Globe and Mail reader Maggy Carter astutely comments on the death of the New Dehli gang rape victim.
According to the hospital head, the victim “passed away peacefully”. A curious phrase to describe death from such a horrific, violent, depraved, evil, inhuman atrocity. Is it the passage of time, the fact that she was heavily sedated, or some other intangible, that allows people in authority to downplay – to publicly sanitize for some reason – the end result of an act that is in diametric opposition to the meaning of peaceful. To be fair, it is a euphemism that has found increasing acceptance in the vernacular of an english speaking culture seemingly eager to blunt the harsh reality of a world, significant corners of which appear at times to have evolved only marginally beyond the life form that crawled out of the primordial ooze.
One can only speculate on the mental anguish, the psychological shock, the emotional turmoil, the futile attempt of one’s brain – even sedated – to come to grips with an unexpected, unimaginable, incomprehensible, interminable act of violence against one’s person. Multiple unwanted breaches of the female sexual organs by male appendages, intermingled with physical beatings, and culminating with a long metal rod rammed into the bowels. Not visited by a conquering vengeful army from antiquities, not by a Vlad the Impaler, not even by a pathologically brutal member of the SS. No, this hails from modern day, ‘civilized’ India.
Clocks tick, calendars turn, millennia pass but when it comes to the ability to repress, if not forever displace, the visceral violent traits of human nature – the mills of the gods grind exceedingly slow.