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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Outraging Modesty.. What About Us ?

Much has been said about the appalling level of morality of the offenders in the recent Guwahati molestation case. The offenders have proven to the hilt that they are animals in the garb of human skin. A substantial degree of blame has also been put on the Police for having been so near to the spot of occurrence yet having reacted with inexplicable callousness. As to how far is the allegation against the Police true, will be eventually unearthed during the process of trial. But amidst all this we are probably ignoring the unapologetic indifference displayed by the group of bystanders who witnessed the brazen occurrence of a helpless girl being molested by a bunch of men right there in the middle of their city's street. It's exactly like those scenes one used to get to watch in the Hindi movies where some gangster or hooligan had his way in his area and easily molested women in the middle of busy streets surrounded by imbecile onlookers. The kind of place that I grew up in, we usually assured ourselves that such a thing can only happen in cinema where the world belongs to the film director and who can conveniently sidestep the realities to show such a scene in his film. But in the real world such a thing is impossible to happen. The reason why we thought it is impossible to happen is not because we mistook our times to be Utopian where everyone respected and loved each other beyond harm, but because we assumed that even if someone dared to do such a thing, the towering presence of several members of the public present at the spot, who will come charging at him, will overwhelm the offender and he'll probably fall down on his knees begging for apology. After the Guwahati incident, I'm jolted out of my notion.

We usually make a lot of hue and cry, especially through words, spoken or written when such incidents take place. But when it comes to the moment of action most of us, like those pathetic bystanders, slip into a state of complete paralysis of response and despicable indifference. Its already known to all, that the spot where the unfortunate incident took place is a busy place. Many persons must have passed by the victim when she was being tossed around by those mongrels. Even a small but abruptly gathered crowd by the road attracts the attention of the passers by. So I'm under no doubt that anybody would've missed the scene. In that context, what makes the Guwahati case even worse is that none of the alleged offenders were perceived to be either known criminals or belonged to the often blamed powerful class. I mean we've all seen their photos right ? They don't even look intimidating enough. Hence I cannot come to any justified conclusion as to what prevented these onlookers from rescuing the girl from that place. I wish there were any law which would have made such an omission punishable but unfortunately there is no such law. I therefore wish that the on lookers who did not do anything to intervene and save the victim should suffer a modicum of realization and come forward with an apology, atleast in private, to the victim.

35 comments:

  1. very aptly put.... the onlookers are just as bad as the perpetrators.

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  2. That incident provokes more than one question, Anupam! Those people, who seem disparate, do not seem like one gang of people. How many were onlookers turned molesters? The Guwahati incident, as you say, is a crying shame and ought to serve as awake-up call to all of us!

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    1. Absolutely correct Suresh ji. Here we are expecting in retrospect that the onlookers should have intervened to rescue the girl and there might be the truth that a few of the on lookers actually intervened not to save her but to augment her woes.

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  3. Anupam,
    People always fear for their lives and it comes from their lack of confidence in the law and order. If we had a proper punishment process in place for such acts where the culprits cannot go scot-free, then people would have reacted in a different manner and maybe this molestation bid would not have happened in the first place.
    It all boils down to how serious the law makers are to handle such crime?

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    1. Dear Amit,

      Let me assure you that there exists a proper punishment process. But for that system to be effective all the stakeholders of it have to diligently discharge their respective obligations. Believe me there are laws in place. They may not be absolutely sufficient. But they are not wholly ineffective either. Since the Police has nothing to gain in this highly media highlighted case, it'll all come down to how many witnesses (by standers etc.) go and speak the truth in Court. Only then the Courts can do some justice.

      The legal sections under which the accused persons have been arraigned, can together get them a good deal of punishment. But for that there has to be a fair investigation and after that the witnesses have to hold up in Court.

      More importantly, the way we say that no matter how wrongly a girl may have behaved, nothing justifies any violence on her, likewise, no matter how incompetent a country's system might be, nothing can justify a muted response when an act such as the one under discussion is being perpetrated on a victim. If we try to justify it, then more and more such incidents will take place. The criminals will not only ignore the law but also the presence of hundreds by their side while committing such dastardly acts.

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    2. Amit,

      I think it'd be worthwhile if you read this http://anupampatracontemplates.blogspot.in/2012/05/conversation-ii.html
      and let me know your views .

