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One fine day I was going to the supermarket with my sister. She is not really the ideal silent girl who would ignore the comments made by the passer by, even a bad stare would incense her and she could not help herself. That day we were just having this little chat on the way, it was only then that she shared with me that she is now scarred of replying to such people who would comment her or stare at her. I asked her “why is that?” To which her reply was that she was scared that some day one of them might get provoked and throw acid on her face when they see her next.

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That set me thinking….

We all know everyday a number of women become victims to brutal acts such as rape, domestic violence and other forms of sexual harassment.  When I sit down to think “what could be the reasons for such crimes?” I get answers like, I really don’t know if they are true, a lack of self-control, lust for a female body.

Most of these crimes are done when someone acts impulsively, in that moment they do not see that the women standing in front of them is their sister, their daughter or their cousin. They are blinded by lust and what they see is a body they can use to satisfy it. Well the debate that are we no longer safe with our brothers and fathers can be saved for another day.

What I want to throw light upon today is that I could not find the reason for what I discussed that day with my sister, why would someone throw acid on someone’s face? Neither does it satisfy their lust, their desire or something like that. Perhaps one thing could be as my sister said that day, to take revenge for some insult. Even then it could not be compared to other crimes, which as I discussed are impulsive and done in the heat of the moment, because for such an act someone would need prior planning. Again I would say we plan many things in state of anger, like “we will never talk to that friend again”, or say things which we later regret. To put them into action however we need a very strong commitment.

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So that would mean someone who ever committed a crime such  as throwing of an acid on someone, would be incensed enough not only o plan it but to actually arrange for a bottle of that dangerous liquid, then carry it safely to the targeted person and then throw it on their face. All this knowing that it would not give them any physical pleasure but just mental peace to know that someone else is suffering, that their life would never be the same again. Well I cannot really understand the mental state of such a person, but I do have one word to describe them, a Sadist…!!!

One who derives pleasure in the fact that someone is in pain. In a world where women are ranked according to their beauty, where the meanings of fair and unfair have changed, an acid attack could not be lethal to someone body, face or skin but to their life. And hence being beautiful becomes a need, and something of great importance. It is this very idea that leads to acid attacks. To take away something that is so dear to them and so deeply cherished.

The day when beauty no longer remains a need and every face is accepted as beautiful crimes such as acid attacks would no longer exist. When the world would know that a woman’s capabilities are independent of her beauty, they would no longer feel capable of breaking her by such sadist acts. It is only when we make them realize that a woman’s confidence and her life is not in their control. They simply cannot destroy it or tend to spoil it with these acts. The notion that beauty is power makes these perpetrators think that women are vulnerable to such things.

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It is time to overcome the superficial standards of beauty and to realize that beauty is not about the color of your skin. It will serve not only the purpose of making victims of these attacks survive easily in the society but discourage the sadists to indulge in such crimes. It would no longer give them any satisfaction if the women whose life they sought to destroy and change forever would live their lives just like any other normal person.

OK, it may cross some curious minds that when acid attacks do not suffice these sadists they may then switch to other ways to seek revenge, but to answer that I would only quote Marilyn Ferguson “ Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear if freedom”

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