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We are sorry Nirabhaya

Dear Nirbhaya, 
We have never met but I would like to start off by saying we are sincerely sorry. We are sorry because you paid the price for our mistakes. We are sorry that you had to die for our mistakes. Even in your death we could not give you peace, even in your rest we denied you peace. We are sorry for the fact that we agitated and protested for gender equality but we stopped after the rapist were caught. We came down on streets braving the curfew, the band the water canon and we struggled. That struggle was nothing compared to the struggle you were facing. 

We are sorry for the fact that we never stopped or protested against the uncles when they asked our sisters to be more 'gharelu'. We are sorry for the fact that we never argued with our mothers when they explained to our sisters the geometry of round rotis.

We are sorry for the fact that we came home expecting cooked food expecting it to be our birthright. We are sorry for not stopping our parents when they were giving out the matrimonial ads for a girl who could manage the house. We are sorry for not stopping our father when they called our girlfriend characterless because she drank alcohol with us in the pub. 

We are sorry to not have protested against the colleague who would boast of about having a 'Chudayi' and a 'Lugayi'. We are sorry to not stop the office gossip about a girl just because she smokes at the Tapri. 

We are sorry Nirabhaya for mothers not scolding theirs sons when they disrespected other woman. We are sorry for wives defending their husband in all sorts of wrong deeds. We are sorry for woman who support the men in controlling, withholding and setting up the framework for girls. We are sorry for the couple who choose to produce a boy over a girl. We are sorry for our sisters, wives accepting the vile words of the lawyer AK Singh that he can confidently talk about burring his own sister in front of the whole family.

We are truly sorry,  Nirabhaya, for if the men in the country had an ounce of bravery that you displayed in fighting against what was wrong, we would not have to face a scoundrel shame the whole country on global television. We are truly sorry, Nirabhaya, for if the woman of the country had an ounce of courage you showed while fighting the six assailants, we would be outraging over some other issue. 

In our defence however we did force the government to work on improving rape laws. We are waiting for them to be hanged but all these are reactive knee jerk measures. We are truly sorry for not taking measures proactively.

We are sorry Nirabhaya, because even though 93 woman are reported to be raped everyday, we still don't talk about it because we fear what will others say. Perhaps that's the reason majority of people are appalled at the idea that the rapist could have similar thoughts as some members of the the family. The family members have not committed any rapes, I am sure, but they did give a solid excuse to the rapist.

I am sorry Nirabhaya for calling you India's Daughter, because you were brave in everything that you did. We the people from India perhaps are not. Yet.


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