Brigid Shrestha- 25 November is the day marked as an international day for elimination of violence against women. It is such a pity that even on the day as such, people here in Nepal are fighting against the injustice for the cases like Nirmala’s. No one can quite surely tell if the justice is delayed or denied or forgotten or unheard. Nirmalas all around the world have been warriors for some brutal cases like these and it is sad that our warrior could not be a survivor. It is really shameful to not be able to put the culprits behind the bar yet. What is more shameful is the government’s response towards a sensitive issue like this.
While the whole nation is outraged over the rape and murder case of Nirmala, it seems that the government is least concerned about the issue. From the very beginning of the case, the prolonged investigation has made us all furious. Despite that, even when the act of destroying the evidences was found out, a few suspects were expelled. The core issue of the case revolved around the question, “Who were they directed by to destroy the evidences or why they destroyed it?” But the question vanished somewhere with their punishment. It was not the banishment that was needed but rather it was answers to a few questions that would solve the complications of the case. The governmental negotiations could not precisely go parallel with transparency and the case gradually started getting more confusing. Is it too much for a father to ask for her daughter’s justice? Is it too much for citizens to trust their governance with accountability? How shameful is it for a father’s yearn to justice for her raped daughter to go unheard? How heartbreaking is it for a father to suffer from mental breakdowns whilst fighting for the justice of her daughter who’s long gone?
Yagya Raj Panta, Nirmala’s father is going through a lot of trauma. He’s been protesting for days crying for justice. The government gives a small hope with some promises and minor findings and for every step taken ahead, it takes many steps backwards instead. This has been really demotivating to Nirmala’s family. I’ve seen a lot of people calling Nirmalas victims but I’d rather call them warriors. Anyone can be a victim but not everyone decides to fight back. And by Nirmalas here, I am addressing all the cases of sexual violence, abuse and cases as such that young girls like Nirmala are facing country wide. Nirmala’s father has started showing some abnormal behaviors like shouting to random people, crying loudly, having mental breakdowns and reacting outrageously to nightmares. Senior psychiatrist Dr.Puspa Prasad Sharma is afraid that he might be going through some post traumatic mental disorders. He had not been physically well during his last few days in protests as well. It is quite natural for anyone to go through such things out of stress and pain. Before, people were doubtful on the investigation methods of the government but now the question has come to moral and ethical integrity. No transparent conclusion to negotiations regarding evidences has disheartened the family. A simple answer to few unanswered questions would simplify the case but no, it seems like authorities are more into making it a suspense thriller.
It was stupid of the concerned authorities to collect DNA samples of more than 150 men in the same area instead of negotiating the suspected criminals. On top of that, Prime Minister’s undetermined comment about how the investigation might even take 12 years is really insensitive and ignorant.
It is not only the prolonged investigations that is saddening, what’s more sad is the government’s response to the issue. Nirmala’s father was supposed to take off from Geta Airport on Buddha Air but was later brought to Kathmandu on an ambulance after knowing about his mental condition. There would have probably been better alternatives for a patient with problems as such and if there is not, it is highly necessary to have provisions in airways for a mental patient to travel through the air route.
After all, Nirmala is just not somebody else’s daughter. She’s nation’s daughter. Nirmala lives within all of us and it’s high time that the daughters of our nation rebel against all the violence they have been facing.
The prolonged time for the justice of Nirmala’s case in not just a matter of shame for the state but it completely discourages citizens to have faith over their government. People are seeking for an ethical answer now. The first and foremost authority to look for when people have problems is police and the system but if cases like these keep repeating, on what basis would we have faith on them? In case of any emergency and urgency, it is natural for citizens to look up to their representatives that forms the government but people are slowly losing the faith. The government should be held accountable wherever necessary.
It’s their responsibility but in the current scenario despite reminding them of their own responsibilities, justice is still unheard. It seems like democratic values are being ignored. People choose their representatives so that they can work for their issues. Nirmala is one of the most significant symbol of injustice in Nepal. The cases of many Nirmalas don’t even get addressed at all. The voice to Nirmala yearns for an end to all the cases of sexual violence in Nepal. It is disgusting that this issue was a mere political tool to some while just another case of its kind for many. However, the campaigns being conducted all over Nepal on the behalf of justice for Nirmala is praiseworthy because it’s challenging the victory of power over justice. The cries for justice of many Nirmalas are yet to be heard. Voices are being raised, silence is slowly breaking. Itsgrassroot people who work in ground level that make leaders so powerful and if we follow this fact, citizen’s representative are supposed to hear all the injustice that Nirmalas have been facing and hence work to resolve them.