Act of God

Author: Divyang


As he looked down, he saw millions of people come together to pray. Not for themselves, not for their families, but for the victims of the horrendous crime called rape. It touched him. Acts of humanity from humans were rare.
Today, however, their support and sympathy was purely selfless, and selfless deeds that do not have a grain of benefit for the doer are the holiest.
He decided he had to intervene. He had let the humans run the world for long enough and they had failed. Miserably. Maybe this will send a message.
It was time, as they say, for a miracle.
It had been as if all his limbs had been drained of energy.
He had seen the slutty girl he had been following.  Alone. Seeing his chance, he had pounced. She had been asking for it, really. He had been sure she would give in.
The last woman he had raped had. She had struggled but had finally given up and laid down like a corpse with silent tears flowing down her face.
But as soon as he had grabbed her from the back, he had felt powerless, and the girl had pulled out a knife and a spray from her purse.
As she ran away, a voice pierced his ears. It made his ears bleed, but he could sense that it was divine. It seemed to be all around him, and yet it was only for his ears. The voice was singing something.
By some crazy birth right,
you had assumed it to be okay
okay to rip a woman of her integrity
and to forge them into claws.
Claws that hold her fast,
as she gets beaten down
into something more than a soul
but certainly not human.
For even now she wails
all through the night.
She wails, at the white blank walls,
when she sees the claws
somehow penetrate them
like they had done with her clothes
and crawl up the bed sheet
which she holds tight, up to her chin
like a kid, afraid of monsters under her bed.
For her, the monsters are only too real.
She wails and howls, at the blank walls
from which she is sure the monsters shall emerge.
These are the same walls that cage her,
the same she is not allowed to go out of,
in case she gets ripped again.
By some crazy logic,
you thought it was perfectly fine
to grab her dress and yank it off her.
And to make them into curtains
curtains she is even now afraid to part
in case one of you is standing outside her house
eyeing her like she was your own property.
But very soon, mark my words
those eyes will be scratched out
of their despicable heads.
And that dupatta you tore off,
while she struggled to keep it
in some horrible game of tug of war
shall be used to tie a noose,
and between its folds,
will not be her neck.
But this time, you will not get to take a peek
because hanging from it
will be your head.
In her panic, she had left a cut on his arm. A cut that wouldn’t stop bleeding even after an hour. The water and medicines that he tried to put on it seemed to be repelled, as if they were aware of the misdoings behind the gash.
It had been happening a lot lately. No one seemed to be able to lay hands on a girl these days. A friend of his who tried to get another girl had said that he had felt a searing pain and had gone blind for a few seconds, as the girl ran away. It had seemed ridiculous at that time, but now…
The scar couldn’t heal, and so could not the shame. It was all he felt now, as it dawned on him that he had been the recipient of god’s verdict.

Child Abuse

Author: Aditi Chandrasekhar

There’s a saddening abundance of occurrences of child abuse that crop up in the news everyday, and it is scary to think about the fact that these are just the cases that are reported about. Child abuse is more prevalent that you’d think inside the walls of a house. Obviously, it is morally wrong to abuse any living being. In the case of child abuse though, there are a multitude of consequences (some very complex) that manifest in the victim, and these psychological repercussions often affect them throughout their lives, or at least for a significantly long period of their lives. Some scars that child abuse leaves on the victim could be physical, but there are mental ones that accompany these too-they damage the victim’s relationships and general ability to function normally. An example is a lack of trust in relationships-it becomes extremely difficult for a victim of child abuse to foster healthy, nurturing relationships with their peers as the definition of trust itself is very vague according to them, due to the simple logic- If someone they loved and respected hurt them, then what is the meaning of trust? Another consequence can be having constant feelings of worthlessness. Positive reinforcements and acts of forgiveness are important for a child’s development. They provide a strong foundation for a good self-esteem and sense of self, later on in the child’s life. If the child has been abused, they inculcate thoughts of being worthless and this stays with them for a long time. When they grow up, abused children may neglect their education and later on, adult responsibilities like their family and job. There is a higher probability of abused children to turn to extremely harmful vices like alcohol and drugs to deal with the stress and anxiety that they experience as a result of not being able to identify and regulate their emotions. There is a common misconception that child abuse is just physical acts of violence but there are actually many forms of abuse-neglect, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse too. Regardless of the type of abuse, there are many negative effects that follow and hamper the child’s growth. It is up to us to be aware of the people surrounding us, check up on them and act on any signs they may be showing. If you suspect that a child is a victim of abuse or if they confide in you about some type of abuse that they’re facing, then it is vital to keep the following things in mind:

