Your suffering was the last straw on the camel’s back. Till then we would awaken to horror stories every morning, shake our heads in disgust and walk on. But the day we woke up to your story, we could not walk on anymore. To hear that a girl was not just violated but assaulted in such a brutal manner gave vent to anger and resentment we were holding inside ourselves. And we took to the streets. Castes and class divides were blurred as women from all walks poured on to the streets to ask for justice.
Justice for you and what you went through, justice for lakhs of women who over the years have suffered, justice for those whose voices were suppressed for fear of humiliation, Justice for each one of us who face molesters every day, justice for each and every woman of this country or even this world.
There were platitudes offered by the government, the actions of the culprits condemned, strong actions recommended but nothing could bring back the serene and hopeful life that had been cruelly snatched away from you.
You still fought on, just like you had fought your attackers, holding on to life winning against all odds. And everyday thousands of prayers went in your name hoping against hope that you would survive. But one day your precarious grip on life was lost. And you slipped away from us.
You left us with courage, belief and a fight which we will fight till the end. Today every woman walking on the road is a fair play for the predators, which live among us. Monsters, which have no right to belong to the civilised society, men who are so depraved that their social and moral values are lost.
We have been hit by water cannons in the Delhi chill, lathi charged, called “dented and painted” by some, advised to carry chilli powder in our purses, taken into police custody and harassed. But we are not giving up. For this is not even a small percentage of what you went through but didn’t give up.
Today, we walk on the roads looking over our shoulders, worry about going home late in the night, fight molesters and gropers everywhere and when we take our complaints to the authority we face more insensitivity. This has to stop. Not just in metros and cities but in every small town and village where women are violated in the name of religion, tradition and so-called national interest.
Too many have suffered for too long and we refuse to suffer anymore. The powers that be are hoping that we will forget this fight, this agitation will die down and we will soon forget you. But this letter wants to say that you will be remembered for you have immortalised the indomitable spirit of women.
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