We Do Not Wish To Be India’s Daughters

We do not wish to be India’s daughters.

On the 14th of September, 2020, a 19-year-old Dalit woman from the city of Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, was brutally gang-raped by four upper-caste Thakur men. They also gouged out her eyes, cut off her tongue, and broke her spinal cord because of which she suffered multiple fractures and intense bleeding. On the 29th of September, she succumbed to her injuries and became just another statistic in India — a country in which a woman is raped every 15 minutes.

While all four accused were arrested, the Uttar Pradesh police refused to hand over the woman’s mortal remains to her family and forcefully cremated her in the early hours of the 30th of September. The horrendous incident (rightly) sparked outrage amongst Indians with many protesting the actions of the police and demanding an end to our country’s prevalent rape culture.

Rapes wont stop by hanging, pelting or castrating rapists. Rapes will stop when you stop normalising this shit, Rapes will stop when you stop pretending rapists are some uncivilised men who wait in dark alleys for women and not regular people with whom you engage everyday

Like many, many other women before her, Manisha Valmiki was christened ‘India’s daughter’, because that’s who you become when something horrific and unspeakable happens to you.

Once again India’s daughter suffers terribly. At a loss of words to express my anger & sorrow about the #Hathras incident. I stand with the family who lost their loved one to this heinous crime. Strict action must be taken against this inhuman behaviour #JusticeForManishaValmiki

Mere hours after Manisha’s death, a 22-year-old Dalit woman from Balrampur, also in Uttar Pradesh, died after being drugged and gang-raped by two men. She also became India’s daughter — a woman who serves as a carriage for the country’s guilt.

Trigger warning: Another horrific rape and murder of a young Dalit woman in Balrampur. In any other situation, in any other country, leaders in charge would take moral responsibility and resign for failing to ensure safety of women.

Remember the Unnao rape victim? She was also India’s daughter — a woman who bears the weight of our country’s collective failure. 8-year-old Asifa was also India’s daughter and so was Priyanka Reddy. And then there was Jyoti Singh — India’s Nirbhaya, perhaps India’s first daughter.

Manan Vatsyayana / Getty Images

Being India’s daughter entails a lot of pressure and sacrifices. You have to endure the pain of being reduced to a mere object. You have to put up with the ordeal of being consistently robbed of your agency. You have to suffer at the hands of a system that stands against you in every imaginable way. Being India’s daughter is synonymous with having your existence erased in the most gruesome manner possible. Being India’s daughter is having justice denied to you at every step of the way.

We carry fear within us. We carry rage. We carry sadness. But we do not wish to carry more burdens because being India’s daughter is a burden.

Men, please keep your dick and guns in your pants and let us ask for accountability from the system that led to this.

Everything in the world is not a spectacle for your hormones.

It shouldn’t be our cross to carry.

Violence is at the heart of the ideology that is taking India back to the dark ages. Violence based on religion. Violence based on gender. Violence based on caste. Violence based on language. Violence based on region. And all this violence to ensure political & social dominance.

We’re not your daughters. We do not wish to be your daughters. Because nothing good ever comes out of being India’s daughter.

Sam Panthaky / Getty Images

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