Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What is the world coming to?

This is about my friend who was harassed in the metro. Harassed physically by one but mentally by 50 other passengers for being a woman and not traveling in the women's car.

On June 23, 2012 around 1 PM she boarded the general car of the metro at Noida City Center. She was standing near the doors minding her own business and after a while she felt a guy hovering over her. She thought maybe he has to get off and asked him if he needed to. He told her no, he doesnt need to get off and kept leaning over her. So she asked him to back off a little. He refused and went on to ask my friend that why is she traveling here and not in a womens car. My friend told him there is no restriction on women to travel anywhere cause women can travel decently and asked him to step back. Another guy came in to talk to this offending guy to move. The first guy refuses and soon a fight ensued between these two guys. The fight escalated so drastically that the bad guy hits the helping guy so hard that he fell to the ground bleeding profusely.

All the other 40-50 men in the car start shouting at my friend that she is the reason for this fight, that because of her speaking out the men started fighting, and that she should get off the train!! Shocked, my friend shouted back at these men SHE is not the reason the men are fighting, she stood up for herself and had both politely and then demanded the man to back off, which he refused and continued to harass her and only one guy decided to do something about it and was beaten up. None of these men tried to stop the harassment or even to stop the fight and stood by and watched. My friend calls #100 to report the incident, the fellow who answered the phone hangs up. In the meanwhile all the men are shouting that these girls are to blame and they make the men fight. They kept shouting at her to get off the train and saying things like "Ladkiyan to hoti hi aisee hain...wo dono pit gaye par isko koi asar nahi huya". My friend continued to stick to her stance that she has just as much right to be in the metro as any man and she is not the reason the two men fought, they fought cause one was a pervert and the other tried to teach his some manners. How traumatising it was for my friend to have 50 odd men and surprisingly few women as well, who continued to verbally harass her- for speaking out against harassment and for refusing to leave the metro, just cannot be described in words. Is this what we are now, that one woman has to stand against 50 men shouting that she has as much right to travel as they do without being harassed and when she speaks up no one steps forward to help her and turn right back around and BLAME her!

So I need your help to spread this incident in whatever way we can. I don't know how it will help but I feel it will. 

I'm still so dazed, so shocked and so angry.


  1. Truly shocking. I am ashamed :(

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  3. Regarding Bikramjit's first line in the comment above me, it really won't help yaar. Once they feel secure in the mob mentality, they will not care if you speak facts and infact would only take such statements as an act of aggression giving them the right to retaliate however they feel.
    You are right - they need to be shot... but they know neither will it happen, nor will they caught in a mob.

    I say this as an ashamed Indian male... I dont know what she could have done once they ganged up. I really dont.

  4. Sad. Bikramjit, I guess all these men would make their wifes and daughters wear burka and lock them at home. This is BTW not fiction but actually happening around the world, maybe not so far from where you live.
    I think we need to buit a women's army and not separate womens compartment, I am shoxked to hear that.
    I would suggest you start a bycott campaign to womens car.

  5. @Swati - ashamed too..of these men of my country.

    @Bikramjit - Somehow I feel its the mentality of our society that whatever happens its the fault of womenfolk. Am sure for such people if something happens to their sisters, daughters they would still go on and chide them instead of showing support to them.

    @Dr Roshan - She truly was helpless and totally alone. She tried real hard to tell them that they are such morons..such cowards trying to take side of the bad fellow. But it just didn't help. No one. NO ONE came to help her. To support her.

  6. This is awful! What's more shocking is that even few ladies were a part of all this! Your friend didn't deserve this, what she did was her right, and the fact that she stood her ground speaks a lot about her guts.
    I faced a similar situation myself some time back but thankfully the guy gave up after I reprimanded him. Blogged about it too.

  7. utterly happens at most public places. We have perverts everywhere, even the bystanders.

  8. This is shocking, but I am not suprised. That's the mentality among a lot of people though from outside their insides seem squeaky clean.
    Sharing your post.

  9. Mob mentality is always upsetting my friend. But this lady was really courageous and I am sure she feel more empowered now to face such situations around her.


  10. Read this at Chandni's. The guts and courage of your friend is laudable. I appreciate her for standing up for herself which is more difficult than standing up for someone. Everybody looks for support, but it gets tricky when one doesn't get it. I'm ashamed of the fellow passengers in that train that day. I'm ashamed of belonging to the society which considers it a woman's mistake to stand for her rights.