  1. Don’t give in to denial-It is our mind’s natural reaction to reject something that seems almost too unpleasant or shocking to be true but displaying this emotion in front of the child will only harm them even more. It is important to remain calm and reassuring.
  2. Don’t interrogate-Asking questions instead of letting the child decide what and how they’re going to tell you about the abuse, will inevitably fluster them or make them uncomfortable. It is necessary to give them time and space to tell their story.
  3. Provide safety and comfort-Reassure them that they weren’t in the wrong, and that you took them seriously. Think twice about any actions you decide to take, as the child’s safety is the most important consideration in the situation and anything that may threaten it should be avoided. Don’t neglect the situation and take it to the professionals.


Author: Rahul Srinivas


We know that the number of rapes keep increasing in the country and we, the citizens are more aware and enraged about it, now more than ever. Thanks to social media. The cycle of women being raped and the guilty getting away with it, while we stood and watched this injustice happen kept repeating until the 6th of this month.

The Hyderabad rape case consisted of a woman veterinarian of age twenty-five, who was brutally gang raped and murdered, and her body burnt. This inhuman act enraged the whole nation. The four suspects in this case were Arif, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen Kumar and Chintakunta Chenna Keshavulu. These four people were arrested to be interrogated. There was no concrete proof that all four had a part in this unspeakable act, and so they were taken for interrogation.

But, on December 6th, the alleged rapists were shot to death by the Hyderabad police. All the four suspects were encountered by the police. The police claimed that the suspects tried to flee and were armed, and hence they had no other option other than to shoot them for self-defense. This does sound a bit far fetched and cinematic.

But the effect these encounters had on our citizens was different. On that day, the citizens who were enraged of the injustice, the families of the victims who were mourning their loss and the millions of helpless souls that prayed for the ones who passed; everyone got an answer. Everyone stood united against the injustice. Everyone felt at peace for a while on knowing the fact that finally, someone did something.

But let us look at the facts for a minute here. These four alleged rapists were after all, alleged. There wasn’t any concrete proof to prove them guilty. And fortunately, or unfortunately, our system says ‘Innocent until proven guilty’. And in front of the eyes of the law, they were not guilty. In front of the eyes of the nation, they were not innocent.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding this encounter. A lot of politicians and celebrities like Akhilesh Yadav and Vivek Anand Oberoi, tweeted supporting the encounter while some stood against it as that is just not how the system works. But our laws allow encounters for self-defense. But is that what actually happened is still a mystery. Shooting and the killing the suspects at the same spot they allegedly killed the victim seems to be a bit much to be a coincidence though.

On one hand, the system does not allow this. But on the other hand, I feel that our system on itself is flawed. It takes a lot of time for concrete proof and to prove that the suspects are guilty. For instance, seven years have passed since the brutal rape and murder of the Delhi medical student Nirbhaya. The four accused are yet to be hanged even after getting the death sentence. A system that takes seven years to hang criminals who are proven guilty, is neither a fast nor an effective system.

Another flaw in our system is that the suspects can not be held in custody for that long as it is really easy to get a bail in our country. And is animals like these get bail this easily, they will continue to do these brutal acts again. So, basically the system would have allowed these suspects into the country to roam free and commit crimes while it should have already punished them for their crimes. The recent UP Unnao rape victim’s situation clearly saw the full extent of this flaw.

