A Teen's Response to 'India's Daughter'

(Akshaya Sivakumar is a Class 12 student of Delhi Public School, Surat.)

When I first saw the Nirbhaya case being displayed on all the television news channels, I didn't really realize the detailed implications it had for our society. Watching the BBC documentary on India's Daughter has touched certain aspects of my mind that I was knowingly ignorant of, thinking that not knowing would numb the pain, or that not knowing would prevent negative thoughts from entering my mind. No, that wasn't true. Not knowing is the root of the problem. Not knowing, ignorance, unawareness, or lack of education, is the reason such incidents happen in societies.

Today, even slums have satellite dishes, meaning, they might not have food and may be struggling for a daily living, but they have televisions and everyone watches the news.  According to me, watching the documentary would have changed the way people think on a massive scale. And so what I don't understand is why the government has banned such a documentary from being broadcast, when almost every day, many news channels are filled with hours and hours of discussions on the most irrelevant subjects.

Government, haven't you kept your citizens, whose massive population is considered a vote bank by you, in the shadow of ignorance long enough? And why? Just so you can get votes? Some politicians, after getting elected, stash away hard-earned public money into their Swiss bank accounts. Is this the aim of good governance? I blame the government, and I don't mean the BJP or the Congress or any other political party. I mean the 'Government of India', which has governed us throughout the course of Indian democracy. Since our government takes pride in being the most populous and cultured society, I say it is also to blame. Why? Here's why - you don't educate your citizens, and the term 'citizen' covers a range of persons from the 'Ambani citizen' to the 'Slumdog citizen'.  

A narrow-minded view of Indian culture today has brought us to the edge of a cliff from where there's no turning back. There are so many good things we can learn from our culture which we take so much pride in. Out of the many cultural values that Indians can encourage in their children, why do most Indians choose to embed so vehemently the different roles of the boy and girl in our society? A girl can't but a boy must.  Why should only her father protect her when she's young and her husband once she's married? Why can't every man protect women around the world? Further, why doesn't society understand that a woman can protect herself? Why should she need protection at all? Can't society be safe for all? There seems to be no difference between living in a jungle and living in a concrete jungle. Either way, you're surrounded by animals.


Living in a patriarchal society over centuries has created strong affirmations of male dominance in the minds of many Indians. To change this way of thinking is a battle that we have to be prepared to fight for as long as we do not succeed. It's like swimming. You can't stop till you've reached the end of your goal or else you might drown. Don't drown. Don't allow yourself to turn into something you hate seeing in others. Don't allow your education to go waste.  We are the only ones who can bring in change. Be the change you want to see.

Parents, make yourself a promise to never limit the vision of your child by telling him/her that he/she is incapable of doing certain things in life. Let's not allow India to be labeled as the country of rape and ravage rather than tolerance and understanding. It is India's bitter reality, that as I write, I know some woman somewhere is being attacked. As an Indian, as a woman, it is the most loathsome thought to bear in mind.  

Education is the key to end such problems. I hope more Indians realize this sooner. Literacy enabled me to pen my thoughts but my education is what made me think.

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