A Letter from the Hathras Victim

Divyanshi Shukla [1st year law student at National Law Institute University, Bhopal]

Dear India,


Remember me?


Most of your children must have forgotten already.


In a country where approximately 88 of your daughters have the same fate as mine every day, i1t must be a tedious task to remember each one of us. Mere rape or even gang rape is hardly news in our country; There needs to be something outlandish about rape for it to even get noticed amidst the daily noise of barbarity. In this challenging environment, there must be something really special about my incident that caught your children’s attention.


As you must have figured, I am the Hathras rape victim.


I still remember the date, 14th September 2020.


It was just another day for me. I was sewing cloth for my newborn niece when amma asked me to accompany her to the fields, I did. And then, what happened still sends shivers down my spine. (which was brutally broken for one)


The atrocities they committed knew no limits. They dragged me by my dupatta, savaging my dignity, my worth, my energy, my intimacy like a pack of wolves devouring its prey. Slowly, painfully. I couldn’t scream as my tongue was bitten off and my backbone was shattered. I don’t remember a thing that followed, just some murky memories of my family crying and screaming demanding justice, truth and answers.


Sometimes I still wonder if I hadn’t gone, would this have happened? then I realize of course it would’ve happened just not to me. I tried to push it out of my mind but it the darkness consumed me. I remember how much I hated my body; I was terrified of it. I couldn’t live with myself and I quit. On 29th September, I left everyone once and for all. I thought my sufferings were over but the worst was yet to come.


They say no person should be cremated at night but apparently, I wasn’t human enough. I was cremated without my family’s consent hastily. I never received a proper farewell. Oh! I still wish I could hug my amma one last time, maybe my pain would evanesce in her arms. But I was so hapless that I couldn’t even pour my heart out in my amma’s arms.


No, I don’t need flowers. I am at a much better place now with no hungry unwanted stares savaging me. I rather feel sorry for all your daughters still out there who live with so many dreams and aspirations oblivious of the demons following them, lurking behind that innocent mask of a savior. Doesn’t matter whether she is 6, 15, 25 or 60. We’re all same to them. Preys to be devoured.


I didn’t do anything remarkable in my life but I am sure I wasn’t as pathetic a human being as I was rendered in my life and even after.


I am writing this for girls, to girls everywhere, I am with you, when you feel alone, when people doubt you, when you feel like you are losing it, I am with you. You’re undoubtedly and unquestionably important, you are beautiful, you are valued and you are powerful. Never stop fighting against the demons.


To girls anywhere and everywhere, I am with you.


-The Hathras rape victim


Penning down from heaven

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