IntersectionalityCaste #JusticeForJisha: An Open Letter to the ‘Human’ in Every Being

#JusticeForJisha: An Open Letter to the ‘Human’ in Every Being

#JusticeForJisha: While people go ahead and call this incident as 'Delhi Model Rape' or 'Another Nirbhaya' to ensure you read about it, the fact still remains that this was a rape and fatal assault of a dalit woman.


I know it takes a while to reach you, or to simply address your presence. It is a sad fact that something  grave or inhuman should happen to get your attention. But to understand the magnitude of this incident it is important to read further

While people go ahead and call this incident as ‘Delhi Model Rape‘ or ‘Another Nirbhaya to ensure you read about it, the fact still remains that this was a rape and fatal assault of a dalit woman in Perumpavoor, Kerala who was a law student and was probably preparing for her final papers the night this incident happened.

Her name is Jisha. She lived with her mother. On the 28th of April 2016, she was raped and murdered in her house. She was stabbed with a sharp knife, her intestines were pulled out, the perpetrators pierced the two sides of her chest to almost two inches deep and struck  an iron rod in her genitals. And finally she died after sustaining about thirty injuries with one of them being a serious injury on her head. All these things happened to the 29 year old student and nobody knows the reason yet.

Her mother, who returned home at night, found her daughter brutally raped and murdered in the middle of the house. The police inspectors, ministers, Human Rights commission and State Commission for Scheduled Caste and Tribes were alerted about the incident and condemned it to be a ‘heinous crime’While a Special Investigation Team was formed to investigate into the crime, women activists and students were seen protesting outside the Secretariat demanding justice. On  3rd May 2016, two suspects were questioned about the crime. While everyone is keen to seek justice for Jisha, is it fair enough to call her ‘Kerala’s Nirbhaya’? Why is there a constant effort to make such incidents more relatable to us in order to seek our sympathy for the same? The very fact that such an incident happened to anyone anywhere is a cry for an appeal to humanity.

While headlines of various online portals and newspapers  have named this incident as ‘Dalit girl found murdered at her home’ I can’t help but ask you, is that the reason why this incident hasn’t received its fair amount of attention? Why isn’t there a proper and informed discourse on the same over social media? While Jisha’s sister claimed that their neighbors were trying to evict them from their place, her mother said that they did not even come to her rescue when she was being brutally assaulted.We do have a sense of selective outrage within us because while we protest on streets and change our Facebook profile pictures for one incident, we reserve to silence in other cases. Now, ask yourself this – Will justice ever be served even after the culprits are caught?

While writing about this to you, I wonder, does conscience even exist? The culprits have been termed ‘animals’ and I think we should stop saying that because it’s an insult to animals. History has repeated itself over and over again and I wonder why society continues to give birth to rapists. All of us, each one of us, should be held responsible for creating such elements in the society. I don’t know whether to blame the rape culture or sheer apathy, but the fact still remains that there will be many more incidents similar to Jisha’s and Jyoti’s. Hoping that you are on the same page as I am, we would want justice to be served for Jisha and others like her. There is no point in putting hashtags with #ShameonKerala or making this a political motive. I think it should be #ShameonHumanity. We can only expect such incidents and threats to reduce once we blame ourselves responsible for creating an environment that breeds such culprits.  And, we should start now.

Until next time

Yours sincerely,

A possible future victim

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