The New Year Night Of Shame

The night was rather young and brimming with festive spirit, there were celebrations everywhere to welcome 2017. A new year with more opportunities, hope, peace, and love. But the crowded streets in Bangalore brought down humiliation, pain and unwanted sexual advances on the women folk who were there to welcome the New Year.

Two genders, at the same place, one left with a harrowing memory while the other was the reason for it.

We read reports about the politician who said, how women “aping” the Western culture were the reason for these shameful incidents. The lewd comments and piercing looks don’t stop even when you wear a saree or salwar kameez (traditional Indian attire). You can feel the dirty stares scanning over your body, the unwanted groping in a busy bazaar (market), the whistles and comments objectifying your body, the wandering vile eyes looking for some skin all of this when you are in Indian clothes. So, who is to blame?

Western clothes or not having a male accompanist are not reasons to justify sexual harassment, there is no reasoning for this. It is a crime and this should not happen to any woman (or man). Every country should be safe for everyone to move about without fearing for their life and safety.

The women were touched, manhandled and molested by many unrighteous hands; reaching out for any female body they could. Are we toys of pleasure for your uncontrollable raging hormones?

This does not end in the streets, it followed to the pubs and bars that night. A woman out in a pub to have a good time with friends does not spell out loose morals. She is there just like you to have some fun, if you, after downing a few drinks can’t behave appropriately then leave (yes, go home!) but that does not call for you to grapple and feel her up against her wishes to satisfy your twisted sexual needs.

A lady walking through a deserted street is an easy target for malicious men; the incident of the lady who was molested in Bangalore and caught on CCTV camera is one such incident. We all got to know about the incident because of the video. How many such untold experiences? How many more women were left on the streets after an attack lying helpless and bruised like Jyoti Singh (the December 16, 2012 gang rape victim)?

Even the armed police were left helpless by the intoxicated unruly mob, then how do you expect an unarmed lady to rescue herself from the hands of a bunch of molesters? Yes, there were brave women who fought back to these men and taught them a lesson so that they would never dare to repeat it ever again in their life. Kudos to you, Chaitali Wasnik! Even in such instances, the bystanders and the crowd were only watching her response and not taking any action. Where are your morals common people of India?

Incidents like these are a reminder that India is not safe for women, so ladies for your own safety arm yourself with pepper sprays or any other self-defence tools that you are comfortable with because we still have men in our society who have no self-control and are sexual predators.

It would be completely unfair if I do not mention the people (men & women) who helped the women in trouble to safety. So yes, thank you for being human and doing the right thing.

May this unfortunate incident open the eyes of our society as well as our political and judicial system to make amends, take action and bring about change to the existing mindset, complacency and victim shaming. And fellow humans remember – there is no hard-and-fast rule that you should only help and support your family and loved ones, every man, woman and child in distress is looking out for your kindness.

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