There is a horrible ball in the pit of my stomach. It’s making me feel really pathetic. Repulsion. It’s a downright wretched vomit-y sense of being. I can’t seem to shake it off.
It has been two days since baby Zainab was kidnapped, raped, mutilated to death and then thrown in the garbage. That adorable, innocent little thing, experienced the worst thing that could have possibly happened to her and the aftermath of this tragedy has left so many of us with a deep sense of self-loathing. Tragically, she is one of many children who have undergone the same fate in this wretched land of ours. The numbers continue to rise, the perpetrators are let off scot-free and the memory fades away much like the victims. We all suffer momentarily, but that suffering is also snug in the knowledge that our own children are safe and then enables us to go on with life from one distraction to the next.
Can we change that? If nothing else, can we at least carry on this discussion? Can we keep talking about it? Shout out our pain from the rooftops? Can we try to speak up against ONE rapist, pedophile, molester? Can we speak up against the injustices of our past? Point a finger to that uncle, cousin, tutor, molvi ‘sahab’ or even grandfather who has countless other victims besides you who perhaps have less courage? Can we help our friends understand that they cannot send their children to school alone with drivers? Can we educate our children? Talk to them about touch, good or bad? Let them have faith in us? Can we remove these taboos so we can all breathe a little freer? Can we shake off an iota of this guilt?
There is no such thing as another person’s child. They are all our children, yours and mine. Zainab is ours. She has left with a stark message- if we don’t spring to action now, we never ever will. I’m sorry if I sound pedantic, I don’t mean to. This is as much for me as the other person. But please, whoever is reading this, it is time to change. Let’s speak up. Only the truth will set you free.
If there is anyone reading this who wishes to share a horrifying experience to ease their pain/burden or simply needs a bit more courage, I’m all yours. Please write in. It always helps to share. I promise anonymity and absolute secrecy. Please reach out at email@example.com