Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Aruna died once again, this time it is official.

After 42 years living in a state of coma in ward number four of KEM hospital in Mumbai Aruna Shanbaug officially died on May 18th 2015. People die every day so why this particular death is so important and mentioned specifically by media in India. First, she was a rape survivor, she was brutally raped by a ward boy on 27th November 1973, during this brutal sexual assault the rapist used a dog chain to choke her which resulted in cutting off of oxygen supply to her brain. This brutal assault left Aruna in coma from which she never recovered till her death. She did not completely die just because her hospital and nursing staff stepped up and took the responsibility of her total care, they did this job with complete devotion for 42 long years. Even supreme court of India termed this care and commitment as 'iconic' in their judgement where they rejected the plea to withdraw her life support. Only total commitment and sincere dedication of KEM management and staff towards Aruna kept her body alive. Technically she was alive but was in vegetative state where person's body is incapable to give any response. Actually that rapist killed that active and full of life nurse on that very fateful night, he should have tried for charge of murder not just attempt of murder. Technically or according to law that rapist didn't kill Aruna on that day but in reality he took away all life from her body and just left a body devoid of any emotions, there is no doubt that it was a murder. I can't even imagine what pain or sufferings Aruna must have gone through after that incident, I think no one can imagine or understand her sufferings as she didn't get chance to express her feelings neither in words nor with emotions.

Law couldn't punish that perpetrator for murder because Aruna's heart was still pumping the blood, her lungs were still breathing the air but most part of her brain was dead. Worst part is that they didn't punish him for rape also as it was not vaginal rape, such a shameful lapse in judging this case. She existed as a body but not as a person, because that personality was brutally murdered and law failed to acknowledge that. I was not even born when this crime happened, I can't imagine how Aruna went through this tough ordeal for a period which is more than my entire life so far. I really salute the commitment and dedication of all staff of KEM hospital who took care of her like their own family member for 42 long years. Even family members find it difficult to take care of people in such state. Finally her body gave up, her long and painful battle with life ended on Monday. She officially died on May 18th but she was dead as a person 42 years back, on that very fateful night when her brain was irreversibly damaged. There should be severe punishment in law for anyone who inflicts such sufferings to any person. Aruna's case is a example for any justice system to consider all possibilities where physical assault is involved, killing a person is not the only worst things an abuser can do, leaving that person in a state where he or she can't live his/her life is also very a very serious crime and such crimes should be dealt with that seriousness. Acid attacks or causing serious mental injuries are few examples of this type of crimes. When I first time read the book about Aruna's story I shook me to the core, for many days I was very disturbed and was thinking about her pain. No amount of sympathy and anger was enough to do any justice to Aruna, finally she is free of all this pain and sufferings. I hope we don't hear about any more stories like this one. Reading or listening to this story is itself so painful experience so imagine going through it in real life. You were a brave person, good bye Aruna, you gave us so much to think and debate about, I hope you forgive everyone who couldn't help you.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aruna_Shanbaug_case

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