Freedom, Indian women have learnt, doesn’t come easy, free or cheap. In fact, some would tell you freedom isn’t a destination at all. It’s a work of precious progress. You build some, you lose some, you build some more.
I cannot help but recall the chilling events of last December when a 23-year-old Delhi-based physiotherapy student’s life was snuffed out in yet another instance of gender violence that now dot newspapers with alarming frequency. A happy wedding was not in her destiny.
If we want to be safe ourselves, we cannot ignore gender violence anywhere, on any woman, in any part of the city, village, country, world. Every time we close our eyes to news stories on sexual violence, which sit on our breakfast table with depressing regularity, we bring the demon closer and closer home.
As I write this, there is an atmosphere of fear in my city, a primordial female fear that springs up like that of a hunted prey from the brain’s amygdala. It was not just one woman who was viciously gang raped in a bus by monsters posing as men. It was every common woman of Delhi.