Do not stand by my grave and weep.I am not there, I do not sleep.I am a thousand winds that blow,I am the diamond glints upon the snow.I am the sunlight on ripened grain andI am the gentle autumn rain.When you awaken in the morning’s hush,I am that swift uplifting rush,Of quiet birds in circled flight.I am the soft star that shines at night.Do not stand by my grave and cry,I am not there, I did not die.
- Author Unknown!
She’s termed a ‘brave-heart’ and an example to every young Indian - eulogy well said and even well intentioned and yet to the one for whom we sing all this might sound rather too grandeur, alien even! She was a normal young woman, with simple dreams and a simpler life. She hadn’t aspired for masses rooting for her in life, let alone death.
She sought a life – of her own, safety – that she deserved and dignity – that was promised!
Close to four decades since the fundamental duty to protect the dignity of a woman was inserted into the very constitution that we hold sacred and stand by, where is that dignity? And if we find no trace of it what are we protesting today? What are we mourning today?
The young woman was no martyr – she never chose to be, she was cannibalized by the demons we have perpetrated in our society. For decades, if not centuries, we have killed, hunted and raped – may be with lesser force and intent – but with just as similar consequences!
What gives us the right as a society today to become so self-righteous and demand death for just those six who were involved in this very incident – why let every sanctimonious man and woman scot free who is as much a part and perpetrators of this system.
Do these protests, and so called justice, in the name of that nameless, make any difference to her? Why are we hell bent on giving her something she never wanted when we have conveniently denied to her everything that she did?
Every day, almost every woman in this country puts up with abuse – great or small – what have we done to eliminate that?
Are we to punish these six men on the gallows, or castrate them and feel we’ve atoned for everything? And will lustful men stop just because the media goes hammer and tongs on one case?
We just don’t need more laws and better implementation, we need a societal change!
The Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT Act) was enacted back in 1994 and the success rate if not pitiable is surely laughable! In two decades of this existence it has resulted in meagre two convictions with a combined penalty of less than Rs 4500 … I know, exactly, I am going the same – Are you freaking kidding me!!!
We kill girls before they are born, we abandon after they are, and if we don’t either of those then some son-of-a-gun would have molested the rest of those before they blossom into the beautiful people that God intended them to be.
The fault lies, not just with those who indulge in these heinous acts, it is all of us – equally and squarely. We are the society that breeds and tolerates this menace, we allow it to happen, we turn a blind eye, a deaf ear and a hollow conscience.
And one fine morning, when a young one, who never wanted to die in the first place – actually does – we cry our throats horse, in eulogy, in cries for justice – as though it’s our one symbolic act of redemption.
As the sun comes up tomorrow, nothing will change, because we have never wanted asked for change, we’ve only gone jingoistic for justice that will never be meted to the girl gone and past. We never looked in the mirror and said I need to change; of course, we’ve been busy ‘cleansing’ ourselves by singing eulogies and seeking justice!
Tomorrow – we’ll be the same, and so will the scores of those who’ll do the same to other woman - we’ll never know who it is until much later when we decide that as a society we need a fresh round of conscience cleansing.
The one who left us, will never be affected by anything we do now – let us not aspire to give her what she never sought. We may be better of channelling our energies into allowing these little buds to blossom, have their normal lives, be the simple people they wish to be!
They don’t want to be heroes, or martyrs or brave-hearts – let’s not kill them first and sing them eulogies later!