Being part of the millennial generation, we were taught to work towards the progress of our society and take the utmost pride in the fact that we are the architects of the 21st Century. But one incident in Bangalore prompted me to reconsider the progress of our society.
September 12, 2017. 1st Main Cross Road, SG Pallya, Bengaluru. It’s 9.50pm. A time I used to consider safe for travelling in the pretentiously ‘cosmopolitan’ city known as Bengaluru. But I was wrong. I was assaulted by few local residents, or more appropriately cowards, near my accommodation in Bangalore. Cowards of no less than 50 years of age, dared to hurl abuses of the most degrading order and physically mishandle me, going to the extent of slapping me. The only reason? Because I happened to have been interacting with my female friend before dropping her off to her PG (Paying Guest) accommodation.
It didn’t stop there. At least 20 people were witness to this cowardly act by the goons, but none dared to intervene or even extend a hand of support. I agree that I could’ve been a suspect conducting some undesirable activities, but isn’t it the duty of the police to charge me, in that case? If we consider our nation to be believing in the rule of law, what constitutional rights did they have to raise their hand on me?
I approached the local representatives who turned their back on me, asking me to forget this incident. That any action to pursue this matter would ultimately cause me trouble. Even the local police gave the same diplomatic advice. But I know that I’m not going to be the only victim of this sort of ‘moral policing’. Thousands of people like me who consider themselves to be a part of a progressive society can be victims of even worse manhandling, their only mistake being that they interacted with the opposite gender. From recommending I avoid travelling alone at that time to asking me to completely avoid traveling in that zone, I am tired of listening to all these suggestions.
I’m ready to abandon any action and forget this incident, but I’m really curious to know if this sort of violence in the form of ‘moral policing’ should prevail in this 21st century? When we call ourselves a progressive society, do we still let these sort of elements go free? I am not here demanding justice for the ordeals that I endured, but I am demanding answers.