Unfortunately, today, not one of us is a stranger to Asifa.
Asifa. A child in whom we can see the many faces of a young, emerging India, Asifa’s emotion-inducing story today only echoes what is a rougher reality: that the women and children of this country are perhaps expected to believe that they have nothing sacrosanct in life. They need to expect that ‘men will be men‘ behavior will always be followed by a ‘learn to live with it, or die with it‘. Our understanding of Asifa’s experience once again bring to light the horrific, toxic, and often mind-numbing reality that is life for women and children in India.
Thousands gathered at Mumbai’s Carter Road Amphitheater, Bandra on April 15, 2018 in solidarity, in anguish, and in expectation of justice towards the recent spate of rapes and murders in the country, and the seeming failure of the legal system to provide respite in the said cases. Not surprisingly, the gathered mass also addressed the government’s failure to provide any strong statement indicating change, punishment, and a bunch of necessary actions to remedy how misogyny, sexism, sexual assault, rape, and in multiple cases now, murder goes unpunished, and undeterred.
Surely, the details surrounding the Kathua, Unnao cases have brought out the extremely brutal nature of the crime that is normalized and often kept under wraps because obviously, everyone and their brother has a load of contacts and money to quieten any situation. I mean, if you’re a girl or woman reading this, I am no one to tell you that perhaps sexual abuse is almost an everyday hustle; you already know it. But if you are a boy or a man, you must only have to wonder truthfully, how much crime towards women and children, across the country, goes unaccounted for. And for how long you’re going to act like it’s possibly not a problem in your life, at your door, with your loved ones.
While a lot of people wonder what the purpose of a protest or a peace rally like this is, maybe it is actually time we paid attention to the world around us. Respond to it, personally, with more than smart comments on the internet or finding a reason to be further divisive in our thoughts towards each other. The need to actually get together and start a conversation about the possible solutions to the many-layered problems we collectively face is the only true functioning model of democracy. This solidarity, when brought out in the open, actually gives us the opportunity to get our collective voices heard, and to show that we are not to be counted as silent sheep headed to a slaughter, especially against the possible backdrop of being too busy to actually care about what the real world around us is.
At this point of time, religion, economics, and cultural differences apart, it is necessary to come together and compel the powers to act against the perpetrators of crimes of this kind against women and children, and it should be all the inspiration you need to join a cause in any case.
Here are 17 placards and messages that caught my attention, and made for some perfect reflections of anger, disproval, disgust and the recurrent theme for a positive change.