“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”. This sentence in the ‘tryst with destiny’ speech of Jawaharlal Nehru has inspired generations of Indians and will continue to do so. But there is something that will haunt all Indians for a long time to come: the agonising entreaty by the Unnao rape victim to save her life:
“I don’t want to die. I want to live to see them hanged,” she told her family. Unfortunately, the poor girl did not survive to see her wish realized.
Her case highlights the height of lawlessness in Yogi Adityanath’s expansive state of Uttar Pradesh, where Unnao has become a symbol of brutality against women. Unnao also marks a new low in our lack of concern as a society for the security of women. It is not about law, crime and punishment. We have failed as a society, nation and as a democracy.