Eve Teasing

The problem with eve teasing is it is not a set of predefined actions nor there is a guide book which one can refer. I define it as anything which makes a woman feel unsafe, powerless, predated upon or unwelcome would be eve teasing. It can be molestation or sexual harassment; it is basically observed in public place, public transport, on streets or at offices.  More over it is notoriously difficult crime to prove, as perpetrators often devise ingenious ways to harass women.

I believe it is one of the most ignored and most under rated problem we have in our nation. The root of this menace lies deep down in the male chauvinist society of India which has always given men an upper hand and subdued women from every possible corner limiting them to a household commodity. It is made with an intention of humiliating her in public, showing male dominance or just for fulfilling sexual gratification. If not curbed at the right time it snowballs to problems with bigger magnitude like rape or acid attacks; thus requires stringent actions at the right time.

There are umpteen cases you can notice every day like passing a nasty comment on a girl passing by, molesting women in a public transport, chasing the women or her vehicle, making unwanted phone calls or text messages and the list goes on. The buck doesn’t stops here most of the time the girl is only blamed with shallow question (what were you doing there at night or why were you wearing revealing clothes). I think more than law it is the problem of attitude and thought. The things won’t change until the mindset of society as a whole is changed and male dominance is subverted.

I believe ‘Awareness’ is of paramount importance as regards the issue of eve teasing. Most of the people are not aware that eve teasing is an offence and legal action can be taken against eve teasers. The country now has phone lines dedicated to handling eve-teasing cases. But what is needed, apart from the attitude training of cops, is a more immediate form of law-enforcement. Every girl should be granted an eve teasing reporting card. Any incident of public groping, molestation or teasing should result in the perpetrators identity, along with witnesses, being reported to law-enforcement via the card. Fines should be assessed for all reported cases, followed by prosecution. This is the only way to instil fear in the hearts of senseless men.

Eve-teasing should be dealt more seriously in the same manner as a rape. In America, for example, molestation is viewed as a serious offence that could result in jail time. Only when the police start taking things seriously would men perpetrating these crimes.

In conclusion, I feel that while rape is a universal problem, eve-teasing is a bigger malaise in India, and it’s because of this that streets are unsafe for Indian women. Stricter law-enforcement and policing of eve-teasing will result in lowering the rates of rape as well. After all, to get rid of a weed, you need to pull it from its roots.

 

Shantanu Rai 

MBA-ITBM (2013-2015)

 

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