Life after surviving rape in India is worsened two-fold, because on one hand, where, the court doesn’t approve the abortion, there on other hand, society doesn’t accept her without ‘agnipareeksha’. The above lines explicitly narrate the story of a 14-years-old rape survivor in Gujarat. However, on the grounds of two facts, first, an undesirable pregnancy and second, physical, mental and economical unfitness to reproduce, the Supreme Court granted her the permission to abort. But, no court comes to the rescue when one’s own family treats her uglier than the court.
Sita’s ‘agnipareeksha’ is the unbendable truth of Indian society and like many such ‘Sitas’ and many such ‘agnipareekshas’ continue to exist yet. Too much to my dissatisfaction, this poor teenager’s crown was crowned with a rock weighted 40 Kg and asked to balance it. Both she and her husband had the mutual interest to continue their wedded life, but before that, validating her purity was a must-follow custom.
The very old praxis of ‘agnipareeksha’ is deep-seated since then, when Lord Ram’s ‘ardhangni’ Sita, after being released from Ravan’s clutches, too was subjected to a test where the flames of fire engulfed her and she escaped unharmed, manifesting her purity. Despite being a goddess, her chastity was questioned, how can the ordinary girls being spared?
Rape cases have badly engulfed our nation. Not even the worst of the worst rape cases, ‘Nirbhaya-case’ could better the security and justice for victims. What just happens in India is that every rape spurs some momentary protests, fading gradually to normalcy. Deplorable to know, but, only January and February of 2015 together accounted for more than 300 rape cases. 91% of women feel no security-enhancement since 2012, as reported by the Hindustan Times poll.
Rapes have become rampant in the country. It is more like an addition to our diverse culture, albeit in a repulsive way. Will India ever unshackle itself from the shackles of rape? The question which every girl’s eyes hide within with hope burnt to the ash.