  11. Well, as bad as this sounds, I'd say remove the reserved coaches. There must not be any reservation except for the elderly & the differently abled. This whole thing of creating reserved cabs for women is just pureplay stupid. Human mentality is that in case there is a reservation, one is only supposed to be in that sandbox and not outside.

  12. @everyone: I'm glad so many of us are there who support my friend and applaud her courage.

    Earlier even I was thinking of boycotting of womens' coaches. But then these have been made as a facility for women. Not as a demarcated area.

    For e.g. A mother can want some privacy away from men to feed her infant. There are many more such reasons for which this facility has been made.

  13. Kudos. reading this, the first thing i thought about was, wow, she has laid it down pretty honestly and legibly. so you can understand my shock at all those people who had the audacity to support those men and even go as far as tell you you deserved it all. i read this at chandni's and i couldnt help but give a good piece of my mind to those people as replies to their comments. i have commented as well. i hope you read them and accept that there are "boys" who empathise as well.

  14. Respect for the girl here. Great Job. Hats off to you lady!
    And about the shaking legs part, I have gotten into fights a number of times, and no matter which side you are on, which gender you are of, how well built you are, legs do shake a lot. :)
    The attitude of men described by you above is called male chaunivism. It is driven by insecurity in men when they see "better" women in a powerful position.
    So, if any of them wrong you and you could not get square with them, don't bother, karma will.

  15. So, 1st guy intervened to stop the sexual harassment of the girl by 2nd guy and then it turns ugly between the two? And the girl thinks BOTH guys - not just the abuser but also the one who intervened - is an "asshole" and the same. Okay. Nice.

    Rather than dismissing the guy who actually had balls to stand up to the despicable groper as an "asshole", shouldn't she have atleast stood by him against the perv? This is the problem with women. They expect all men to speak up for them but after things turn ugly, they don't speak up for the man who spoke up for them. Of course, the 50 passengers' behaviour is equally pukeworthy as well. They didn't intervene at first, they had no right whatever to shower their wisdom on her, later. Should've kept their mouths shut.

    My response in a similar case would be cold indifference. If I'd intervened, most probably I'd get brutally beaten to death by the molester gang. And the girl would simply take off and forget me forever. She wouldn't show up at the court to testify in my favor, against the bastards. All accused will be set free for lack of evidence. My family would be ruined. So, no thanks. 5 years ago, my response would be different. But, now I have my priorities right.

  16. This is really such awful shit. I just cannot imagine nobody coming forward to help the lady in distress. And to top of it, why did the crowd point and abuse the girl for what all had happened ?

    Its not just bout a bad day... its has more to do with the mentality of the youth / people today...

  17. @anonymous - The guys started fighting because the other guy didn't speak with respect to him. "Help the girl" flew out of the window right there and then. It was all about him and his respect.

  18. We need to educate our children both male and girl child along with young girls, women and mothers need to learn how to deal with such situations. At, I conduct workshops on Women Safety Awareness and Psychological Empowerment against Crime, Violence and Sexual Abuse. If you all, want to make a change, then this is a right place to start. These workshops for divided in two areas - one for family with children and another only for women. Call Franklin Joseph at 9886769281 for more information.

  19. We need to educate our children both male and girl child along with young girls, women and mothers need to learn how to deal with such situations. At, I conduct workshops on Women Safety Awareness and Psychological Empowerment against Crime, Violence and Sexual Abuse. If you all, want to make a change, then this is a right place to start. These workshops for divided in two areas - one for family with children and another only for women. Call Franklin Joseph at 9886769281 for more information.

  20. Rather than thinking that others might help you you should had the balls to slap the guy right then and there and if something had turned ugly I am sure many people must have intervened. But your problem is you think that all people in the world should try to help you without you trying yourself first. The first person to had acted should be you rather than expecting others to help you. If you can't even start to do something for yourself chances are no one would do it for you. And instead of supporting the guy who stood for you you are calling him an asshole. No matter they were fighting for other reasons but it won't change the fact that all that started because he intervened and tried to help you. And if you would have made the slightest bit of effort to support him then later many other also have supported you. But instead you chose to remain silent which gave others the vibe that you are not at all concerned about the person who stood for you so why should we commit the same mistake. First you should change your attitude and then expect others to do the same. Just publishing the incident on a blog doesn't make you a right person. You are equally responsible if not of starting a fight but of not interfering. So how could you expect others to interfere for you?

  21. I read about this while I was sitting at a dental surgeon's clinic today going through a women's magazine I guess. The main cover was missing. It's truly a shocking and petrifying incident. Inconcievable. Hard to believe this goes on daily and nothing is done about it.

