Tamil Nadu Schoolgirl Writes Suicide Note, “Girl Is Safe Only In Mother’s Womb Or Grave,” Taapsee Pannu Reacts
I don’t know why but many believe that women in India are safe. Despite facts and statistics suggesting otherwise, I have had many people (usually men) try to argue with me about who has it worse, men or women. While I believe that patriarchy has done harm to both genders, women have definitely gotten the shorter end of the stick. And if anyone disagrees with me please read this bone-chilling case of a schoolgirl that committed suicide due to sexual harassment and her suicide note.
The girl was in 11th grade. Her mother found her hanging in their home on the outskirts of Chennai. She had been out for only an hour and returned to her teen daughter’s room locked. Three days after the alleged death by suicide, a 21-year-old man, a college student, has been arrested for sexual assault.
The man confessed he and the girl were close and he had harassed her as well. He has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). A police officer working on the case told NDTV ,”The boy has confessed to a physical relationship with the minor girl. In the last two weeks, he had been harassing and torturing her. We have located filthy messages and the exchange of photographs. They had a good friendly relationship for eight months before all this.” The girl and the boy used to be in the same school when she was in 8th and he was in 11th grade. However, they connected and became close over Instagram.
In the suicide note written by the girl, she mentioned that the school was not a safe space for girls and even the teachers could not be trusted. She said she had trouble sleeping due to the mental torture she experienced even in her dreams. The suicide note stated a very bone-chilling fact that is, “a girl is safe only in the mother’s womb or the grave.” And, she is sadly not completely wrong. In many cases, a woman isn’t safe in the womb either.
The note also says, “Every parent should teach their kids and sons (to treat) girls with respect.” The police are now trying to see if she was harassed by any more people, based on her note. The note also mentioned three possible harassers, “relative, teacher, everyone.” The suicide note also said “Stop Sexual Harassment” and ended with the words, “Justice for Me.”
Tamil Nadu Chief minister put out a video message urging everyone to not take such drastic actions but to report the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Taapsee Pannu also shared and reacted to the news of the girl’s suicide with a broken heart on top.
— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) December 20, 2021
I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of pain this young girl must have gone through to take such a drastic step. But as a woman who has experienced harassment before, I can imagine the pain she felt. I also believe that households need to be open to this conversation. A child should be able to inform their guardian when they feel unsafe in any shape or form and they should not be shamed for it. That is one way to ensure that such actions won’t be taken and the victims will get the justice they deserve.