Ananya Birla

Are you Nirbhaya ?

Are you Nirbhaya ?

Today marks 3 years  to the occurrence of the Delhi Rape Case, a heinous act which not only shook our nation but was condemned internationally.  Although, in 2013 the Criminal Law Ordinance,2013 was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee and several new law were also passed including six new fast-track courts. But, one question that still lingers in our fearful minds is

Are we courageous enough to fight against such a grave injustice,  what if tomorrow one of us unfortunately becomes a victim of the molester’s  lust ?

Critics argue that the legal system still remains quite inactive to hear and prosecute rape cases, but most agree that this case has triggered controversial debates and discussions related to crimes against women. Although, The statistics show that there has been an improvement in the number of women willing to file a crime report. However, there is still a huge part of the Indian women population, who is not “Nirbhaya”. The fact is that we are not alone, and there should be nothing and no one who has the power to stop us from getting the justice which we deserve.

The plight of the Indian women still remain the same – they still don’t want to fight this battle thinking what will the society say ?

If you are amongst those who don’t want to fight, give it a second thought.

Here are a couple of stories, which made a mark in the arena of fight for justice:

  • “I want no other woman in this city and country to go through such a brutal physical humiliation. Perpetrators should be punished severely as they have ruined my life. No punishment short of a life term will take away my pain and humiliation and physical abuse I underwent. Rape is not the end of life. I will continue fighting.” The victim also expressed her eagerness to return to work, stating, “I want to join duty as early as possible”. Such were the words said by the victim of the 2013 Mumbai gang rape case, which occurred when the victim, a photojournalist, who was interning with an English magazine in Mumbai, was gang raped by five persons including a juvenile when she had gone for an assignment to Shakti Mills in South Mumbai with a male colleague. This determination which made the victim composed desire the trauma made her fight against the men who had done wrong to her. This caused protest across the city with the sessions court sentencing death penalty to three convicts making them the first in the country to get the death sentence stipulated under the newly enacted section 376E of the IPC.
  • Suzette Jordan was a victim of a gang-rape, a prominent womens-rights activist and anti-rape campaigner from Kolkata, India. Referred to in the media only as the Park Street Rape victim, she publicly revealed her identity as a survivor of gang rape in 2013 to protest the spate of ongoing rapes and murders of women, and to encourage other survivors to speak out. Her story is inspiring as she came out to be a woman who was not ashamed and embarrassed due to what had happened with her, rather she was brave enough to fight against both her wrongdoers as well as the ever judgemental society at the same time. Her strong hearted spirit made her survive the humiliating incidents, one being – thrown out of a restaurant after the manager recognised her as the victim of rape, which resulted in her appearance at the show, “Satyamev Jayate”. Thanks to her power and family support, justice was finally delivered to her after a sessions court held all three accused guilty in the park street rape court on 10 December , 2015.
  • When Imrana, a native of Kukramandi situated on the outskirts of Muzaffarnagar was raped by her father in law, disappointment seemed to have hugged her even more tightly as her mother in law as well as sister in law requested her not to tell anyone about the incident in the name of family honour. Yet, no one could stop this young bride to file an FIR at the local police station after facing a huge shock from the judgement passed by the customary caste. They declared her to be the unlawful wife, as per the sharia laws. Eventually,  her fight for justice saw a ray of hope, when the court sentenced the accused with ten years in jail as well as ordered him to pay a compensation of Rs.8000 for raping her.

On the other hand we have stories of several other Indian women who are still deprived of their right to fight against the injustice done to them.

  • One such story is of Ragini, a resident of Atail-Idana village that comes under the Gohana Tehsil of Haryana, whose life was perfect until the day came when she was kidnapped and raped by four men continuously for four nights. Despite being a victim of such a heinous crime, the girl had to bear the brunt of familial and judicial neglect. She was one of the rape victims whose story went untold and never reached the police station and whose rapists were never penalised for their acts. Her story is similar to the story of any tribal woman or a that of a woman who lives in the so called urban civilisation and is forced to due to societal pressure.

Today, after 3 years of the heinous Delhi rape case, the number of rape cases have only increased, with 24,923 rape cases being reported across India in 2012 as per the National Crime Records Bureau, 2013. Today, it marks the third anniversary of the Nirbhaya Rape case. If you have been a victim of rape ever or if you know someone who has been, ask them to be the fearless, brave and courageous Nirbhaya who cannot be forced to stop from fighting against the evils doers of the society.

So, are you “Nirbhaya” ?

Or yet another Ragini who has not even walked upon the path to get the justice she deserves. 


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