It is an absolute shame that while #NotAllMen was trending on Twitter in response to the Bangalore mass molestation incident last week, another girl was being put through the same in the very city. When I first saw the CCTV footage play right before my eyes, I was still trying to get a grasp on what was actually happening.
Initially, the way the man walked up to her like he knew her, seemed very normal, till the moment she started to resist. That, was when I realized – he did not know her. She had not given him permission to share her personal space. It was shameful to see him drag her across the street, to his accomplice while she writhed. What was even more shocking was the way the onlookers did nothing to stop the perpetrators.
The assailants flee the scene, while she lies on the ground, without any help. This nauseated me even more. The molestation incident, which happened in the Kamanahalli area in Bangalore, comes to light at a time when the Karnataka government and its police are facing flak for the horror story that unfolded in Bangalore on the new year’s eve, with mass molestation of over hundreds of women happening on Brigade Road and MG Road.
As we write, there have been arrests made, but still I am still sick. And I had seen just ‘one’ woman being tortured so ruthlessly. I can’t even begin to imagine what the women who were harassed are going through. I am a 90’s kid. The world has evolved right before my eyes. From the days when internet was only known to some to having it on the tap of my finger, I have seen it all.
I always believed that crime needs preparation. A game plan. There was a time when we found it hard to believe that a once-loving husband killed his wife, or a brother killed his sibling for certain monetary gain. And, now? This era is different.
What will haunt me most is how easily he walks up to her. There is no hesitation in his walk, there is no speck of doubt in his mind. He seems sure that he will get what he is out for. This all stems from a corrupt system of thoughts and governance which has crept its way into the moral structure of this country like termite.
And yet, for some, the response to what happened in Bangalore has been to bring back the #NotAllMen chatter on Twitter! In order to kill the dialogue on feminism, this dialogue keeps appearing and reappearing.
Whats more shocking is that Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara, the minister in-charge of the State police machinery, who, said last week that “such incidents do happen on New Year’s day and Christmas”. His response that about 1,500 police personnel were deployed in the area to keep a tab on the goings-on was brazening it out by saying that women dressed in non-traditional attire are practically asking for it.
NOBODY asks for it. Why would anyone ever want that for herself?
On the other hand, Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Aazmi has told the news agency ANI that women are roaming around practically naked and therefore are to be blamed for the misfortunes of sexual assault. Azmi went on to say that scantily-clad women attract men because they are like “sugar syrup” and men are like “ants” drawn towards the source of sexual attraction. Are we telling kids about birds and bees?
Covert and overt support of sexual violence comes from our legislators, even as India is shamed again and again as the rape capital of the world. The idiocy and entitlement of the Indian patriarchy manifests in myriad forms.
When elected representatives too refuse to understand the enormity of rape culture and in fact perpetuate it or brazen it out, anti-rape laws fall flat on their faces. This is exactly why it becomes hard for men to express their solidarity with the women who were harassed and make the hashtag trend. After all, #NotAllMen are the same, but this country is not the place for the ‘independent women’ yet.