As it was announced that the four men who raped, tortured & killed ‘Damini’ had been sentenced to the death penalty my heart literally sank….for two reasons. One was relief as I was so glad finally there had been a verdict, and the other that this still wasn’t enough for what they did…nothing would ever be enough. I had tears in my eyes as I kept flicking through the news channels to make sure the news was correct. I had tears in my eyes for ‘Damini’, a girl I never met yet feel so strongly about.
No type of punishment is enough for these horrible men. One already took the easy route out and took his own life, and the one who was 17-years-old at the time of raping her went through a juvenile court and only sentenced to 3 years in prison, 9 months of which he has already served! He may have only been 17 at the time, however his actions at the time of raping & torturing her were not juvenile at all…they were barbaric & disgusting! I still believe the sentencing he got was unacceptable!
The death penalty sentence for these 4 men will now be confirmed by the High Court and they can all still appeal the sentence. However I pray that these men too feel the immense pain, fear, the feeling of being helpless & powerless as their lives are taken without their choice!
‘Damini’ was helpless as they attacked her, stripped her naked & raped her turn by turn. She too was powerless when they tortured her. She too had no control over her life when she sadly passed away, so no punishment will ever be enough for what these men did.
On one hand I wanted these men to get life in prison so they would be tortured, taunted & abused for the rest of their lives but I’m glad India has chosen this form of judgement as we need immediate action in India for other men who think they can get away with raping women and young girls can see how wrong they are! The Delhi gang rape case has gone on for too long…and we needed something quick and instant for people to see India is taking rape cases seriously.
We all know rape has been going on for centuries in India…and it has still continued to happen since ‘Damini’s’ case…and it won’t stop…That’s the honesty of it all. However, what has changed since the Delhi gang rape is that women are stronger to speak out and so are the parents of such women.
What ‘Damini’s father did I commend. It takes a lot of an Asian father, in fact any father, to speak out and say openly “My daughter has been raped”. Not only has his daughter made a change in society there, but he has too. Years ago parents would cover up stop stories or act ignorant towards such issues because of the shame it would the family. There is no shame in speaking out, and I’m so glad women and young girls in India are not being silenced anymore!
This sentencing won’t change things in India in an instance. Rape will still continue to happen and women will still be objects of abuse and violence…but this is a start.
Men will continue to rape, women will continue to be silenced by them and their families. It’s going to be a long and tough struggle for things to change in India. Society needs to change its thinking, education needs to change, people need to change and that change can only happen by the government and authorities taking serious action…which is what I think they’ve tried to do today.
We can lie to ourselves as much as we want in believing women are regarded as goddesses…yes they should be and that is what we like to believe, but when you look at all the struggles a woman has to face – she will always be dominated by the opposite sex, especially in countries like India.
The new generation, and generations to come will make that change…slowly but surely!
When I set out to launch the campaign #JusticeForDamini I never wanted anything personally from it for myself. All I want is to help other women and be the voice ‘Damini’ couldn’t be.
‘Damini’ for me isn’t just Jyoti Singh Pandey…it’s every women or girl who has been raped, abused, tortured, assaulted, gone through domestic violence and made to feel less inferior to a man.
I wish I had more hours in the day so I could do more for #JusticeForDamini, but I’m going to continue doing what I can. I’m very lucky to be in the position I am in in Asian media, I get to go to nice plush events, meet big celebs and mingle with the stars – but none of it means as much to me as keeping #JusticeForDamini going and making sure my voice is heard. ‘Damini’s’ legacy will live on and I won’t let her name go in vain. I will continue to do what I can for her and females like her.
RIP sweet angel x
Follow me on Twitter @ReenaCombo #JusticeForDamini