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Manisha Bhatia
Manisha Bhatia is the author of book, When My Father Cried, a romantic fiction novel released on 4th September by Story Mirror at Oxford Bookstore :)
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YES I LIVE IN FEAR~ AN OPEN LETTER TO PM Dr. ManMohan Singh


To,
Dr. ManMohan Singh
Prime Minister of India

Dear Sir,
I am an ordinary citizen of our extraordinary country. Though I don’t regard myself as ordinary but the sick and sloppy policies of your country and the indifferent attitude of your government has made me felt so now and then. I am a “GIRL”. I get worshipped in different forms of deity one moment and the very next I get molested. So I continue living in a state of confusion. My country is very well known across the globe for its glorious history and beautiful culture. It is known as the abode of magnificent wisdom. I often take pride in that when I meet people from different cultures as a result of my profession and writing. I connect across bloggers from different parts of the world and I feel pride when I find they are highly influenced by the glorious hospitality and culture of INDIA.
But I feel ashamed to mention that in this country with glorious past, I see dark present and a darker future for females across India. Today after a lot of contemplation and fight within I agree with me that despite a loving and caring family and associates around, “I LIVE IN FEAR”. I have been living with this fear since long and with each passing day it is just increasing. It often at times overpowers and I cancel my trips for many occasions just for a simple reason that I feel unsafe and my father or my associates cannot accompany me at each and every trip.
I am an educated independent girl who is immensely proud of her upbringing and is extremely confident to do anything on earth in her capacity but I do restrict myself at times. I am bold but I know the law and system is so pathetic that for any extra bold step I and my family will have to pay for it the very next moment. I am quite sure about this not because I consider myself as feeble but because I have seen the cases on television many times in my city and across India.
Like me I am sure each and every girl of INDIA must have been molested somewhere or else by someone sometime and they all live in fear. Leave alone the parties, I do not plan any late evening trips for any bloggers meet or events for which I yearn to go just because I may reach while it is daylight but as the evening approaches I fear for my safety. Leave alone the public transport; I am not sure about my safety while I am using my own means of transport. I prefer to stay indoors. Due to this fear you curb my independence and restrict my capabilities to flourish as a person personally and professionally. I am talking about late evening but to tell you I feel the similar fear in the morning as well.
Look at the appalling joke at the recent molestation of a minor girl in Guwhati, she being molested by 20 bloody demons in the middle of road. We the citizens of India can be so fast in circulating the news across the world but your government and the well trained police officers can’t even find unprofessional demons. Can we expect them to find the professional ones any day? The biggest joke throughout this incident was that a journalist was involved making a video at the time of molestation, a journalist comes to her rescue, and then another journalist asks her on national television- “HOW ARE YOU FEELING”? Disgusting. Is it sir? Why don’t you get a female from your family get molested in the middle of road in full view of public and then you yes you go and ask her “HOW THE HELL IS SHE FEELING”? If you still do not get any answer then the human in you is already dead sir and no matter how many letters we write you we will continue to live in fear.
Let me tell you about me which is I am sure is the story of many girls in India and to tell you they go through this on a daily basis. I started jogging early morning but when I noticed few hooligans keeping an eye on me, I left going to that park for jogging for it takes seconds for a speeding car to come towards me and drag me inside in full view of public in the broad day light. There were live cases in my city and across India. I am happy at home. I go to jog I am in fear. I take an auto in the morning to catch my office cab I am in fear because this country is now so unsafe that you never know that what will happen with a girl next moment. I walk on road in the extreme corner and stay alert all the time and I make sure I return back my home before 8PM no not because I don’t like to go out with friends sometime and have party, I don’t wish to attend events starting at evening, no not because I have incomplete tasks and I cannot stay out more time to complete them etc etc. I return back just because “I FEAR”. I fear for my safety in an independent country.
I wake up and start with fear and look at the mockery at our democracy that when I sleep I am still in fear and at times I have end up sleepless nights. I am tired from a hectic day and wish to sleep but I can’t.  You know why? Yesterday only few hooligans on bike threw a stone on the window of our house at 3AM early morning uttering some utter nonsense. After completing some pending tasks I had already caught up sleep at 1 AM which was again ruined by this incident. Result? A sleepless night in fear thinking about all sorts of permutations and combinations who they could be? Why they did so? They could have broken the glass pane of my father’s car too costing us more. We are ordinary middle class citizens of your country with limited income and this unwanted cost really pains in the midst of already burning economy. My sister couldn’t sleep whole night and should I tell you how my parents were feeling? So sir, I even sleep in fear. I believe you too have females in family. Just leave them once without any protection and you will have the real taste of your country which you are heading sir.
I always keep the curtains of my room covered if I keep the wooden door open but make sure I keep the other door bolted. I do that even when there is no electricity (thank you for the appalling condition of electricity in my city and rather our country so let me be tight-lipped and not reveal the shameful secrets here). I do that because I don’t feel secure it is as simple as that. I keep the windows and doors forever covered because once when I had not covered them and was engrossed reading a book after sometime I noticed someone peeping inside. As he saw me alert, within split seconds he ran away on his bike.
I can’t wear trendy attires if I am taking a public transport, I fear in normal ones. The ogling eyes do not leave the burka-clad women; leave alone me. It provokes the already sick provoked bastards roaming freely day and night on road making mockery of the so called “DEMOCRACY” .So now I understand why my father is not much happy with me wearing sexy and trendy attires. No not because he doesn’t like or is having low mentality, it is just that even he lives in fear. Because in our county no matter it is a custom that a girl will be blamed for everything. Why was she out? Why was she wearing trendy outfits? And to tell you I wear normal attires completely covering myself and still they get provoked so who is to be blamed?
She continuously lives in the vicious cycle of WHY and FEAR and so does her whole family till she gets married off and after that her husband and her in-laws also join the “FEAR FAMILY”. Thanks a lot to you, your third class policies, no strict action against any assault against women every now and then, and your failure as a prime minister in every way.

