Festive revelry: Not safe for women?

BANGALORE: New year celebrations soaked in festive spirit are witnessed in every major city including Bangalore. But, 2012 New Year’s Eve began on a grim note for a few citizens. With a series

Published: 09th January 2012 01:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:11 PM   |  A+A-

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(Express News Photo)

BANGALORE: New year celebrations soaked in festive spirit are witnessed in every major city including Bangalore. But, 2012 New Year’s Eve began on a grim note for a few citizens. With a series of unfortunate events including acts of mindless crimes unfolding in various parts of the country; City Express talks to some of the victims and highlights few such incidents.

According to Madhavi Sharma, a Bangalore-based IT professional, the infamous ‘Gurgaon tragedy’ video that went viral on Youtube reflects the sorry state of affairs in our country. “A girl was molested by a group of individuals on a busy street. While onlookers paid no heed to her helpless cries, the cops eventually resorted to lathi charge and came to her rescue. This incident is yet another example of physical assault in times of revelry. This is probably just one of the several cases that involve abduction or rape of women. It’s times like these that make us wonder if we are considered as human beings at all,” said Sharma.

Brigade Road — the hub of Bangalore’s commercial activity and entertainment — too bore witness to several incidents of molestation on New Year ’s eve. With no officials in sight, a mob of inebriated men simply took advantage of the situation and traumatised three girls (from Kerala).

Despite deploying a strong force of 16,000 officials all over the city on December 31, these random acts of brutality committed against innocent women is a clear indication of the total failure of the system.  The girls’ plea for help went unheard as the hooligans continued to torture them. “These ruthless acts are in fact detrimental to a woman’s freedom. Several pairs of hands were trying to pull our jeans down inside a moving auto. Some of us were even groped and kissed by these men — all on the pretext of being drunk. Dressing has nothing to do with molestation. Neither were we scantily dressed nor did we attract any unwanted attention. Eventually, we were rescued by a few men. They had a tough time dispersing the crowd. Such acts of hooliganism are shameful,” said one of the girls.

Enroute from Varthur to Koramangala, Savitha Shankara, her husband and a friend were robbed by three drunken men on a bike (who overheard them asking a shopkeeper for directions). Demanding Rs 500 from the couple, the gang resorted to abuse and violence. “They continued to chase us for a few kilometres even after we paid them. It was horrifying. However, we soon lost them. We informed officials at Varthur Police Station about the whole incident as soon as we could. Luckily, we could identify the men and note down their bike registration number. I sincerely hope that the authorities take strict action against such individuals,” added Savitha.

Undoubtedly, the frequency of such delinquent acts has increased over the years. Aggressive and unruly behaviour exhibited by youngsters today is an alarming indication of how the society has failed at large to instill the importance of respect and dignity.

— With inputs from Deepti Narayan

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