I would have been around 10 yrs old when I was groped in a bus for the first time. I still remember how he was rubbing his foot against mine. I kept trying to move towards the front part of the bus, but in the packed bus how much can you move? And then his hands groped my breasts. Breasts? Remember, I was ten then, there were no breasts. But he was moving his hands over my chest. I shoved him with my elbow at least 10 times by the time I reached my Bus stop. This was in Kannur, Kerala.
Many such incidents kept happening in the bus during my school and college days. I started arming myself with a safety pin. Whenever a stray arm groped me, my pin made a hole in those arms.
Once, I was traveling back from my office, in Bangalore. I was sitting on the aisle seat next to a lady. All ladies were seated and few men were standing in the bus. Though the bus was not crowded, the standing men were crowding towards the front part of the bus towards the ladies’ seats. A middle aged man positioned himself next to me and started rubbing his thing against my shoulder. At first I thought he was accidentally falling as the bus was jolting through the Bangalore roads. But after it repeated I realized he was doing it intentionally. I moved a little front and pressed myself to the lady sitting next to me. But he too moved and repeated, I moved again. The lady sensed something was wrong and looked up. She squeezed herself to allow me to shift little more. But again he continued. I looked up many times to scold him. I called out to him to stop. But he was busy looking out. Not even once he looked at me. All the time I stared at him, he was looking out and just the second I moved my eyes, he was back rubbing. I knew people around could see it but no one reacted, not even the lady next to me. I finally stood up, stamped hard on his foot and got out in the next bus stop (3 bus stops ahead of my destination) and walked the remaining distance.
Another time, I was standing just next to the bus door .The bus was crowded. No way I could go in side the bus. A lad, about 16 yrs old, got into the bus from a stop and stood on the steps. The bus was moving; Suddenly he grabbed my breasts and before I could react he was off the bus (the running bus!) and ran away into the dark. I was left staring at him, tears filling my eyes. I sensed people looking at me, no one reacted, no one even calmed me down or enquired if I was OK. Once I got down and started walking towards my home I broke down crying. I called my best friend and told her what happened and she comforted me while I cried away. I felt so terrible.
To this day I haven’t told these incidents to anyone at home. Why? Because I knew telling them would only worry them and the result would be restrictions on me. They would not be able to do anything to those men, but I would not be allowed to go out. I know it is out of love and they are anxious about my safety. But I have suffered and then I am punished again?
And now why am I telling all this publicly? The Delhi rape incident has raged me. I do not want to give examples of any XYZ who has been molested or raped and which the media has celebrated. I do not want to show any of the statistics. I wanted to share few of the incidents that happened to me and that happens to a common girl/woman, every day, in any part of the world, which goes unnoticed, un-reported.
Why none, including myself, reacted in the above cases? We try to avoid getting molested but never react against it. We move away, run away, hide but do not voice against this. That’s what the society teaches us girls, avoid the circumstances where you get molested but never react when being molested. That’s what unfortunately my parents, with all their love, expect me to do. That what the society ask us to do, our politicians ask us to do, the police asks us to do, women welfare organizations in India ask us to do.
“What if you react and then they come to take revenge with knives and acid bottles? We neither have the strength or money to deal with them. We are common middle class people” says a middle class mom. Mr. PM and Mr. HM , do you really think your three daughters are in the same danger as the daughters of a common man?
The first incident, I was in school uniform and it was around 8.00 am in a public bus. I wasn’t wearing bikini, didn’t have any assets then to expose, it wasn’t midnight and it wasn’t an empty bus with tinted glass. Both the Bangalore incidents, happened around 07.00 pm. First time it was an almost empty bus and the second time a heavily packed bus. I was wearing Salwar Kameez.
So tell me Mr. Neta what I should have done to avoid getting molested? I should have stopped going to school? I should have quit the 9.00 to 6.00 job? I should have born a Burqa and hid in my home. Do you dare say that I asked for it? At least I can say I would be safe at home, unlike my less fortunate sisters , for which I have no words to say.
I see the protests in Delhi. I am happy, at least now, there is a reaction. But I do have a question too. Does the rape has to be so gruesome to gain the attention of the public, to make them react?
Kya yeh sab Teek Hai ?
20 thoughts on “Kya yeh sab Teek Hai ?”
“Yeh subkuch tik nahi he yaar… hamara society bahuth change hona mangthe he… bahuth bahuth”…
Yes, it is the society, including us, that has to change.
Not it is not alright and whichever girl you will talk will have her own horror stories to tell like you. I have similar stories but when I started staying in hostel, that was the time I didn’t spare a single man who tried molesting me. I have thrown my umbrella and pulled their cycles, I have pushed them back out of the bus and shouted loudly so that he has no place to stand.
