Suzette’s death will now bring the twist her story lacked

Posted: March 14, 2015 in Indian Media, Indian Women, parenting, survival, Women, WPrightnow
Tags: , , ,


Suzette Jordan (Pix by Diganta Gogoi published in Friday)

Suzette Jordan (Pix by Diganta Gogoi published in Friday)

Strangely Suzette has been on my mind for the last few days. Mainly because of everything that’s been going on about the documentary India’s Daughter. Many friends were asking me why I hadn’t written anything on the documentary on my blog.

I hadn’t because I was angry. One interview of a despicable rapist triggered such a debate and such quick action was taken by the government. But if you Google you will find a 100 interviews and articles both in Indian and international media on Suzette Jordan, the woman who had the guts to reveal her face after being gang-raped on Park Street, but the Indian government never bothered to order a probe into her case. Never bothered to check how a Chief Minister could write off a rape saying “it is a concocted story.”

I kept thinking Nirbhaya is gone but Suzette is there – still fighting, still struggling, still facing her rapists everyday in the courtroom, but her case and ordeal continues to be dragged on and on in a sham called a fast-track court. Nirbhaya’s family was given money, an apartment and jobs, but why did it continue to be a lone battle for Suzette Jordan?

Does tragedy work better in India?

Will Suzette’s death now bring the poignancy that her story lacked so far?

Now she will probably be, finally forgiven, for going to a disco late at night (the worst blunder an Indian woman could commit)? Her struggle will now be glorified, help will come to her family or will she still remain an untouchable, like she had become, because one insensitive lady one day had declared that Suzette was lying when she reported her rape?

When I heard about her death my first instinct was to believe that she had probably been murdered because there were plenty of people out there who would have loved her dead. I couldn’t imagine she had succumbed to meningoencephalitis.

We spoke last on Facebook messenger on February 27 and she wrote, “All okay with me except my back problems.”

This was Suzette Jordan. She might have been fighting a thousand battles at that moment but she always had the positivity to say, “All okay.”

Now I see people are writing that she had a contagious laugh had a great sense of humour. Why wouldn’t she? She was every woman and being a rape survivor did not take away her right to laugh and have a life.

I had once gone to interview Suzette on a summer afternoon and their home was like any other household. Her daughters were excited to spot a feline near their pet cat Hunter. They had a friend with them along with Suzette’s nephew. The kids were telling her, “Looks like Hunter’s got a girlfriend”, and all of them were laughing.

Completely unpretentious and at ease in her two-room modest apartment in Behala, Suzette brought up her two lovely and intelligent daughters being the best mother she could be.

On hearing about Suzette’s demise I thought of her daughters, of her mother Gilda Jordan. What they must be going through. Suzette was so protective about them. Once she said, “I am so paranoid about my daughters that because of me they don’t have a normal teenage life anymore. I am perpetually calling them on their mobiles.”

But the girls never held it against her. They loved their mother with all their heart and despite the fact that their life changed completely after that fateful night the girls continued to be the pillar of support in her life, the reason for which Suzette always said she had the will to live, the will to fight.

But very few people know Suzette’s battles brought small victories for Indian women. Even if the Indian Government did not announce a probe into her case the Delhi High Court invited her twice to know her views on her trial. She had told them that the two-finger test was the most humiliating thing any woman had to go through.

Since then the test has been banned in India.

Suzette was the kind of woman who demanded respect and ensured people gave her that. “Rape is not my shame,” is something Suzette always said.

This statement defined her.

It would be unfair to say that Indian society shunned Suzette Jordan completely. She explained her dichotomous experiences best when she said, “On the one hand I have been invited to talk shows on TV, NGO inaugurations, school seminars and award functions but on the other hand despite my work experience I have not landed a job. After the incident happened if I was asked by my landlord to vacate my apartment, the landlord of my current apartment rented this place to me despite knowing everything about me. I have had parents of my daughters’ friends agreeing to send their kids over to my place to spend time with them because I was scared for my daughters to go out.”

In the last interview that I did with Suzette she had said: “If I have come this far, I am not willing to give up hope. There has to be justice. But once the case gets over, hopefully I will be able to find some peace. I won’t have to remember every gory detail of what happened to me that night and talk about it in court day after day. I won’t have to see the people who did this to me, every other day.”

Justice is what Suzette Jordan deserves, not a candle march not flowers at her grave.


  1. Bobby Chakraborty says:

    I am worried about her daughters… Very worried about their future… I don’t know how…. But I would really want to help them in my capacity… In whatever way possible… RIP…

    • amritaspeaks says:

      Hi Bobby. I feel the same. I am not in Kolkata now but when I get back I will get in touch with you because they will need help and we have to be there for them.

  2. Debarati Ghosh says:

    Hi Amrita
    Very well-written article indeed…and I agree to you completely that a probe needed to be done into the case by the Central Government and the chief minister severely questioned for her callous remark on the issue…but most importantly, at present, all those TV channels which invited her to their talk shows should now come forward to support her family…actually I strongly feel that something needs to be done for them whom she supported..may her soul rest in peace!
    – Debarati

  3. Soumyadipta says:

    Such wonderful words. I agree with the last time wholeheartedly.

  4. vanyadhanya says:

    I am shocked; how did her demise happen? I came to know of her through Satyamev Jayate and since then, have the utmost respect for her. This is really sad

  5. Neil says:

    I live in Delhi and would like to do anything I can for her girls. Please do let me know. Leaving my e-mail ID below. RIP.

  6. cdipanjan says:

    I am deeply ashamed about what Suzette has gone through in her life. She deserved much better treatment in our society. I salute her courage. After the notorious Park Street incident, I remember what comments were passed by the CM and two MPs, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and Arpita Ghosh about Suzette. I wonder how being a woman, you can assassinate character of another woman who has gone through such horrifying pain. The main accused seems to be close to ruling party leaders and that’s why he is yet to be caught. The lady police commissioner who wanted to reveal the truth was transferred by the CM. Even after such cruelty, the ruling party gets more than 42% votes. Suzette has shown her courage by revealing herself in front of us. The life of hers became miserable after this incident. I pray that she goes to much better world. Her daughters should get secured world & education. They already have started their struggle without mom which is extremely difficult. I pray our society grows and they feel better in this society.

  7. kashyap2016 says:

    I don’t understand one thing, the two finger test’s examiner was always a woman and test was done in a completely packed,secluded and isolated room.Then what could be the problem if a woman is examining another woman’s organ? Having shame in this doesn’t make any sense to me. Don’t women go naked before each other, because they are just “women”? When there’s no male or around or when it’s only a room for girls?

    I may be blunt but undergoing a test like that could not be shameful.I don’t think it has anything to be shamed about. That is just a test.IF that’s true, then it would mean that women don’t let any other woman to ever examine or see their reproductive organ out of shame? What shame? A woman is doing it, no freaking man there!

    It’s insane.
    And I m sorry if I m way too straight forward. But would like to listen from other women that why it’s shameful.

leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s