October 19, 2020

 

Rape of an Identity

 
 
 

Rape of an Identity

Raped nation lies
Naked in the field,
Her back broken.

Is this the nation that
Worships Durga, the mother
Goddess, who destroyed
The demon, Asura?

Hathras, a name of a
Place, a village where
Mother power lies
Crushed, bruised, battered
By the modern-day asuras (demons)

She was a Dalit (untouchable) young
Woman, 19 years old
Working in the field
With her mother. As she
Mowed the grass her
Distance with her
Mother increased.
Then they pounced on
Her -- four upper class men,
The privileged in the society.
They were settling scores.
They tore her apart.
Spinal cord, shoulder
Bones broken.

After 15 days of war with
Death, the teen died in
A New Delhi hospital and as
The Opposition cried failure
Of rule of law in the state,
The administration tried to
Shield the rapists by toning
Down the extent of brutality.
'Gang rape' was seen through
The prism of 'assault'.

The 'assaulted' mothers
Of the nation rose in protest.
Filled up prison vans as the
Dalit's body was cut up
For post mortem.

Are we civilized? Is there
Rule of law? Or is law meant
To protect the privileged?

Protests will die down.
Newspaper articles will
Be forgotten. The case will
Drag on for years and finally
The demons will perhaps
Get away with 'light' sentences
Because a Dalit has no social status.
A Dalit has no identity. A Dalit
Has no right to perhaps even live
With dignity in the nation
Where the privileged call shots!





** Author's note: The Wednesday, September 30, edition of The Times of India, the largest circulated English daily of India, front-paged the story titled, "Gang-raped and tortured, Dalit teen dies after 15-day battle."

** Editor's note: From the BBC: "Hathras gang rape: India victim cremated 'without family's consent'"





Article © Pranab Ghosh. All rights reserved.
Published on 2020-10-05


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By Pranab Ghosh: