Nirbhaya ”“ the gang rape victim dies in Singapore


Nirbhaya is her name given to her by The Times of India to the namless victim but powerful enough in her struggle in hospital as whole of India and the world kept a vigil and prayed for her recovery. She will live in our memories for life as she gave up finally in her struggle to survive the most horrific ordeal she went through of being brutally gang aped by six men in Delhi, the capital of India.

Everyone in Sydney has stayed glued to Indian news through Christmas period to the sad tale of Nirbhaya as whole of India protested against rape and treatment of women in general. As young students, girls and boys, women, men peacefully marched they were water cannoned by the police and blocked from taking the protest march to India Gate. Not only did they protest to the rape they also protested to the slack response from the leaders who for more than four days did not come forward to make any official statement. Observing from overseas India and what goes on there does not depict it as the biggest democracy in the world it proudly flaunts.

The horrific ordeal of Nirbhaya has galvanised Indians, who have held almost daily demonstrations to demand greater protection from sexual violence, from groping to rape, that affects thousands of women every day, but which often goes unreported.

While people kept a vigil and prayed for Nirbhaya’s recovery, the Indian government was on backfoot trying to take hold of the situation, promising reforms and name, shame and punish the rapists. Now India prepares with more riot police deployed due to the fear of fresh protests that will ignite India and Indians as Nirbhaya’s body is flown back to India.

Doctors at Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore where Nirbhaya was transferred for treatment said that the 23-year-old victim “died peacefully” early today on 29th of December.

Hospital’s chief executive Kelvin Loh said in a statement, “She had remained in an extremely critical condition since being admitted to the hospital with doctors mounting a last-ditch battle overnight to save her life.

“Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days,” he said.

“She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome.

“We are humbled by the privilege of being tasked to care for her in her final struggle.”

Though the family is totally distraught yet they have asked for Nirbhaya’s body to be transferred to India for final rites.

Nirbhaya had been studying physiotherapy and hailed from a rural area of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state which borders the capital New Delhi.

Her parents, who had travelled to Singapore after she was flown out by air ambulance on Wednesday night, are said to have sold their small piece of land in order to fund their daughter’s education, often limiting their own meals to little more than rotis with namak (bread with salt), according to NDTV.

Nirbhaya’s sacrifice and struggle to send a strong message to the government for reforms in the police, the leadership and the mindset of the society should not go to dust. Daily rape cases are being reported and show inaction by the impotent police and higher authorities.

Sydney Indian community’s social media is running hot at the moment as people discuss the sad death of Nirbhaya. The Bollywood film culture of item girls, heroines wearing skimpy clothes as the role models, free access to internet porn, a culture of drink, drug and booze has created frustration among many men. Amir Khan’s series ‘Satyamev Jayate’ had also presented one episode where the female foeticide had led to overpopulation of men in Haryana compared to women. It is in the same state of Haryana where many cases of rape are reported daily.

Nirbhaya’s death should teach us all a lesson and help bring a change in society, reform in the police and make politicians sit up and realise that the grass root Indians are not ready to take it lying down while such atrocities are daily meal for the Indian news channels only looking for sensation.

Sydney’s Indian community sends its condolences to the bereaved family. May God Rest Your Soul in Peace Nirbhaya!

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