for it to come and hit you like a ton of bricks. No girl or boy deserves to suffer this, ever, in any part of the world.

17.   Nirbhaya’s case is not a solitary one or the last. If we do not change our reaction, if we continue to accept status quo, if we do not rally around, if we do not wish to change as a society, cases such as this will continue to raise their sinister heads in our lives.

18.   Nirbhaya’s demise is nothing short of martyrdom. She elevated herself in the eyes of all by her undying spirit. We cannot allow it to disappear in news archives and shove it into the deep recesses of our minds once we face other stimuli of personal pleasure or pain. The sad string of events must be strengthened into a chain that shackles out the bad of the society and reins in the inherent good in all of us.

19.   With Nirbhaya’s death, the guilty must be punished, fast and without any debate. A sharp example of law and justice must be set, as a first and quickest measure of prohibitive action. Changing mindsets will take a long time, changing and implementing law need not.
20.   As someone recently said, rape is NOT “izzat lut jana,” or ‘to get one’s honour robbed or modesty snatched away.’ It is the rapists who are izzat (respect) less. The person committing the crime needs to be shamed, not the victim.

21.   A congregation of people is a sum total of every individual. That individual is me. I will not shy away from raising a protest, lending my voice and support and creating that little difference in my corner because each dot connects to become a sizeable mass. That’s not just emotion speaking. It is the law of Universe.

22.   When the innocent face such plight, it shakes up our conviction in fairness of the Universe, sending us running into the recluse of such beliefs as in Karma. But to our logical minds, this need not and should not happen to anybody. Can we ensure, with strictures, stipulations, education, self-control and whatever else that is in our ambit to prohibit and prevent?

23.   The divinity rests in each one of us. God acts through our actions, speaks in our voice and shows His presence through us. Can we then always attempt to act in the name and way of God, whatever shape and form we believe Him to be in?

24.   Nirbhaya was a leader, even when she was lying gutless, speechless on a hospital bed. What a great example that is, that no motivational, leadership, management book would ever teach us. Can we emulate, even in small parts?

25.   Some of us will be leaders and a lot of us will always be followers, ready to be herded. Can we at least be wise to lead and follow what is right?

26.   Just as Nirbhaya, even in absentia, is refusing to accept the wrong; can we - intelligent, thus-far living beings - do the same! Can we refuse to accept all that is wrong in our society? Can we demand redressal of all the ills that beset the world we live in? Can we stop being apathetic and change ourselves first before we demand change in others!

27.   Can Nirbhaya always be the reminder to me for all those times I was shamed into silence, threatened into submissiveness, outnumbered into acceptance? Can I find my voice and lend it to those who need it the most?

28.   Can Nirbhaya, Damini, Amaanat, Braveheart be the tipping point of my psyche and of those that I can influence, the bridge on which humanity crosses over to the fair land of hope, optimism and promise and not be reduced to a statistic on a medical record, a number on a police file and more importantly, a fading memory of a gruesome case of a city crime that lies in the danger of getting embedded beneath the ravages of my daily life?
Picture courtesy - Kathleen,

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