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  4. you are right.....
    onlookers should also be prosecuted....
    very strongly written post.

    anu

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Hi Anupam

    No amount of apology from anyone is going to reverse the course of things for that poor girl...

    How can people simply stop and stare? Its such a shame!

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  7. This is REALITY, Anupam!!So often I've come across such a morons...and it is so disguting!!sic..

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  8. I think the molesters should be castrated.

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    1. It's very unfortunate indeed...their indifference.

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  9. yup onlookers dont have guts to put up their words into action ...when its time to give advice everyone of them will be best in dat.....bt wen its time to do sumthng they will try to offend themselves ...how can one do dat ...its such a shame

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    1. It's time this attitude changed. Thanks for reading Shalini

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  10. You are right we do make a cry but when it comes to the crunch, we just disappear into thin air.

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  11. I have been in the situation where the onlookers, just look, and I have yelled at them for not helping me out and even so much as smashed a drafer (a pretty sturdy engineering drawing tool) on the head of the offender. Yet everyone stared or looked away. I was lucky that it ended there. I feel awful for this little girl, who is not much older than I was. The entire society is to be blamed for this and those molesters must be publicly beaten and hanged. Did you see the smirk on that red shirt guy's face?

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    1. What can I say Meghna except that I'm proud of you for the way you fought. I'm not interested in any details, but the fact that you are intimidated and you came back at the offender so bravely is an example. This is what I'm talking about. Attitude. Such an attitude is expected from everyone who faces undue threat and intimidation. And about the bystanders...they are supposed to stand by I guess and do nothing while a young girl alone tackles the perpetrator.. Hence the name "Bystanders"

      I'm glad that you read the post and shared your inspiring story with us.

      For You - RESPECT

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    2. Well done Megha!

      It is time , we had self-defence course for all girls in schools. We cant expect anyone to help those girls. Society is getting to be more onlookers and chivalry is dead.

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    3. Absolutely Vetrimagal. Thanks for reading

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  12. Absolutely Anupam! I was just saying the same thing to my husband. That I feel safe in day time in public places because I know that there is comfort in people around me. But, is there any comfort there when we have become so dead in our souls that no one's plight moves us? What has come to the world? Should I be scared or carry weapons just because I am a woman?

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    1. Very unfortunate that we are having to live under constant fear.

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  13. One more thing -- You many want to move your followers from the header. It is distracting. Why not put a nice picture or something?

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    1. Dunno how to do that, the pictures that I tried to put there occupy only 1/4th of that space and it looks weird. So I was forced to take the pic out.

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  14. Well put Anupam..This is not just the case with Guwahati and Gurgaon. Women in all parts of India lead a unsafe life. It really irks me. Is it a crime to be born as a girl in India? Well that's the plight of women in today's world..

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    1. This will only change with serious repercussions against the offenders.

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  15. I agree with you totally. And I believe there is something wrong with the 'psyche' of Indian men.
    As long as men keep looking at women as objects or commodities, the problem will persist. Behind her body, a woman is a breathing, thinking, & loving 'being' who is sick of being stared at and teased at. That is what 'MANkind' should realize.

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    1. Totally, and this orientation should first come from a man's family when he is young and then from his immediate society.

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  16. Anupam mashed musing is right on dot..in my city a woman chided some youths for misbehavior,the next day they came & killed her son.Another example--on this past Sunday i informed police about a girl being taken forcibly on a bike & what did they do?Nothing--you will see this topic on forum in India Shining....another example-i informed police about drinking etc( i don't know what else going on ,because the glasses were dark but the AC was running)in a car;the cop himself told me to steer clear & they would do the needful.Sure the patrol van came,but drove past that car.

    Under these circumstances one does not know what to do--whether to invite trouble or steer clear...of course the plight of that girl seers our hearts & we also know that tomorrow it could happen very near us too but it is a difficult choice.

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    1. Unfortunate...very very unfortunate, I understand the point being made by Amit (mashedmusing) and you. And I agree with you. The starting point of citizen safety is the Police. If they do not do what is required then its only a matter of time when citizens will take to arms and the whole country will be on fire.

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  17. almost all my thought have been poured off in many comments above. I would just like to say in India cases of molestation is exposed only about 1%, 99% is happening all around us. educating the youth is the only option left.

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