The victim was raped by two men, who were granted bail. A few days ago, when she was asked to appear on court for the hearing, she was abducted by five men- the 2 accused, their fathers and another male. They took her to a field, poured kerosene on her and burned her. She called the police and ran for almost a kilo metre by herself, in that condition. She was then admitted and sadly, passed away in the hospital.

Her final words said that she wanted to see those who did this to her be hanged. She died without her last words coming true.

So now you decide. Was the encounter of alleged rapists and going against the system for justice wrong? Or is a system that doesn’t punish the guilty and allows these animals to roam free wrong?

Safety: A Birthright of All

Our constitution grants us the Right to Life under the many civil rights that it has provided for its citizens. This privilege promises that the state has to make provisions for the well-being and the safety of its citizens, something that it has failed to do in recent times. An individual’s safety includes protection from abuse, harassment, and predators.

How is it that no number of rules or laws can stop these sexual carnivores from inflicting a lifetime of pain and trauma on unsuspecting individuals? Cases of such hideous crimes are often brought up by the media and left to become breaking news. However, what surprises me the most is how gender-specific safety has become. There are laws and laws that are being passed to ensure that every Cinderella reaches home unscathed, without having to call upon a Fairy Godmother. Women now are in possession of a prerogative which exempts them from any legal action, if found guilty of the murder of their assailant while defending themselves. But in this “We-stand-for-equality” era, aren’t the males of the society equally prone to being targets for these demons in human forms?

Last week, the news highlighted the story of a 36-year-old woman who sexually attacked a nine-year-old boy several times for more than a year, all over a family dispute. The devil dwells in a female figurine as well and is capable of causing the same amount of anguish. There is a greater need to focus on the safety of the males in this country and not leave them to defend themselves with the weapon of masculinity. The perils of avoiding sex education and making it a taboo are faced equally by both the genders. When the judiciary decided to support the rights of the LGBT community, it was unaware of the dangers that could follow. Last month, the nation heard of a case in which a woman was guilty of abusing another woman. It is not just a man with cheap sexual fantasies that a woman needs to be aware of. Her own kind is capable of wounding her in a way she never thought possible. Well, for the feminists with the singular motto of “What men can do, women can do better”, this point is definitely in your bag.

A 14-year-old boy in Mumbai reported sexual assault by a man, soon after which he died of rat poison consumption. In India, the minimum punishment for raping a boy is 10 years in jail, compared with 20 years for assaults on girls under 16. Why this discrimination? While there still is limited awareness, focus and advocacy on women’s rights in sexually violent circumstances, it is even less so when men are the victims of these crimes. A man’s culprit deserves a severe punishment like a lady’s. Every person, be it a male, a female or a transgender, has the right to feel safe and secure walking down a deserted street at any time of the day. It is the need of the hour that we start addressing the issue of male security in the country and around the globe. After all, feminism is not about one gender being better than the other; it is about all of them being equal.

While the Nirbhaya rape case of 2012 succeeded in raising awareness regarding the safety of women in the country, male victims failed to gain much attention. The masculine gender happens to be the most neglected sufferer of sexual assault. A victim cannot get over the psychological trauma easily. It is essential that we try to understand their perspective and ensure that their voices are heard. One can spend a lifetime trying to forget a few moments that lie in the past. Martin Luther King Jr. aptly said our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. From infancy, males are told that they should strive to be masculine, i.e. resilient, self-sufficient, dominant in sexual interactions and able to defend both themselves and those relying on them for protection. This has to change. We, as a society, need to understand that these assumptions, very often, become barriers for them to open up and share their experiences. They believe that encounters of such abuse may contravene with these expectations. The right to equal safety provisions has to change
as an under-discussed phenomenon. It’s work that we all have to start right now.