Yes I have forgotten to talk politely with strangers and when I am travelling and specially while using public transport.  It doesn’t work you see. They understand tough language. So I a girl usually soft spoken and dignified am quite rough n tough while I am out for the sake of my own safety. You know why sir? You hire such bastards for the servicing of public. (Sorry to use abusive language. Are you feeling the rage while I am using this language? Well , if yes then you can understand the rage in me). I have started hating my country.
And I am laughing a laugh of dire agony while I mention that your party leader is a woman herself and till now we see no action and statement from her for any strict action. Brilliant! For you politicians- “Ye Sab To Chalta Rehta Hai” (This keeps on going...Big deal?). Right? We anyhow do not expect anything from her. We are bearing a lifetime mistake of Late Rajeev Gandhi. She is not an Indian native but has she forgotten she is a WOMAN?
Leave her look at our PRESIDENT a lady herself sleeping. God only knows what she does. I a young girl am ashamed of her, her esteemed designation, and her being a woman herself. Are you thinking that I am expecting too much from her? Aww!!! I shouldn’t? What do you think?
Dear Sir, you cannot provide us anything except low income, low paying jobs, ever pathetic economy with soaring prices burning hole in the pocket of middle class India and Indians. But leave all that can you provide me a simple life free from FEAR. Because I agree, “YES I LIVE IN FEAR” and I am sure so does the other women in India.
So are you waiting for more anguish from the nation or more letters? Then only it will prove worthy on your behalf to take actions or just in case if you speak up something. You are not a leader sir, you are joker and your government is a joke for our democracy. While playing your dreadful political games you are playing with our lives and our curses will haunt you for generations. Yes we are that humiliated and burnt inside.
My list to why I live in fear in an independent country is endless.
If you really have some dignity left in you then sir please, make some strict policies. You have plenty of time to lootify the middle class Indians further by escalating prices of some or the other commodity someday before that can you give us your anger because we are really very angry. We do not need your committees, commissions, investigations, and nonsense. WE NEED NO MERCY AGAINST ANY ACT OF MOLESTATION. TODAY AND NOW WE NEED ACTION.
It’s time for tit for tat. NONSENSE WILL BE AWARDED DOUBLE NONSENSE.
I leave this letter open for you to answer that what the females of your nations should do? Where should they go at the time of need? Who will provide us the guarantee of justice?


JAI HIND!
Yours sincerely,
An ordinary middle class Indian girl!


YES I LIVE IN FEAR~

Yes I live in fear
with every passing day
It’s approaching near      
I fear
While I am awake
In sleep
Sometimes I am awake
In the middle of night
I couldn’t sleep
Contemplating
Where to go ?
What to do ?
A girl with high dignity
Due to this fear
Often at times
Quite low I feel
I fear
When I am out
While I stay in
I walk
I talk
Alone
In crowd
Fearing
What next moment
Will bring in?
Fearing someone spying
When I turn back
No one is in sight
Yes I live in fear
With every passing day
It’s approaching near
I am bold
I can stand up
I can give it a fight
Often I do
But what when
Twenty demons
Catch me in middle
Of the road
From east west
North n south
Right and left
I am not a superwoman
“I AM A GIRL”
 I continue
To live in fear...
With every passing day
It’s approaching near!!!

19 comments:

melissa said...

This news has been circulating for a couple of days now and for sure no statement has been made yet to appease the public's outrage over the incident.

It has affected us too because this incident does not happen only in your country but everywhere in the world.

I encourage everyone of you to put your petitions in clear form such as this and let the government hear your unanimous cry for justice and protection for human rights especially of women and children.

My prayers and support are with you.

Irfanuddin said...

the letter says all....the bitter truth of our society where Godesses are worshiped.....unfortunate..:(

but, do you really feel that things are going to change....well, i don't think so, as long as we the common man continue beeing "the onlookers"....as hundred of people were during the incident in Guwahaty....!!

lets all pray that some sense prevails among our authorities and they do something fruitful...though chances are bleek.....

