BRAVERY takes over “eve-teasing”
- JWB Post
- May 21, 2015
According to the Indian Penal Code, eve teasing is an attitude, a mindset, a set of behaviors that is constructed as an insult and an act of humiliation of the female sex.
This act of humiliation is a huge issue not just in metropolitan cities but also in the small towns and villages of India. Recently the video of the Agra woman, Sadhavi Pandey showing courage to protest against eve teasers took social media by storm, with most people sharing links saying that was the way to deal with eve teasers.
Her brave and courageous act has shown the world, what can be the consequences of eve teasing, even when eve teasers happen to be influential and powerful. In the video, the girl Sadhavi Pandey is seen atop the Mercedes of Abhinav Sharma, a member of ruling Samajwadi Party, whose security-man, according to Sadhvi winked at her when she was on a scooter with her sister waiting at a traffic signal. The girl alleged when her sister tried to take a photograph, the man snatched her phone and smashed it to the ground.
The brave girl refused to come down from the car and demanded an apology from the bodyguards of Sharma, apart from the cost of her mobile phone. After an hour of the heated debate, she came down when MLA agreed to pay the cost of damages.
Talking to media later, Sadhavi Pandey said that Abhinav Sharma has assured her of justice and that she does not want the topic to go any further. Further, she also maintained that UP police is worst and that they never help the people in need.
There are some sad facts about eve teasing in India, which may appear untrue and horrifying, but they clearly show the plight of women in India. The expression eve teasing is Indian in origin. You will not find it in most of the dictionaries. Native speakers of English do not even use it. According to a government report, 98 percent of the women have stated that sexual harassment on roads has affected their personal or academic development in one way or the other. Eve teasing can leave a permanent psychological scar on women.
I agree that the only way an eve teaser can be caught and punished is if the victim and the passersby who witness him indulging in such an act react. One cannot wait for the police to be on the prowl. Moreover, the sad fact is that not many eve teasers are brought to book and even if they are then their contacts help setting them free.
Under Section 509 of the IPC, obscene gestures directed at any woman or girl carries a penalty of rigorous imprisonment for one year or a fine or both. India is full of such aspiring leaders who are somehow involved in such petty crimes. The politicians of the parties in power look at everyone as their property. Even if our aspiring young MLA agreed to pay the cost of the phone, the harm that has been caused, to the dignity of the woman cannot be cured.
Meanwhile, every such case ends up serving a lot of hot news. When on the one hand, police is not ready to take any step until the investigation ends, politicians and other social activists are trying to get maximum benefit out of it by blaming each other.
Violence against women is so lightly condemned that over the past five years, Indian political parties have nominated 260 candidates who have outstanding charges for crimes against women.
However, we also feel that handling such incidents with violence may not be an appropriate solution and example for everyone. These criminals can be taught a good lesson without falling down to their level. Also one should always keep in mind that sometimes the entire community is judged by the actions of one person.
The best way to deter stubborn eve teasers who defy and question authority is to produce them before their family and unmask their true instincts. Every person caught eve teasing should be dealt with in all sternness and there should not be any lenience for first time offenders. The sense of shame will ensure that they never resort to such a thing again and further this will serve as a severe warning for others who even think of indulging in it.