I was there on Saturday. From 10 am to 6:30 pm. Yes I got wet with the water cannons. Yes I had tears in my eyes and a burning throat because of the tear gas. Yes I was beaten twice with the ‘laathi’ by a male constable. Yes my left ear went deaf for three hours after a bomb exploded right beside it. Not just me, 50,000 other Delhites wet through the same or even worse.
What was our crime? Our crime was sitting peacefully, singing ‘Hum honge kaamyab ek din’ and asking for justice for a 23 year old girl, battling for her life after being raped & almost murdered inhumanly. Our crime was to ask for change in laws for all rape accused, to make it a non-bailable offense.
We were quietly protesting, no violence but the govt considered it apt to dismiss us. Forcefully. Violently. There was no political motive behind the protest. Only students, young working groups & parents formed the mob. Everyone was angry but peaceful. Yet we were beaten. Some admitted to the hospital. Because they were bleeding. Hit by laathi. Why? Because they wanted justice for a girl they don’t even know the name of.
I'm perturbed. To the core. But at least I'm proud of being a Delhite & being a part of what can be called a revolution as far as women safety is concerned. I'm proud that so many people came forward, without any fear, & stood for what they felt was right. The strength of the girls was surprisingly very high & they were not afraid of laathi charge. I applaud their courage in the protests. Yes, there was a minor percentage of the violent crowd who were there only to damaged public property. Excluding those morons, it was wonderful to see that people have the courage to speak up for their rights. If this is the future of our country, then there is hope.
All the pessimists out there saying "In protest se kuch change nahi hoga." When has there, ever, been a change without the presence of hope? At least do your bit, join the protests, if not, spread the word online. Boond boond se hi sagar banta hai. How would any change come by if you give up even before trying because nothing has happened so far? And if you still can't do anything, then you have no right to crib & blame it on the system. Remember, you are a part of the same system, if you are sitting idle at home, cribbing.
Having been there, then seeing on TV and reading about the protests all this while, a torment inside me has shaped up, that's beyond my control. I am trying to calm myself but it doesn’t help. I’m sure it is for good. I have gained the courage to slap a man in public if he tries to touch me intentionally. For the first time, I stared hard at the group of the guards at my society gate, leching at me, every time I enter my society gate. I used to ignore them. But no more. I stared at them and their cheesy smile faded away. It works girls, protesting at your own level works. The first thing I'm going to teach my daughter is to raise her voice & not 'ignore'. If you're ignoring a crime, you’re equally responsible for the consequences. It was her that day, it could be you tomorrow. This needs to stop here. Now. You don’t have to wait for the system to bring on the system, it YOU who can control what happens with you. Speak up. Raise your voice. Protest.
I am proud to say that I am a Delhi girl and I want my first child to be a girl.