Vishesh Vishu said...

1st of all
thanx a lot manisha di
i salute u
Di "dil sa salute karta hu aap ko"
4 puting ur step forward in this matter
if u rember di,few days ago i m telng u same thing to rase ur voice againt this
this is d vast crime but u vl v said 2 know that only happen in our country
spec this happen mostly in city where u lice delhi & NCR
I want 2 tell only not only women feel fear
but men also fear that my sister,wife frnd ete ete vl they reach home safely
y they do such bad thing with girl
girl have another fear also in their mind after their marriage vl they be traeted bad 4 dowry ??
this should be stop in our country,but i feel this can never be stop in our country bec our country is totally corrupt from top to button

one question always comes in my mind
the boys who do this that they also have sisters if anybody do the same with thier sisters hw they will fell
i want ur ans on my question

I Weeped after reading ur blg
this yaar di

so......
its time really
TO CHANCE INDIA

my support & wishes r always with u di's go ahead try to stop this

Mani said...

@Mely- Thanks for the wishes mely!

Mani said...

@Irfanji- Mass voice does affect, u cn see the issue being highlighted coz public n media r showing theri rage massively. Its time to act n i believ law too in hand.

Mani said...

@Vishesh- Society will improve the day guys will improve. Its good we have good guys to take care f gals around. Thanks!

CYNOSURE said...

A BIG BOW down to you lady...a very worth reading post...read something like that after a long time...thanks for writing... :)

PS: Hope the ROBOT reads or listens this letter at least once... :)

Leah Griffith said...

Dear Mani,
Your blog has made me pause and ponder how even though we've come a long way as women there are still some fundamental rights that are continually being abused by men all over the world.

As a female I know the feeling of being a victim of someone else's lusts. I know how it feels to hide behind a locked door night after night. It's such a shame that in many ways we still lack the respect that we so rightly deserve.

Thank you for sharing your story Mani. It has tied me up in knots. I hope by your bravery of speaking out that it will make a difference.
Sending love from the US.
Leah

Tameka said...

Dear Mani, I too, know what fear feels like, but being in America, it is not as prevalent, but it still happens. Sometimes in our own homes unfortunately. It's sanitized here. Here people put sports and money ahead of children. If a child is molested by a famous person, a coach or a someone with influence the crime can and will be overlooked at times. I stand with you in your cry for justice.

My heart bleeds for the young girls, boys and women and men who have been harmed by molestation. It isn't right and I pray for justice in your country to prevail as well as around the world.

Adriene said...

So sorry to hear of the appalling conditions, but I applaud you bravely speaking out. My prayer go out that we can find solutions to this problem in India and around the world as molestation is found everywhere.

Kayfey/Angry Goblin/Inprettyprint said...

I hear you, as a sister from across the continents (an American woman). Right now, our politicians mock our President as he tries to fix the policies to help women. Our government officials are attacking the laws and policies that protect women's health and their families. If a woman isn't healthy, if she isn't nurtured, her country will suffer. But women can stand united, and know some of us fight for ALL WOMEN. My prayers are with you! We all live in fear, but we still have courage!

Dangerous Linda said...

Dear Mani,

One thing I love about the internet is that my 'community' has grown to embrace friends from all over the world which has altered my perspective immensely.

I appreciate this opportunity to really reflect on your perspective about your world, seemingly so different from the world I live in...

I would like to share this powerful post at https://www.facebook.com/DangerousLinda

Thank you for all that you are!

Obat Asam Urat said...

good posting about yes i live in fear open letter to pm dr man mohansingh

Mani said...

@ALL- Your opinion was soo very important to me..thanks so much as lwys!

Love
Mani

S Jayanth said...

strong and true words.. must be read by as many people as possible..
we should be always hoping for a change in us men's attitude and 'acceptance'...until then, sadly the 'burden' must again fall on women; women must be more cautious, careful.

and yes, its disheartening to see sexual abuse in a country like India where people worship goddesses, which i think is no where else in this world. I mean, we will look like fools and DARN HYPOCRITE(we already are)..

hope, women like you come out and bellow THE TRUTH.. keep writing. :)

Please read this post if you find time, its on the theme..
Warrior Woman

S Jayanth said...

and most men, even if they are disagree, are lusty and it all starts in teenage. i mean, i know these things from the INSIDE of these people. i mean im a college student now, 20, and i know how boys treat women. its disgusting, disappointing, hurting...

90% of boys dont think deeper than 'beauty'.. if a girl looks good, that is it and is hell for her from then on. and the SADDEST, F***ing part is, these things are done by 'group'/gangs of boys. not one individual..
its sick and i can't do anything. frustrating..

Jerly said...

wow mani too good, we seem to be bothered by the same topic as independence day approaches. yuo have addressed to the PM, I have addressed to the whole of manhood :)and maybe it reeks of a lot of hatred

deeps said...

morning came, evening came, lo n behold another day!! Life is like that in our extran ordinary country

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