Thursday, 27 December 2012

Are we going to see more of this?

Is this how girls would have to protect themselves when they are sexually harassed? A girl in Delhi decided to take on a man who harassed her. It was heartening to see one man join her in thrashing the culprit. But others in the crowd just watched...

I recall an incident 30 years ago when as a young reporter I waited for a bus on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg at 8 pm. A man just walked into me. Straight into me as if he could not see. There were four to five men standing at the bus stop. No one said anything to him. I found after banging into me he was walking away as if nothing had happened. I hit him hard on his back and he was surprised by my action. "Why are you hitting me?" he asked before he melted into the darkness when I shouted at him. Then one man from the crowd said, "It is a good thing you hit him." I had to say this to him and the others who stood listening - "I wish you all had said something to him."

Thirty years down the road some things have changed, while some remain the same. Delhi, in fact, most north Indian cities, are hard on women. There are many more women out now -- on the road, in offices, in restaurants, in buses...And it is good to see the girls are not prepared to take this nonsense from men anymore.  Decades ago I used to see women refrain from saying anything to the men who would bother them as they did not want to create a spectacle. Crowds in India love to watch and pass comments usually on the woman. But now,  the girls are not  going to take this behaviour anymore. If society or the police are not going to come to their help, they will take on their tomentors. And how!

Now see a girl in Allahabad set the bike of a neighbour on fire. He is said to have tormented her with lewd comments and she could take it no more. She acted the only way she could.

Such cases are bound to increase as girls get educated and find the police and society do not speak up on their behalf or act.
Notice how the crowd stands and watches.

Our boys and men need to learn how to behave with women.

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