Today is the 15th of August. 70th Independence Day for India.

Yes please don’t ask. Thanks.

Yesterday was 14th of August. 70th Independence Day for Pakistan.
Both the countries trace their roots of freedom to a common point, after all we fought for it together. We have our history on both sides of the border.

Oh, and by the way today is also 15th August.
1 month has passed since Qandeel Balouch (the Internet sensation of Pakistan) passed away. Does anyone give a fuck about it?
15 days have passed when a mother and her 14-year-old daughter were raped in Bulandshehr in north India, once again highlighting India’s brilliant female sensitive development (someone please tell Mr.Modi to include women related issues in not just his swearing in speech 2 years ago as a PM, but other occasions too)

I am mentioning only these 2 incidents here since they must be fresh (okay maybe) because if I started making a list, by the time I finished the list I would be discouraged to celebrate any independence at all.
And if you think this isn’t something to be taken seriously, at least four women were raped and modesty of nine outraged every day on an average between 2012 and 2015 in the national capital of Delhi, according to data compiled by the Delhi Police regarding crimes against women.

And that makes me question actually, what independence should I celebrate anyway?

As a 25-year-old Indian girl who is discouraged by her own family to express views online as social media is an open platform where anyone and everyone can read/see/share what I put up. But isn’t that the whole purpose of social media?
That I get to choose how my identity is portrayed because of my opinions and the content I share.
But oh how can I write my heart out because we live in a society that will slut-shame me for even my opinions.

I personally wasn’t very fond of Qandeel’s videos that would appear every now and then as Facebook feeds. Having said that I cannot deny she was an entertainer who posted what she felt was right and people applauded/criticized her. This however, does not mean that I have a right to decide if her life was worth existing on this planet or not.

How can there be if’s and but’s in someone’s right to live?
Who gets to decide the price of a woman’s life?
And as patriarchal as it can get, a father? a brother? a husband ? or just a man who considers raping his right to masculinity ?

Did the mother and daughter want to be raped ? Or does every woman in India who is a victim of abuse ask for it ?

It’s a shame that even after 70 years of Independence I still have to think about what to say, what to do, what to feel about a certain issue, what to wear etc etc depending on what environment I am in.
I have to think twice before stepping out after dark because rape roams freely on the streets of Delhi ( and every other city) as soon as the sun sets.
And no violence is not ONLY on the streets, it’s found inside the 4 walls of a home as well.

So how independent should I feel ?
Oh sorry, I am only independent as long as I wave the flag, smile and celebrate. Because the moment I will cross that line there will always be someone to pull me down.

Happy Independence Day everyone !