For those changes to seep in, we need to teach our girls to fight back from beginning and also we are culprits when we see this happening and don’t help the girl getting molested.
Exactly Jas, each and every girl would have such a story to tell. We are the culprits. Until we start raising our voice, teach our girls to raise their voice and boys to respect the other gender, nothing is going to change.
No, this is not right!! In fact it is terrible!! We need to raise voice from that very first incident that we experienced in the bus when were 10 year old. And more than we raising voice, the psyche and the mentality of the men has to change about women. As parents, we need to teach our sons right from the very beginning about respecting women, not giving in to the gender stereotypes…
Yes Shilpa a change in psyche is required. Society has to now shift the focus from restricting their daughters to teaching their sons to behave.
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Govt sets up Commision of Enquiry to look into the incident of rape and assault on a young woman on 16th December, 2012 in Delhi and to suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women
The Cabinet today approved setting up of a Commission of Enquiry to look into the incident of rape and assault on a young woman on 16th December, 2012 in Delhi and to suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women. The Commission of Enquiry will be set up under the Chairmanship of Ms. Justice Usha Mehra, retired Judge of the High Court, Delhi.
The terms and references of the Commission will be as follows:
i. The Commission shall go into the various aspects of the shocking incident of rape and brutal assault of a young woman in Delhi on 16.12.2012; identify the lapses, if any, on the part of the police or any other authority or person that contributed to the occurrence; and fix responsibility for the lapses and / or negligence on the part of the police or any other authority or person.
ii. The Commission shall suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women, particularly in Delhi and NCR.
The Commission shall submit its report to the Central Government as soon as possible but not later than three months from the date of its first sitting.
The Commission may, if it deems fit, make an interim report to the Central Government before the said date on any of the matters mentioned in paragraphs i and ii above.
The headquarters of the Commission shall be at New Delhi.
The Commission of Enquiry has been set up under section 3 of the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952 (60 of 1952)
We do not lack Laws or Enquiry Commissions, the problem is in implementation.
I am so angry reading this, the same way I used to feel each time something like this happened to me. I am so glad that recently (a year or two back) I punched the idiot on his back surprising my own self. No need to say that the man slunk away.
I am sharing this.
I know every girl/women have such experiences. Glad that you were able to react. Thank you Shail for sharing.
There will be a reacting generation those who fight against all wrongs… I think the Delhi protest against the mentioned case will be a lesson for all the criminals & the ruling Governments .
I hope so. But even as the protest is going on, we get to hear the news of gang rape in Delhi and UP. At least I can see people have started reacting, this generation of parents can bring the change.
Hi,this is my first visit here.
The reaction in Delhi is not a protest,it is not agitation.It is a movement which started without a leader.We don’t have laws to protect the girls and whatever laws exist are not being implemented because every aw formulated has a window open to rescue those who are connected.
But,there still is SATVA in the country and I am of the firm belief that it is time for ladies to get together and create an opinion against the muck which is being thrown all over.
Welcome to my space.
The movement is surely a step towards the change. But we do have laws. The problem is with implementation, the loopholes. And how can we assure that any more laws made by our current politicians would not have loopholes. And for laws and punishment, how can we assure that all such incidents reach the court. Media, though makes a lot of drama, is doing a good work in bringing these things out in public.
That man who was leaning on you in the bus – you should have held his balls and squeezed them so hard that he should have fainted. Believe me, if you would have done that, many girls would have been saved later.
Give it back to them. Don’t just sit back.
I should have Amit, I regret my inaction. But as I mentioned in my post we girls were groomed to remain silent. But now things are changing. I just hope our generation of women find their voices and our generation of parents would teach their daughters to react and sons to respect women.
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You are right Seena .. these are everyday happenings, no one asks for it. And you are totally right about the middle class mentality in reacting to such situations! I hope younger generation finds their voice, but its us who have to teach our kdis. Don’t you think the dangers are same today too – how can we react to men attacking with acid or knives?
Yes Divya, the dangers are same today. We can bring the change by starting it from our family, by finding our voices and by teaching our children.
“We neither have the strength or money to deal with them. We are common middle class people.” This is what most educated middle-class parents tell their daughters and sons … yes, sons also. Parents tell children that they should avoid undesirable situations. By chance, if the children get exposed to an undesirable situation, they should quietly walk away. They should not hit back, they should not talk back, they should not ‘lower themselves’. In short, most educated middle-class parents groom their daughters and sons to be cowards. We should all remember M. K. Gandhi’s words, “I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.”