”Eve-Teasing – The Brazen New Culture of our Society”
While walking down the street with my earphones plugged in, a gang of guys were impersonating Salman Khan to grab my attention. I rolled my eyes inwards as I have been taught better at that—just as every girl is — than to react outwardly and this encouraged them even more. Neither did my fellow pedestrians bother, nor did I raise a ruckus. After all, it’s not a “Breaking News” material. Similarly, most of us would have witnessed drunken men, who grope young women as if they have every right to do so—be it in the broad daylight or in the darkness of the night. Such incidents have become very common that they hardly grab our attention. We just stop to stare or to pass a comment and move away. This is something that has made me ponder on many occasions than are we becoming more and more accustomed to such derogatory incidents? Why do we always follow “she’s not my sister/mother/relative, so it’s all cool” kind of policy? Or has it become so common that we have learned to be indifferent towards it?
Eve-teasing is the harassment that disturbs every woman, but it is considered trivial and funny. This attitude warrants the inculcation of this harassment into our everyday behavioral pattern and signifies that the very presence of females in public spheres is a provocation in itself. Having the double ‘X’ chromosome makes us the abnormality and the society constantly reminds us of our incongruity by such advances. When talking of globalization and commercialization we blame the West for corrupting our culture. But isn’t this new trend of apathy towards the fairer sex corrupting our social order? Who should be blamed for this incessant and blatant violation of moral and social code of conduct? Feminism and its beliefs have been distorted so much that today its idea stands corrupted and confuses the masses. It becomes easy for us to blame the time, the place, the girl’s character, her attire or her lack of values to justify these improper advances. People are rarely aghast at the audacious behavior of the perpetrator. Being a first-hand victim of such behavior I prescribe the hunter’s principle: ‘Only yourself for your self’. Nobody stands up or protects you in such situations. It is up to you to defend your chastity.
It is always a wonder in our country, where on one hand we worship the female form as Bharat Mata and on the other we are nonchalant towards their well-being in reality. On paper it sounds all rosy as ‘how India is our motherland and how we will do anything to protect her’, but when it comes to reality, we seldom live by these principles. Do they forget that females also form a part of the ‘India’ they vouch to protect? Or is it only the job of the soldiers to do so? What happens to our morality and humanity? Do we shrug them off or leave them at home once we step outside? Why do such instances find place only in our gossip sessions and dinner table conversations? Why are we so apathetic towards such occurrences? Are we thick-skinned or simply acting like fools to avoid the confrontation and strength that is required to face such incidents? Compassion and Sensitivity have become rare traits to us, mortals, at present. We are driven by our own selfish pursuits and profits. Our actions and reactions reflect our inherent drive, which draws us towards things that satisfy and make us happy as individuals. So indifferent are we now that seeing these things we just shrug and say ‘Arre yaar, ab kya kar sakte hain!’ (“There’s nothing we can do about it”). If only we tried, if only we cared enough to try, something could be done. It is true that one person cannot do it alone, but when the fingers come together they can give a resonating punch. Change doesn’t come all of a sudden. It is a process, a step-by-step procedure that takes time. We need that change to end this rude behavioral pattern which has become viral.
— About the Author: The article has been contributed by our intern, Shweta Sachdeva.