Jisha – Not Another Nirbhaya

Another shameful incident has shown our country the mirror – Jisha’s brutal attack and end in Kerala. 

An alleged rape that is being likened to Jyoti Singh's case, now immortalised as Nirbhaya in Indian consciousness, we are inadvertently painting this as ‘yet another rape’ by doing so. It took us so long to react to the horrifying end she met, because it had happened before and it lacked shock value. 

What else had lulled us into indifference? No one moved for 5 days after the crime. Not the authorities and not the media. 

It was the distance from the Capital and social hierarchy. The incident happened in Kerala in a small town called Perambavoor, which is 216 kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram. That is far away from Lutyen’s Delhi and headquarters of most Media conglomerates. And our apathy once again became a victim of physical distance. 

And finally, she was a Dalit – always at the receiving end of violence and discrimination. A regular day in her life involved fending from people who threw stones at her for existing amongst them. 

So, no. We cannot box her in with Nirbhaya. We cannot separate her Dalit identity from her womanhood. We cannot let her be filed away as the Nirbhaya of Kerala.

She was Jisha. And she deserved an equal life and a natural death. 

We robbed her of both.