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December 22nd, 2015

Let’s call her by her name. And it’s Jyoti Singh.

It’s probably very poor blogging form to start a post with an apology, but I think I owe it to you all.

I have been totally remiss in keeping in touch these last few weeks, but Life with a capital L got in the way in the saddest way possible.

My mother, hitherto fighting fit, died very suddenly earlier this month, so the last few weeks have been a blur of shock, sadness, inexplicable exhaustion, and (fatal for someone who likes to think she keeps abreast of the news) a weird feeling of disconnect.

I am now back in India, and feeling, well, disconnected is once again the best word to describe it.

Major events are happening here in India, and I read about them and know I should be shouting from the rooftops with outrage/anger/enthusiasm…but then suddenly the day is over and I feel just too weary and heart-sore to write…guess this is all part of dealing with death.

Anyway, I felt I owed an explanation to all of you (& thank you all so very, very much) who read this blog, but whom I don’t know personally, and so who wouldn’t know about recent events.

Right, let’s see what’s happening this morning in this cold but sunny city of Delhi, shall we?

3 years ago, a young lady by the name of Jyoti Singh was so brutally gangraped here in Delhi that most of us can still not bear to think about the realities of her ordeal.

I was talking about the case to my house guests, Liz and Richard last night, and though they knew about what has become known as “the Delhi gang-rape”, they didn’t know the details – the iron rod shoved inside Jyoti, the evisceration, the tossing of her naked, mutilated body onto the road where passers by drove by without helping.

I blogged about this horrific case extensively at the time, and here are is just one link to refresh your memory. Not necessarily on the unspeakable horrors 23 year old Jyoti had to endure, but the reactions here in this country.

The reason I am talking about this gang-rape today is that the most vicious of the murderous raping bastards who attacked Jyoti, was released this weekend.

This evil man was allegedly (and oh-so-conveniently) just a few months shy of his 18th birthday at the time he personally pulled out her intestines with his hands. So he was tried as a juvenile, despite the anger that wracked the country.

And so, as a juvenile who raped and eviscerated a woman, he got three years in a remand home.

And now he is out, the system apparently unable to do anything else other than release him to the care of a NGO and, so we are told, give him Rs10,000 and a sewing machine towards his rehabilitation.

I am not a lawyer, and I also firmly believe in the law of the land.

So if the law says he was a child when he raped a woman, and that he was a child when he pulled her intestines out with his bare hands, well, then the law knows best.

I can’t even begin to express my fury, my despair, my terror at the idea of a man like him roaming around the city where I live, where my beautiful daughter lives, where Bahadur’s daughters live, where nieces and friends and my lovely running girls live.

I am possibly too saddened by my own personal grieving to express all of this properly, but what in God’s name was anyone thinking, when they let this evil vicious raping man be charged as a child.

If he was old enough to rape, he was old enough to be charged as an adult.

If he was old enough to shove an iron bar inside Jyoti and eviscerate her, he was old enough to be charged as an adult.

Since rape victims are not named in India to protect them, poor Jyoti Singh was named Nirbhaya by the media, a name which irritated the hell out of me from day one. (If that is of any import.)

Nirbhaya means fearless in Hindi and perhaps this young lady was indeed fearless. She apparently fought off her murderous rapists with as much strength as the poor child could muster, but calling her fearless almost mythologised her.  Put her on some sort of honorific pedestal.

“Ah yes, the brave and fearless woman fighting off the evil of society” – that kind of convenient distancing of ourselves from the sickening reality of rape and murder

Her dignified parents seemed to have no problem with her name being known, so why we all had to call her Nirbhaya baffled me.

Using this name removed Jyoti from the equation.

If we had all been allowed to call her Jyoti from day one, she would have become a real person in our traumatised minds, not some sort of symbol of fearless womanhood.  Ugh, the whole namby-pamby-ness of it makes my blood boil

If the press needed a made-up name then, for some legal reason or some misplaced sense of respect, why the hell are we still calling Jyoti by this name 3 years later, when her own dear mother has gone on record as saying she wants her daughter’s name to be used.

“My daughter was Jyoti Singh and I am not ashamed to name her.”

What a lady.

That’s her photo up top, by the way, at a memorial for her dead daughter this weekend.

And why are we referring to this murderous bastard as a “youth” when he is a 20 year old murderous rapist?  Why is this man’s face hidden in every photo?

Yes, yes, I know.

The law believes in rehabilitation blah blah blah, but every thing you read about this evil man says he has show no signs of remorse whatsoever, which is beyond terrifying. This man can quite possibly be let loose on society again, though I say this having no idea of the security system of whatever NGO now has him.

One hopes they lock him away.

One presumes that he is tagged and chipped and monitored.  That the authorities will know where he is at every moment of the rest of his evil life.

So, in conclusion –  I returned to Delhi heavy of heart for my own personal tragedy, and am plunged ever deeper into a feeling of helplessness when I read about Jyoti’s rapist walking free.

27 comments to Let’s call her by her name. And it’s Jyoti Singh.

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