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Here's an open letter to the Finance Minister/ Ex-Defence Minister, who possibly understands the woes of a woman wronged more than most others in the cabinet.
I suppose you are in a difficult a situation. You have been propped up by your party as the poster woman for women’s empowerment to court the women’s vote. Yet today, when a sister needs your voice, you are unable to speak.
It must feel awful to betray a woman who desperately seeks justice. She has fought a long hard battle to put her rapists in jail, and then in a cruel twist of fate, she has to see them feted and endure living in the same village as them, putting her and her loved ones in grave danger. All her efforts to seek justice have been in vain. The misery you feel on her behalf must be agonizing. Yet, you do not speak. You must be looking at this widely publicized photograph and writhing in pain and frustration.
I imagine you feel betrayed, to have all the appearance of power, and none of the essence of it, helpless to protect a sister in distress.
But there you are quite wrong!
Whatever the intentions of those who assigned you your portfolios, they have put you in a position of real power, even if they try their best to keep you from knowing it. You are indeed an inspiration for countless Indian women.
So today, please find the courage within you, to wield that power to fight for those women.
You have been our defence minister, revered for your strength. Now you have an opportunity to live up to that position by defending one of the most vulnerable of this country, a woman from a minority community who was raped, and whose children were murdered.
No one is asking you to be disloyal to your party, but you must not betray the women who looked towards you as a source of hope and strength. Speak up for women and show everyone you are indeed a fountain of strength who refuses to be used just as a prop for women’s votes, but that you insist on actually representing them, especially when the women in question have fought fiercely and relentlessly for themselves.
When you do, you will see that you really do wield power, and you will be a true inspiration to women for they will know you stand with them in the toughest of times.
I am not so presumptuous as to exclude the possibility that you do not believe there has been any travesty of justice at all. In that case, I implore you to explain, how those of us who feel betrayed are mistaken. Failing that, can you at least reassure us in no uncertain terms, that in your honest opinion, what happened was right, and that you stand by it?
For today we need to hear you speak. Your silence is unnerving, because if even a women in your position of power can be silenced, then what hope do the rest of us have?
Kanika G, a physicist by training and a mother of 2 girls, started writing to entertain her older daughter with stories, thus opening the flood gates on a suppressed passion. Today she has written over read more...
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