Friday, July 01, 2005
Hemangini of the Hindu has an inspiring post. Inspiring because it shows that outrage, courage and persistence can pay. Sickening because of what the story reveals about us.
1 - That touching up a woman is considered a minor offence. Boys will be boys etc. Right. So Mr. Concerned-about-poor-Bihari-boy's-career, just ask your wife to step this way so we can all grope her up. We'll apologise nicely afterwards. Even call her "Ma".
2 - What were the WOMEN in that coach doing? Why didn't THEY offer some support to Hemangini? Were they just too timid? Did they not want to get involved? (John Donne is done for, nobody gives a damn any more) Or have they been indoctrinated too deeply in the unspoken male myth, that women only get what they "ask for", she must have done SOMEthing, why else would he touch HER? (Maybe because she is comparatively young, attractive, or just plain bloody NEARER to be touched, did you ever think of that, my worthy dames?!)
3 - That the law is an ass, because it makes a shocked and outraged woman wait for four HOURS to make copies in triplicate of the FIR. I have had first-hand experience of the FIR trauma and it should be short-circuited for cases like this.
4 - That it was always possible that if she had not been a journalist, that too a journalist from The Hindu, she may not have received the same response. That she could protest and give the slime what he deserved because she is educated, independent, articulate, English-speaking ... Empowered. Even that may not be enough, as Ketaki's comment on the same post shows.
5 - That a slime like this Sanjeev Kumar thinks that he can abjure all responsibility for his actions. So it ruins your life, scumbag? Guess what, we're HAPPY about it, you should be grateful you still HAVE a life. If you'd done it to Pappu Yadav's daughter, you'd be compost by now. Try telling HIM that you hadn't thought of the consequences.
5 - That even now, given that Hemangini is based in Delhi and won't come down to Chennai for the trial, the man may walk free if he posts bail. And then?
There is a lesson here, though. And hope. Sometimes protesting loudly enough does work. More power to you, Hemangini, very well done.
An interesting side-light from Jo, in a comment on this post. A guy who's feeling up a woman has the guts to step forward and take the rap, so the wrong guy doesn't get beaten up. Hmmm.
But say what, they should throw the book at him anyway. What's the use of his owning up if that's enough to get him off the hook?