The story has broken on the news channels yesterday but it had broken on the social media on Jan 31st…. This was the text doing the rounds followed by the video footage.
“👆This is a forward by a girl of what happened in the indigo flight yesterday with her ! This man on the seat behind mine, put his fingers in the seat gap to touch me!!! I was very shocked for sometime to react. By then the flight went to landing mode. Then the moment flight touched down, i got up. Saw his hand was again on the side ready to take up any opportunity to touch me!!! I created such a scene, humiliated him in front of the whole flight! He thought like usual girls will keep quiet and he can get away with this! I have lodged an FIR now! He is a very rich man of bhubaneswar and is now very humiliated in front of the people who know him. Cant believe the ordeal i had to go thru but being silent is a crime! The police officer was very helpful and the Indigo staff remained with me throughout. The man is under police custody currently. I clicked his pictures and made videos, shouted so loud that the entire plane came forward to see him! i made sure i humiliate him as much as possible because i know law will do nothing.”
Well, the news channels say that this man was arrested and has been let off on bail. Easy. Sure he was momentarily embarrassed and humiliated, but even while apologising to this brave girl who captured this predator on video, he made a statement saying “I have a daughter and she would have forgiven me if I had apologized.” Really ? The daughter “may” forgive a father, though I doubt that too, but if she had been groped or touched wrongly, she would never forgive the man responsible.
Men will never understand what groping/touching does to a woman. It’s a violation that’s so demeaning. There is no love, but just a cheap thrill for the man, and an unforgettable incident for the woman. Almost every girl, woman has been groped or touched improperly in India – except maybe the women born before 1920s. As the message above made the rounds in different social media groups, so many women shared their traumatic experiences – many of those experiences hadn’t been shared with anyone before :(:( but not forgotten.
I remember vividly, the face of the old man who groped me in a bus, in Kancheepuram when I was all of 10 !!! I was so shocked that my usual combative self didn’t come through and I just got off the bus and went with my parents. They had gotten off before me :(. I never mentioned about the incident because strangely I felt ashamed then as if I had done something wrong.
Age is no bar for the gropers … A young mother is treated the same way as a young girl or a 50 year old woman … I was walking around in Chandni Chowk this Saturday with two strong men – My husband Krishnan and my friend Javed. Predators couldn’t grope me obviously, but they wouldn’t wait and let me pass, either Krishnan or Javed had to be in front of me, clearing a path in the mad rush before I could move a little. I always ask Krishnan to walk behind me in a crowded place, because otherwise I will have some man feeling me up or brushing hard against me or just touching me :(:(:(:(.
I refuse to play victim, but the fact is, women are the victims and the perpetrator gets away scot free – that’s the sad truth which has to change. One of my friends shared how during her college days, a predator had groped her and she had thrashed him, but she was not allowed to take the same route for the next two years of college and that guy must have found several other victims. That’s what’s wrong.
I had written about sexual harassment – Sexual Harassment – the many who escape. When I posted the same article on Linkedin, I was shocked to see some of the responses. It was the same old story of “the woman asked for it by being dressed provocatively” … I wonder what I will hear about this post – what was this girl’s (in the Indigo flight) mistake except that she sat in the seat in front of this predator ?? Am sure she wasn’t undressed or provocatively dressed because she was in a flight not in an office or acting in a movie. I don’t think this predator would have even got a good look at her face to decide if she deserves to be harassed … For him, this was just another girl/woman, who would not protest and is easy game.
I haven’t heard of women “touching” harassers – I doubt if any woman would really feel up a man’s ass or get high by poking her finger through the seat or get thrilled by brushing against a man’s chest :(:(:(. This “touching” harassment must go. My sisters, girl friends and aunts – next time anyone gropes you, break their fingers, shout, attract attention, tell your boyfriend, husband, brother, any decent man who will beat up these perverts and use technology to take pictures. I get it, some decent men may have to explain themselves for no fault of theirs, but those numbers will be minuscule. A woman always know who is groping and who inadvertently brushed against her. My request to all girls and women is not to misuse the power of the law, but use it appropriately and bring to book the predators.
Our society has to be rid of this “touching” stigma. Raise your voice, justly and don’t ever play victim.
Please read this article of what an American student faced in India India – the story you never wanted to hear.
I feel ashamed as an Indian. We just need to get rid of this “touching” and groping menace.. It has to stop.