What It Means To Be A Woman In Delhi

Posted on June 4, 2011 in Society

By Aditi Mishra:

I live in Delhi. The city has everything to offer a common man and is indeed amongst one of the most happening cities of our country. Yes Delhi has everything, but how safe is it for me as a girl – is the most critical question for most of us.

While travelling in a bus I am welcomed by all staring and leering of boys and men. They have this wondrous ability to gaze constantly even if you notice them and give back a raging look. The worst part is it’s not only the young men who participate in this activity but the league is joined by the older men, ones with family, kids and even ones accompanying their girlfriends.

For metro, I am extremely thankful to it for introducing the women’s coach. It has hugely reduced the embarrassment of lewd remarks which were regular. It also saves me during the rush hours’ when having physical proximity is the easiest and is zesty moment for the opposite sex.

I take an auto for college but the auto driver refuses to switch on the meter and grins continuously giving various reasons from facing traffic jams to not getting sawari while returning. I finally successfully persuade one of them to go by meter. During this journey too I find the driver glancing through the rear glass, I can do nothing but avoid, and if it becomes irritating then snap him and command him to pay attention on the road. On hearing this too the big grin doesn’t disappear from his face.

Further walking on the road and heading towards home, the roadside romeos treat their eyes and as if they see a delicious dish and make every attempt to get close enough. And when you look around for the police, you usually get a cold look from them as well.

In the evening I come across several cars parked with men inside them boozing, smoking or playing loud music. They are the worst to face as they are usually out of their senses. I somehow make way back to my colony. All of a sudden I feel someone coming towards me from behind. I slowly take a look back and get disgusted from the familiar face I see. It’s the stalker following me for the past several months.

I make haste in taking my steps and so does he. I never understood the problem of this insane guy, even after polite refusal to his offer of so-called ‘friendship’, he still keeps pestering me and have an eye on me always.

My friends warn me of dire consequences if I do not report against him to the police. But I do not want to join the endless list in which Radhika Tanwar was recently added and become the victim of a stalker’s grudge. She had complained in the police and still met the dreadful fate. Will the police be around me round the clock to protect me or should I restrain myself in the house due to his fears? All these questions remain unanswered.

This seems to be part of my life everyday. I risk myself every time I step out of my house. The referral of ‘I’ is not for an individual; it is the story of all the women and represents the supposedly better and fairer sex.

In this modern time, women demand equal status in all fields. Same lines are being repeated – women are excelling in all spheres be it politics, business, sports or any other activity. Our leaders are women, from Delhi to Bengal and from Uttar Pradesh to Tamil Nadu. Our president too is a women and even the central government is believed to function under the orders of the most influential woman. Yet all this progress leads nowhere if a woman is not safe especially ones residing in the heart of the country which is New Delhi.

Serious law reform is the need of the hour and it’s high time for the citizens to get the wake up call. What are your views? Do post your comments in the comments section below.

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Deepak311086

It is real and inconvenient truth of our society not even in delhi this problem has spread deep inside the mentality. If some one dont want to stare then he is considered as a backward and sincere. And as shown in cinema it is good to be bad. So this cinema and media is the root problem as I think. They must be regulated and encouraged to be reformed. Some where these men got appreciation on performing these activities. This should be changed

Karthik

Perhaps, you can consider joining a basic 1 month martial art / self defence class. Fear and insecurity will be replaced by confidence, because your words are no longer your only weapon. At any cost, don’t rely on society and police. Assume nobody will help you even in broad daylight in a crowded area, because everybody nowadays is self centred. If you do indeed get help, it’s a bonus, but don’t bet on it. And about the stalker, do complain to cops after you get trained and follow it up with RTI.

meghavarshini krishnaswamy

I agree with Kartik, these offenders feed off our fear. As someone who has been learning karate for 3 years, I have understood that the only was to win is to fight back, not always physically(karate can rarely be used in a bus os a crowded location) but by letting these men know that they won’t succeed. Men who leer are challenging women’s right to walk on the streets, use public transport and in short, use the public space. We have to assert our right to equality. I have rarely come across eve-teasers who harass strong-willed, confident women. It is the scared, almost passive ones who get bullied. The next time you feel a body too close to yours, push it away or bring an object(maybe a bag) between your body and his. Attack their balls(literally and metaphorically). Challenge your stalker when surrounded by people and enjoy the feeling of emancipation as he cowers, mumbles inaudiable nonsense and disappears. Radhika’s murder strikes fear in women’s hearts. We have to learn to let go of this fear, for if its in your fate to get raped tomorrow, passivity is’t going to help.

 Words may not be your weapon. But a high-decibel horn will come in handy(they look like spray cans, except they emit high pitched, intolerably loud sounds) Make yourself heard and blow their ears off. Oh, and as far as auto wallah are concerned, the Principle of Reversibility(if you cant see him, he can’t see you) is an excellent way to ensure that the driver can’t see the passenger.

I suppose these measures seem limited in ensuring safety. But it is also true that one action will not only instill confidence but give other women the inspiration to act. Delhi is becoming safer because more women are coming out into the open. Maybe walking alone isn’t safe enough yet, so get a buddy or two. It is we citizens who can change mindsets, not just the assailant’s fear of the authorities. 

The women in power are mere symbols, their presence doesn’t mean anything. Don’t hesitate to pick up a stone or a stick the next time you see a stalker- The fear of getting hurt will be more than enough to encounter him. 

Deeksha Dubey

I can really empathise with you as I have been also facing such things in the recent past. It is really disgusting and iritating . The tragedy is one can not do much on on one’s own part. Men need to reform themselves. That is the only solution.

reeti singh

true!
i find delhi boys ok, it is the middle aged “uncle” janta who create maximum nuisance and easily get way with it!

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