Too nice an euphemism for so crude a behavior! I'm so furious my hands are still shaking! Getting home tonight, I'd just gotten out of the car and was standing on the roadside waiting for the traffic to clear up a bit so I could cross the road, rummaging inside my bag looking for my keys when I felt a hand on my behind, and not just lightly too, but in a highly vulgar and obscene way, all women who have been 'eve-teased'..you know what I mean. My initial response was shock, I didn't do anything, just turned around and looked at the person who had touched me, and he gave me an insolent, leery smile and calmly strolled past me, his friends snickering loudly! The only thing I wanted at that moment was to see that person die, but I still stood motionless, I was too shaken. And there were a group of men standing nearby who saw what this monster did, but nobody did anything. I looked at them helplessly, and they all stared back with cold, unfeeling eyes, that was when the tears came. I walked the rest of the way home crying, tears streaming down my face, I didn't even bother to wipe them, didn't care who saw me and what they might think. I was just so disgusted with the people here. I felt violated, humilated..and alone. If anyone had dared to do something like this back home in Mizoram, I could've turned to anyone, a passer-by, an onlooker... and rest assured, the guilty person would surely get a good thrashing. How were these people brought up that they can possibly think they can just go grab someone's body part just because they feel like it? What kind of parents gave birth to and raised such barbarians? What kind of values were instilled in them?? People say a lot of things - education, legalisation of porn, they blame it on testosterone, they blame it on the women... I say it's none of these things, I have known uneducated people with the warmest hearts and the strongest moral values and all the basic life-ethics in place. Even the most illiterate of men, if he is human being at all, must know enough to realise that such an act is perverse and outrageous and sooo not right. You have to be a woman to know what it feels like to have a stranger touch you like that, it feels dirty and gross and ..mostly just DIRTY! It is at times like these that I don't feel grown-up, and I can't handle things so well on my own and I want my mother and my friends and long for the cleanliness and goodness of the people back home.
I know many women face the same problem everyday, it's kind of disappointing to see how no 'real effort' has ever been taken to stop sexual harassment, given the prevalence and the extent to which it often goes. Surprisingly -
In Indian criminal law, sexual harassment of women has not been enunciated as a juridical category of crime. It was only in 1997 that, in the realm of juridical interpretation, the object sexual harassment of working women was named and defined (See Vishakha and Anrs v. Union Of India 1997).
This does not imply that there are no related laws in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that may be evoked when a woman is sexually harassed. However, these related laws are framed as offences that either amount to obscenity in public or acts that are seen to violate the modesty of women under sections 294,1 3542 and 5093 of the IPC.
I wonder if I could get that bastard punished by law, his 'action' did certainly violate my modesty.
(And for those who might be wondering - No, I was NOT wearing anything revealing or provocative. It was a bit chilly and I had a shawl wrapped around me, literally covered from head to toe, the only visible parts of my body being my face, parts of my feet which my open-toed shoes didn't cover, and my hands. It was around 8:30 P.M, and the streets were still busy. NOT THAT IT MATTERS!)