On the outset, I want to say that my heart still breaks for Nirbhaya, who saw more than her fair share of pain in her short lived life. Infact, she suffered every beating, every rape, every insult, every humiliation and every torture that many women across the world suffer on a daily basis. Only, she suffered all this in a span of two hours than the lifetime that the other women take to suffer the same. Her male friend with her that night suffered a lot of pain as well. He is not forgotten.

While she succumbed to her injuries after a brave fight, many live with theirs, bearing scar upon scar. Hiding in plain sight, in the shadows of justice away from freedom and many behind the abuser itself. And now all eyes are on the Indian Justice System. Rightly so, that’s where the immediate restoration of humanity, security and dignity can come. After that, everyone goes back to their day jobs of ignoring the helpless on street corners, of staying un-involved with injustice, of emotional abuse, of domestic violence, of feeding the prevalent patriarchal system, of catering to a society where women are subclass, of under-reaction and elegantly sidestepping blatant abuse around us. Because in the little private world where we exist, there is just no place for the larger society or world peace for that matter.

We seem to be clamoring for the death penalty for these 6 raping murderers – one of them is a minor. All right then. Let’s get to it. But since we are taking 6 lives, let’s make sure we also hand out equivalent sentences to every wrong that culminated in the rape and death of Nirbhaya. We cannot be callous about handing out the death sentence. If we are going to take away a life, then let’s ensure that we don’t have to keep doing it every so often. Let’s uproot every single circumstance and contributor to this crime.

Death for all 6 of these rapists for raping and brutalizing a young woman. Death for brutalizing a young man. Where are the parents of the minor? Death to them for letting him run amok with terrible company and for not making sure he was in bed on a school night. If there was another means of transport that was denied to this young couple forcing them to board a renegade bus, death to those auto-rickshaw, taxi and public bus drivers for not doing their job. If there were leaders - spiritual or political or authorities in society that led these rapist to think that treating women as sexual object to use, abuse and discard was accepted, then death to them as well. If there were people who taught these men that they are superior and they were what their parents wished for them above a girl child and thereby implying that female is secondary, then death to those individuals. If there were any incidents where these rapists got the impression that even if you leave witnesses behind to your crime because the arms of justice just isn’t long enough, then death to them as well. This way our society is cleaned out of all evil and Nirbhaya’s death though a huge tragedy has led to purging and redeeming ourselves.

There is no other way. If we only kill these rapists and leave everything as is, tomorrow we will find ourselves killing some more and then some more until we are all killed out.

We need to rehabilitate as a society. By all means, let’s condemn these 6 rapists to death. Then let’s wake up and fix every element that led to our society’s poor condition. 


I have no disclaimers here. I meant every word. I feel that no death penalty can bring back what our society lost with Nirbhaya's death. It cannot take back what it says about us either. But I do believe they deserve a painful death. Just that we are now paying attention to this and not all the underlying evil that needs uprooting.