The brave heart Damini, the victim of brutal gang rape in a Delhi bus on Dec 16, 2012, breathed her last at 0215 hours far away from her homeland in a Singapore hospital after battling for 13 days between life and death. The whole nation, specially the young generation, is shocked and crestfallen. The waves of emotions were so high that a section of mourners wanted the National Flag to fly half mast as a mark of respect to her. Some other felt she be treated with the honour of a martyr.
Watching the disciplined public at Jantar Mantar, JNU campus and elsewhere in Delhi and other cities standing and sitting in pindrop silence, one is fully convinced that the ‘sound of silence’ can be heard far and wide, and the ‘power of peace’ can threaten the violent armours of the powerful. This was perhaps the magical power Mahatma Gandhi once used to shake the invincible seat of the British Raj.
This makes it clear that if the nation can come out of its slumber against injustice and wrong doings the day is not far when a new India shall take birth, a new India where there shall be respect for women and the marginalized, citizens will be more vigilant and sensitive, they shall be aware of their basic rights and would like their representatives in the states and the centre to shun ‘chalta hai attitude’ and be more responsible, feel more accountable and make sincere efforts deliver something tangible to the nation.
The second very important point is the realization that nobody however insignificant can be neglected in a democracy for ‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.’ (John Donne). The political class instead of bullying the common citizen shall now feel threatened, for the nation shall stand behind every single citizen.
Once again I wish to quote John Donne to underline the value and importance of an individual, ‘Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.’
May this be our New Year resolution, ‘Love man, love mankind, stand together, realize the immense power of peace and silence to triumph over injustice and the wrongdoings anywhere and everywhere. Let us create a peaceful and progressive India, and a better world to live in.’
We mourn the tragic death of Damini, the brave heart, share sorrow with her bereaved family and pray for her soul to rest in peace. May her death give new life to million women in this country, and men realize their responsibilities to create a just and safe society.