18 May, 2021

Still Haunted By Hate

For the nuns raped at Jhabua, the big challenge now is to regain their faith in God and humanity

Still Haunted By Hate

The nation may have forgotten September 23, 1998— the night when a group of nuns in Jhabua were set upon by an unruly mob and four of the younger nuns raped. But the hurt lingers on. Outlook tracked down the rape victims of Jhabua who now live in a convent in south Chennai. They are a shattered lot who cannot even come to terms with why God had failed them on that fateful night. Two of the victims, Sister Tracie and Sister Maria (names changed) agreed to speak about how their lives changed after the fateful night.

"I have been angry with God and for long I didn’t look at His face. We had prayed so hard, even at the last moment we were in the chapel crying for help. After it happened I was in a daze. For a long time people thought I was going mad," recollects Sr Tracie. She was the youngest of the nuns who were violated. And ever since, she has been shutting out the inquisition of insistent well- wishers.

Says Fr M. A. James, director of the Chennai- based Dhyana Ashram, a Jesuit- run counselling- cum- retreat centre,...

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