American woman have enjoyed their freedom for years. Thanks to all those who fought to make it theirs. When woman of other country come and feel this freedom, they secretly envy what the american women have created for themselves and feel a sense of relief from the “cordoned “feeling back home. Going to a market or a restaurant or walking in crowded stations is not a terror anymore.
India seems to have been enjoying the red carpet of globalization for some years now. International companies brought many jobs to the unemployed educated youth of India .Women instead of going back home after graduation accept job offers from companies away from their home towns to live a life full of possibilities that was once a dream to someone who graduated one decade ago. Handsome pay packets enables the new graduate buy many assets and services that would be considered normal in a western environment.
Away from home many women now live a life that everyone should normally have. After work they hang out with their friends where they can enjoy a meal or a drink. Many new restaurants, bars and pubs have found a place in upcoming cities.
“Few days ago a regional youth activist 40 goons of the ‘Sri Ram Sene’ entered a pub, assaulted people there, dragged women by the hair, molesting them and lifting up their blouses and skirts.
They claimed to be righteous defenders of ‘Indian morality,’ incensed by ‘women boozing’ and ‘pub culture.’ Since these scenes came to people’s notice through national TV, there was widespread outrage, and after a delay of many days, finally, some of the perpetrators were arrested.” Writes Rachel Chitra on her blog.
Many regionalist movements have now and then attacked women in the name of “moral policing”. Bombay still continues to reel under the face of terror that happened 3 months ago but women have been facing “testosterone terrorism” individually for years in India every day. “In a crowded place a 13 year old can be touched in her most private parts. Another can brush past a woman and mull her breasts, pretending it to be an accident. And they wouldn’t spare to pinch her bottoms.” A friend who is raiseed in Delhi told me once that her dupatta was pulled out by a man on the bicycle. She was amazed that at 10’o clock in the night she was out in Bombay, while in Delhi she would be shut indoors. Read more incidents here and here.
My younger brother once asked me “what will you do if a strange man comes and hold you from behind”. I was even aghast that he had asked this question. Because few days ago a friend was faced with the same situation.” I was 16 then and still not armed with the knowledge where a man should be shoved to get hurt .
In Hyderabad, now the IT capital of India next to Bangalore it was difficult for me to rent an apartment by myself. In less than 2 years I had moved 8 times. But after moving a couple of times I learned that it is easier to bunk in with guys who gets an apartment easily and who wouldn’t mind sharing an apartment. At 7.30pm I was followed by a man on a scooter when I was on my way to my aparment after dinner. When I wore a sleevless top I was looked as if I had committed a sin. They talked behind my backs and said to themselves, “What else do you expect from a person who is raised in Bombay” (this was 13 years ago and hyderabad was still under the dominant influence of muslim culture ) I had learnt to become mentally alert when I was in a crowd after a “touchy incident”. I learnt to look back to see who was walking behind me. ( I still do when I am in crowded places ) My bag is under my arms. And even if an accidental brush came I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the collar of the T.terrorist.
However I had no support of friends who also faced the same terror.They would ask me not to exercise my anger after being brushed.
They would say to themselves, “wish we were not girls”. Some would even go to the extent of saying, “ I hope I give birth only to boys so that they do not have to go through all this. The bad women would say “it is not appropriate for decent girls to scream and yell in public places”. But testosterone terrrorists do not spare anybody. Young girls, or even older ones. Dressed in jeans or skirts or salwar kurta and a dupatta, the gnawing fingers of the testosterone terrorists would be attracted towards a women’s private parts. For all these years,(some) women in their stride have yelled, screamed, kicked or hurt men with sharp objects to in response to the terrrorist ways.
They have come and vented it to their friends who would also echo some of the same stories. Fathers would tell their daughters to keep out of crowded places. Some would accompany them as much as possible wherever possible. But that is not the answer because in a crowded train when your father stands next to you, a testerostone terrorist can touch and mull a 13 year old that can numb her. The worst scenario is when she comes back home and tells her mother, she is told -That is a lesson to not to go where women should not . And the little girl was only accompanying her father to a casual visit to his friends place. On a side note, Do women also want terrorism to take place because she is jealous of another woman having the courage despite of all the stories she hears and read since childhood and also happening to her ?? Why didnt she tell her father ? - Simple enough. she did not want her dreams to be squashed - the little girl wanted to learn to fly and went with her survival instinct.
Some of my male friends and colleagues have obliged in accompanying me to places where I think that it would be better to have a man around. When I started working, a large chunk of my expenses would be spent on private transportation. But all these years there was never a public protest or an outcry. Each woman did their own thing to feel protected. We shared safety tactics and what to avoid and when to. But this was not the answer because highly charged testosterone terrorists got away with what they did.
As more woman step out of their houses in order to earn a livelihood they are finding confidence to speak up and speak against testosterone terrorism. So all the good woman of India, send your pink chaddis to the men in protest against those who lifted the skirts and blouses of women in the pub. And to all the bad men indulging in such things know that your days are numbered. And for all the women who is trying “to protect their Indian culture by having testosterone terrorists enjoy their private parts and still keep quiet because that is what you believe Indian culture is all about and feel that this movement is not dignified enough" ( but just stop to recall the 'touch incident) know that we are upholding our tradition of protecting ourselves as a human being first.
p.s. how the politicians politicise the issue or how the notorious mainsstream media treat the issue is a different matter, but now the indian women are fighting back. And that is what it is all about.