I am that 13 year old girl that wants to play outside with my friends after 7:00 PM; I am the girl that
believes that in her home, nothing can touch her; I am that young student that wants to be able
to take a walk at night all by herself; I am that housewife that does not want to be escorted by her
brother, father or any other male member of her family every time she needs to run an errand. I
am that woman who has a free spirit, who wants the choice regarding whether or not she should
wear a short skirt to depend on her mood and not the reaction of a prowler waiting to grab her; I am
that woman that lives in with her boyfriend and hopes that my watchman doesn’t think its okay for
him to rape me. I am that journalist who works all night and wants to be fearless, I am that girl who
works in a BPO and feels her heart leaping up to her mouth every time she is alone at 3:00 am with
a taxi driver. I am also that woman who takes money for sex so she can live. I am all those shades
of the Indian woman who is pleading every man around her to ensure her, that she can trust them.
I am angry with my law maker, I am angry with all those that execute my laws, but most of all, I am
angry with me. Because I am also a face among those who left that 23 year old girl to her near death
on a road in New Delhi because I was afraid, or insensitive, or too busy or perhaps just didn’t care.
I am an entity composed of all that is around me, and what is around me is fear and apathy. I could
be change, safety, security and happiness. If you don’t, I won’t, if someone else wont, you won’t. So
where does this end?
Sympathy is something we have in plenty to give. But is that enough, it takes half a minute to post
a status, change your profile picture and perhaps half an hour for me to write this note. People go
out on streets everytime there is a horrific incident, you can either trivialise it or you can join them.
Yes, people have ignored a lot of incidents in the past, and yes it is possible that it will continue to
happen. But if you don’t lend them your hand now, they will probably always remain silent on the
few issues they are vocal about too. Individuals tend to underestimate their own voice and strength,
we tend to sit back and watch a protest on the television thinking we cant make a difference. The
thought, like cancer, spreads and from one individual to many it succeeds in killing the body of
power- the People. I’m one lone voice among a nation of 1.2 billion, don’t see me for my ideology,
don’t see me for my caste, don’t see me for the amount of money my father makes, don’t see for
the clothes I wear. See me as all those shades of the Indian woman who are each different, but who
are each afraid. So help me, and I… every I in that 1.2 billion will have helped us.
Aabha Sharma is a student of Political Science at the University of Hyderabad. At a very short notice she has accepted the invitation to compose these words for The Arachneed in order to express our solidarity with the Anti Rape Protests in Delhi. We remain grateful.
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