    The indian government will not do anything about it. All this shouting slogans about hanging the rapists will go in vain and will be forgotten soon.

    What indian women really need to do now is learn mixed martial arts. I live in australia and I learn mixed martial arts such as Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu and Eskrima and Judo and Hapkido at times. Let me tell you this is the best thing I have ever experienced in my life. They teach us every single way to defend ourselves if we face such circumstances. I love it. At the beginning when I was new, I felt very intimidated. But then, after a while, I started enjoying it tremendously because it teaches the students how to be disciplined in life, to respect elders and to learn to protect yourself and your loved ones in adverse circumstances and the highest award you recieve and be proud of is the black belt. There are so many female students in my martial arts schools and female athletes as well. I really enjoy to attend this with other members of the school as well. I feel so confident when I walk down the road in australia or even in india because I know that if I ever face such situations, I would be able to defend myself even if I am attacked by a knife. Therefore, I would recommend every girl in india to learn mixed martial arts and receive black belts. You do not have to get black belt to protect yourself. I'm a blue belt myself but they always teach us defensive techniques no matter what belt you are. What is amazing is that it's so easy to protect yourself. No one can ever hurt you. The techniques are so easy. It's so easy to break someone's arm or kick someone in the head or in the middle of the legs or break or fracture someone's knee or ribs with ease. There are so many techniques. I can go on and on all day. If someone's holding you, you can easily defend yourself. They also teach you how to lock joints and bring someone to the ground. They teach us flexibility a lot. Well, I hope girls in india take mixed martial extremely seriously so that no one ever threatens a girl to quieten her or try to hurt her or rape her or assault her. If you don't believe what a girl can do, watch the movie Rush-Hour 2 and just look how that asian girl protects herself against Chris Tucker on a boat in Hong Kong. She kicks him several times in the head so swiftly that he was terrified and collapsed. This is true in real life. They teach us exactly the same way. You become so swift that your opponent wouldn't even know when and from where is the next kick, punch, elbow or knee is coming and the damage is irrepairable. White belts comment this to me all the time. I have found various mixed martial arts school in india on google. I am showing a clip of how martial arts schools are. Here is a clip from my school in australia and I hope this inspires people to take up mixed martial arts seriously.

  22. I'm in kolkata on holidays and a while ago, I spoke to my aussie friend a while ago and he was laughing when I told him about the guy in the train who said 'I don't care what you do the girl, but don't talk to me like that'. My friend said that it should have been the other way round. The guy should be protecting the girl. He laughed a lot. He thought it was serious and funny as well. We spoke about a few more things I will talk about.

    Our conversation:
    Daniel: What do women wear in india?
    Me: Mainly t-shirts and jeans trousers, traditional indian dress (Salwar Kurta) and sarees.
    Daniel: God!! crime against women in australia is mainly because the women flaunt their skin so much you know. Mainly short-shorts and mini skirts. Some men go crazy, they can't control themselves.
    Me: Laughing
    Daniel: Some of the girls don't even wear undies. They just walk down the street and you can see underneath when it's windy.
    Me: (Laughing) Yea, I've see that too often.
    Daniel: Some of the girls wear such short-shorts, you can even see underneath when they're walking.
    Me: Laughing

    Then after we spoke, I had lunch with my parents. I told mom about what I read in the magazine at the dental clinic and my mom was shocked to hear that guy say 'I don't care what you do to that girl but don't talk to me like that'. Then, she told me as well that a few months back when she was travelling in an auto-rickshaw, there was no room at the back, so she had to sit beside the driver. That's how people travel in autos in kolkata. They're shared. Unlike delhi, mumbai or hyderabad. she said that auto driver kept rising his elbow. First, he was touching my mom's stomach and then at one point,his elbow was touching her breast. Then my mom confronted the auto driver and told him to stop doing that. He told her that she could get down if she wants to. And so, she did. At the back of the auto were three men sitting quietly and listening to the argument. And the auto driver drove away looking at my mom and laughing. This is how women are treated in india. Inconcievable. Just inconcievable.

    Another incident occured. So while we were having lunch having conversations, I told what my friend Daniel was telling me about why crimes against women mainly occur, that girls wear tiny dresses, wear short-shorts and some of the girls do not even wear underwears. My dad said (replied about the girls without undies) - Very good, then it should happen. I did not reply back to him. I was pretty stunned. This is how people treat women in India. So, I wanted to share this.