I heard the terrible story on the TV. I am shocked to know the brutality committed by devils and the inability or lack of will of the police in preventing the crime. How can the system become dysfunctional and abdicate its responsibility? I have to do something about it as it can happen to me too. I want to go to India gate and protest. I am little worried to go to India Gate in the light of police being around. Anyhow, police at the venue is not worrying me as routine life is no different compared to protest venue.
I have spoken to Poonam and Swati about joining the protest. I know Swati and she has not received the idea well. She is too scared to be part of the protest. If we don’t protest then we will remain victims. Poonam is ready to join despite her worries as she is moved by the episode. She burst into tears while talking about the incident. She said, ‘I feel as if it happened to me. How can six people rape a girl, beat her up and pull her intestines out? Are they humans or beasts? Main toh aungi, kuch bhi hone do’.
I agreed with her and said, ‘ Kal subah sath me jayange bus pakadke’. I won't tell anyone at home as they will not approve the idea.
I got out of the house at 9 in the morning and am happy to see Poonam at the bus stop. She is carrying a bag along with her purse. I asked
‘ Kya Hai isme’
Poonam said, ‘Chart paper, poster banane ke liye. Kuch be ho, Ham ko aaj jana hi hai’
We are able to get a bus and have reached India Gate. I see lot of police, Media with anchors. People are collecting around. Poonam took out her chart and cut it into two. It is of cream colour and poonam is making two posters. She wrote in Red
MY BODY MY RIGHT, MY CITY MY RIGHT
. She took out two sticks and made placards. Poonam likes making placards and decorations which happen in college and birthdays. This skill is helping us here. We took a placard each and started moving towards the gathering. People are trickling down. Young boys and girls are sad and angry. Slogans are in the air
‘We want Justice’
‘Hang the Rapists’
‘Police down down’
TV anchors with their Camera crew are interviewing the protesters and comparing the interviews. Some boys and girls are not able to speak but I am seeing anger in their voices. They are telling problems they face… Brutality of men of all ages.. Lecherous … Vulgar comments ... Their guts and their impunity towards law. This is a common thing and it is only being narrated now.
Within a hour a large crowd is around. Boys and girls are moving towards Raisina hills. I and Poonam have joined the crowd. Their anger and frustration is showing in the pitch and with time. Now they are full throated.
I am seeing barricades on the way to Raisina Hills. Police troops are guarding the barricades. We reached the barricade and the number of protestors is increasing. Another bout of slogans is up in the air. Some of the protestors tried to break the barricades. The police stopped them. Few police move forward and lathi charged the protestors to hold them.. In the process, the whole group of protestors is disturbed. Some girls and boys are in pain. Then another bout of sloganeering is in the air. It is not full throated but determined. I noticed that Poonam is not with me after the commotion. I am not comfortable and this feeling is a regular thing in Delhi. I looked around. Most of the protestors are present to vent their anger. I have noticed a northeast girl next to me. She is frail but very attractive. She covered her head with a white stole. As I am observing her, she noticed and smiled at me.
I enquire, ‘Assamese?’
She Smiles and says, ‘ Manipuri’. She is also alone and must have lost track of her friends in the commotion. Before We could converse the sloganeering has picked up Pace. We join the chorus.
‘We want justice’
‘Sack inefficient police’
Manipuri girl looked at my placard. She took it in her hand, read it and lifted it and started a new slogan
‘My body my right My city my right’
The dyeing sloganeering picked up again. Everybody is at their feverish pitch with the slogan. As I am shouting slogans, I see two water cannons at the back of barricades. I hear police announcing through their public address system
‘Section 144 is imposed for the security of Raisini Hills. Assembly of four or more people is illegal. Police warn public that they are a security threat to the system. All relevant sections of IPC will be applied to maintain law and order. Any violation will be dealt severely by the police with all its might. We order the public to dismiss immediately’
I was shocked to hear the announcement. The police is not doing their duty of ensuring the safety of Delhi girl and finds Delhi girl is a threat to the system. The angered protestors have retorted by
‘My body my right My city my right’
I notice that barricades move apart, make way for water cannons. Cannon move closer to protestors. Water cannons target protestors on our side. I see girls and boys showing their backs and taking the jets on their back with biting pain. The flow jet is moving towards us. I and Manipuri girl move forward and duck, avoid water jet. In next few minutes, water cannons caned the protestors and went back after emptying water. Police is firing tear gas shells. Some are at a few feet away release gas . I cover my face and nose with my stole. Manipuri girl next to me also covers her face. I saw a policeman coming towards us with a lathi. He swings his lathi at Manipuri girl. Lathi hits placard and placard is on the road. I notice Rajesh bhayya running towards us. I came between policeman and Manipuri girl and yell at him, ‘kyo marte ho ?’. Police is wild at me. He caned me on right hand, left hand and a hard one on my head. I am in deep pain. Whole place is whirl ling. I am collapsing on the ground. Manipuri girl is holding me. Policeman is hitting me again. He notices Rajesh Bhayya and swings lathi. Bhayya escapes one, but takes hit on his left leg. Policeman notices a TV crew shooting us. He charges towards them hits the camera and Crew run away from the spot. Bhayya comes to me holds me and drags me to a side and takes me behind tall plants on the side. My stole is missing in the jhamela. Manipuri girl pulls out her stole and ties my head. I am bleeging from head. We are near a police control vehicle but not visible. I hear meaasges
‘ Second round of water cannons in operation, lathi charge under progress’
‘ Raisina hills here . How many rounds needed? You have to control the situation. Clear TV Channel crew. Over’
‘Three more rounds needed. Send three water cannons and six vans of police. Things will be controlled. over’
‘Raisina Hills. Necessary resources will be sent. Bring control. Make the place safe and secure’
Bhayya, ‘I will find a way to move away from here’ He requests Manipuri girl to take care of me and moves away.
I am weak and lying down. She is next to me. I wonder how Raisini hills will be secure without Delhi girl being safe. If Delhi girl is not safe no power will be safe. You find Delhi girl everywhere in Delhi. You will find her in every nook and corner of the country. It is her right to be secure and safe. This is truth. Canes or cannons can’t silence her. When will powers realize this truth? She makes powers to come to her feet. This sloganeering is Krishna’s Panchajanyam, Mahadev’s Damru, Kali’s Dance of death. Poonam’s slogan ‘ MY BODY My RIGHT MY CITY MY RIGHT’ is
Tilak’s ‘Independence is my birthright’
Subhash’s ‘ Lal Killa is ours’
Bhagat Singh’s ‘ Inquilaab Zindabad’
Sri Sri’s ‘ Maro prapamcham’ ( Dawn of new era)
Raisina Hills has to rebuild itself to deliver to Delhi girl’s demand. This is our Magnum Carta. This republic can’t exist without our security. Manipuri girl has removed the stole tied to my head as it is soaked in my blood. She throws it off way. A policeman notices blood soaked Red stole and starts moving towards us with a lathi. Bhayya is back. He found a way to move out. Bhayya and Manipuri girl carry me away before policeman steps in. I see 3 water cannons 6 vans of police taking positions moving forward targeting Delhi Girl. I look at Raisini Hill in the backdrop of sunset. As I slip into unconsciousness, I see a new era dawning for Delhi girl. Truth shall not just prevail but shall Triumph.