I ”ummed” and ”ahhed” about airing my opinion in such a public way, yet I am so public about everything, but this, this felt different
In my typical Indian way…
I worried about what people would think of me
I worried about what my family would think of me
I silenced myself and decided to say nothing, even though I was outraged by the whole scene of events that have come about of late I still said nothing…
I am no better than the rest of them….
Now that precious 5 year old Indian girl is dead
I was 4, he was a trusted family friend and what he did to me over the course of years, left me confused and traumatized, at every turn in my life there he was, there it was…
He called it magic
So did I
I blamed myself
So did he
I was a year younger than this child, I know what the silence of sexual abuse does to a child, more so what the silence of sexual abuse does to an Indian child
Over the past few months, rape in India has been high on the agenda
The rape of Indian girls has hit me hard, I too am an Indian girl, I know the culture all too well, I know what talking about ”it” does to a family
So the question on everyones lips is this-
”Is this something that has been happening for a long time or is it a new phenomena within India?”
I think we all know the answer to this – this is not new.
What is new, is RAPE is finally getting the voice it deserves.
For too long we have been silent and said nothing, Indian culture shrouded in a veil of secrecy, a corrupt society, where even police cannot be trusted, we don't talk about “it”, or address “it”, and the last thing we are about to talk about is the violation of a child of ours, especially a girl. For with this news comes the shame faced by the family, her parents had nothing to do with this and yet what would fall on a family that makes public their conceived ”misfortune” is the ”shame”, by Indian cultural standards there will be a cover up and they will never talk of it again…..UNTIL NOW
Now what, how have things changed?
Indian women are out on the streets protesting for the common decency of their own, shouting out against rape
But I ask you, think more deeply than this, what are they really asking for?
When these women take their protests into a very public arena, when they shout out against atrocities to women what are they really talking about?
Is it JUST rape? NO, IT IS NOT, it is the social injustice of the life of Indian girls especially Indian girls & women within India.
The social rape of women on every level…child marriages, dowrys, virgnity, the cloud of silence they sit under, the pressure to have a boy and the pressure of being a girl.
The irony, without one another we would not be able to reproduce that is fact, and yet, the mental pressure the birth of a girl puts on an Indian family is unfathomable.
In a place where the karma sutra was born, contrary to popular belief it is not just a sex manual but an education on family, love & life and yet India still lives in an era unfamiliar to the rest of us, frightening and suffocating….
That's how conforming to Indian standards has me feel – suffocated….it's deep and painful for me, a journey within such a rich culture, an Indian girl fighting to free myself from a past that had me drowning in shame.
This conversation is much bigger than rape.
It's a conversation about giving women the power to be fully self expressed, for women to have a voice, for women to have a common respect for other women, for women to have the power to BE
I, an Indian girl grew up in a very ”white” part of England, my life appeared picture perfect, I do believe I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but what occurred in my early years has lived in my soul all these years, there is no deleting it, there is only making peace with it and using experience to fuel my passions
….silver the spoon was, but black was the veil of shame that I put on ALL BY MYSELF….
#womanwithoutavoice? Not anymore.
So here we are. what are we going to do about it?
Well, we are going to get talking, we are going to use our voices and talk about it
For me this has been a tremendous journey, yes, tremendous, why?
Well, without my experience of life, good and bad, pleasant and horrific, I would not know how to write, share and heal…
God bless her, may she rest in peace
I am a Personal fashion stylist, Nutritionist, Speaker, Writer, personal shopper volunteer at Dress for Success. My Focus:Have women create their own brand, voice, style & confidence.