The magnitude of the figure that was declared by the Government as the Covid economic relief was what excited the citizens of this country. A whopping INR 20 lakh crores it is; figure which many of us won’t be able to even count.

Perhaps, two previous proclamations might have excited the public like this one has. Once on the news that Modiji has announced getting back the black money into India and distributing INR 15 lakhs to each citizen’s Bank account; and secondly on the news that Rahulji has announced he would make a machine that would turn potatoes into gold.

Pun apart, economic relief package to the tune of 10% of the nation’s GDP was never witnessed in the history of this country and that was what got the eyebrows raised.

There was an honest expectation among many, including me that a package aimed for the poor would strive to offer immediate relief given that they have borne the brunt of the lockdown-related distress for over so many days now.

Unfortunately, at a time when the measures should have been focused on providing immediate relief to the poorer segments of society, it quite obviously seems skewed more towards the long-term horizon.

Let us analyse a few proposals on this yardstick:

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Dear Most Men,

I hope you know me. We meet every day.

I am a Woman.

I may be your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter, your colleague, your friend, your relative.

I could be just the stranger on the street or in the bus or the train.

Seven years ago, I was Nirbhaya; today I am Priyanka.

Sorry, may I correct. Few days back, I was Priyanka; today I am no more.

That fateful day, I had stepped out of my house, like you all do. But I didn’t return home.

I couldn’t, because some men decided otherwise.

And they made my last few hours an unbearable agony.

And they made my family go through the torment since when I had called up my sister to tell her that I was scared, because of some men around me.

Next day, my family had to identify my charred body. Till then, they were just hoping against hope… that I was alive; and safe.

And they knew. They knew that I was raped and killed.

I was no more.


Dear Most Men,

Are you aware that?

I have raged, occasionally in public and many times privately.

My eyes have dimmed with tears and my head has pounded with anger.

I have felt shades of fear when all I wanted was to reach safety.

Are you aware why?

The cause was the same.

That glance or that leering head-to-toe look.

That word or that unwanted touch.

Those eyes fixated on my chest as someone talks to me.


Dear Most Men,

Should I tell you that this is just a glimpse of the price I pay almost every day; for being a woman.

Should I tell you that your gender sees my gender as something that belongs to you and can’t accept the fact that I don’t.

Should I tell you that because you are a man, I have to be submissive and bow to your will.

And if I don’t, you will continue to humiliate me, abuse me, touch me, rape me.

If I don’t, I become a ‘thing’ that must satisfy the twisted thought in your head or surge in your pants.


Dear Most Men,

So let me tell you something, something you know, but don’t acknowledge or don’t remember or conveniently forget.

Like you, I am a human being.

Today, I feel dead inside.

A little more dead than I felt yesterday, last month, last year.

Today, I am tired. I am grieving. I’m letting the tears flow.

But that’s today.

Tomorrow, I may stand once again.

Strong; ready to fight.

Ready to do whatever it may take to change your limited mindset.

Ready to show you that a world exists beyond your fixation with your penis.

Will I succeed? I don’t know.


Dear fellow Women,

Stop reading this for a minute; get up, and walk to a mirror.

Look into the eyes you see there.

What do you see?



I do hope you see determination as well.

Because unless you see determination there, this world will never change.

As women, we are deep wells of patience and fortitude.

Many times, our youth and inexperience is the factor.

Many times, there is a financial cost to reacting, a cost we can ill afford.

Many times, we are afraid.

Take a moment; and a deep breath.

Now recall every moment when you were harassed because you are a woman.

To trusted men molesting you when you were too young to know what it meant; the only thing you knew was that it was not right. But your innocent mind did not even know how to frame such evil into words, so that you could tell someone what was happening to you.

You were never told such immorality existed in the world. You didn’t know who to reach out to.

Some of us, like me and so many thousands of others, pay with their lives.

And the blame for all of this lies with us; with each and every one of us.

For the way we bring up our sons.

Most importantly, because of our silence.

So the next time, do it for any woman you see.

Stand up for yourself when someone demeans you because of your gender.

Stand up for others when they are demeaned for their gender.

Don’t back off. Stand firm. Try it.

Let’s hope to succeed.


Yours fearfully,

Bhaybhit (No more a Nirbhay)

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