If he were a woman, he would have filed a case against a man everyday.

British student Kaya Eldridge alleged that she  was molested by the local plumber  in her flat in Ahemdabad.

I am not surprised that the defence lawyer allegedly wanted to know if she drank or smoked, I have no idea if he wanted to know what she was wearing… but I would be surprised if he didn’t.

But what puzzled me was that they allegedly spoke to her in Gujarati.

Elridge found the “experience in court ” “intensely humiliating.  [link]

‘Even public prosecutor J S Joshi left the court during cross examination to attend hearing in another case, she complained.’ [Link]

‘Eldridge broke down in the court and pleaded for privacy in the trial after alleged hostile questioning by the defence lawyer. “I felt powerless and helpless–as if I did not have a voice. Nobody was listening. I felt as if I was not being respected. I felt as if I had been stripped of dignity.’ [link]

Why is this so easy to believe ?

She also said, ‘Everyone in the courtroom was laughing at me.'[link]

So I am glad she is strong and says “It is important to come out and say that this is unacceptable behaviour. I will stay in India till the end of the case. I don’t intent to be chased out soon.” [Link]

Made me want to clap. My best wishes to Kaya Elridges.

‘The girl’s lawyer Meena Jagtap strongly objected to defence lawyer Sanjay Prajapati’s remark: “If I were a woman, I would have filed a case against a man every day.” The Bar Council of India has also reportedly decided to file a case against the defence lawyer.’ [Link]

I agree with Indo Canadian, a commenter, “The level of sexual abuse attacks in India is disgusting. A woman can’t even walk down the street without having strangers grope her, it’s even more horrifying when a man does this in her home. Indian culture needs to develop respect for women.” [link]

It really does.

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53 thoughts on “If he were a woman, he would have filed a case against a man everyday.

  1. IHM – I was horrified to see thisyesterday; first of all, how you expect a visitor to know the language of each Indian state is beyond me…and the questions were appalling. Also, while we are crying hoarse about Australian racism towards us, certainly, Indian racist perceptions of ‘loose western women’ must have played a role in this. I wonder as to why the judge did not straight away forbid the lawyer from pursuing that line of question…also if there are any commentors here with legal knowledge, perhaps they could tell us – is it permissible to question someone when his/her lawyer is not in the room?

    The racism News that ran alongside was the first thing that came to my mind Apu! Yes it is appalling! She is a courageous girl, I am sure she will get justice now that this has made headlines, imagine what happens if girl from a poor family ever goes to court like this?!

    I am not sure if questioning can continue without the lawyer, I hope not.

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  2. “If I were a woman, I would have filed a case against a man every day.”

    And the men would have deserved it.

    Quirky Indian

    This must have seemed like a nightmare to her Quirky Indian. He seemed to think she was making too much out of just a molestation… 😡

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  3. It happens again and again and the outcome is uncannily similar in every case. What am going to say next might be construed as over reaction, but any lawyer/advocate asking humiliating/provocative questions to a woman in a molestation/sexual assault case must be immediately debarred. It’s an absolute shame! I wonder if Mr. Prajapati would have behaved similarly with the women in his house…his wife, mother, sister or daughter!

    ‘ A’ many men will think it’s a matter of great shame that the girl did not hide the fact that she was victimised 😦 They’d think she asked for the humiliation by not suffering in silence like a good Indian girl. And many will blame the girl and ask her the kind of questions this lawyer asked, because the innocent and helpless Indian male will ever molest a girl unless she ‘provoked him’ 🙄

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    • Oh yeah, I so agree! Esp if she is a girl/woman who wears westerns clothes, drinks & smokes, comes back late etc etc…This reminds me of the movie Damini, which I thought was slightly over the board…but it isn’t one bit…
      Infact, IHM leave alone men even women think the way you have described. Long back I got into a verbal fight with a female colleague who on a sexual assualt case commented “well she asked for it! any woman out so late asks for trouble!” I was left speechless, how can any woman think/say/believe that another woman invited sexual assault/violence.

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  4. Was watching the show myself last night and wanted to hug her when she said she didnt intend to be chased out. In most cases involving foreign victims, the prosecutors have a hard time because the victims, unable to bear the humiliation and routine of courts, return to their native place.

    IHM this stereotyping of the firang (and also the ‘progressive’ wining, dining and pubbing type Indian woman) is quite common. I remember while I was covering the rape of the American TISS student, most of my relatives said that it was the girl’s fault. I blogged about it here http://kajalkiyer.blogspot.com/2009/04/being-firang-and-easy.html (Also there is this stereotyping that any girl who thinks its ok if other women drink or go pubbing is one who does all that and more. I am sure IHM many have mistaken you too for a ‘loose moral’ type woman :-P)

    🙄 Ha ha Cillia 😆

    Not just that, what worries me is that while we fight so vociferously about racist attacks on Indians abroad, we ourselves are racist when it comes to such stereotypes about the drinking and sexual habits of foreign women and even men. Its as if dignity is only important to Indian women (well that itself is questionable) and foreign women just dont care about who takes sexual advantage of them. Most of these molestations and rape instances happen because the perpetrators think that the firang being ‘easy’ about sex will not mind a grope here and there. Somehow because of our own stereotypes about firangs, we fail to realise that everyone is a human first and then part of some ethnic group.

    Absolutely Cilla. We are a shameful lot when it comes to racism.

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  5. IHM, more than the advocate the judge who let this happen in his court is guilty. The CJ or whosoever is authorised to question the judge should ask for explaination.
    Hats off to Kaya Elridges, I wish her all the luck!

    I heard Flavia Agnes and one more women’s rights activist say the same thing, and I agree! Serious sensitising drive is needed here… Also for our Police.

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  6. I don’t know where from these men come from, what their family background is. Because if this is a lawyer, he must have gone through some education at least. Then where from did he inherit such thoughts? from his family?

    The situation is getting worse everyday, I had even asked my wife not to call any carpenter/plumber any one of them when she is alone at home. May be i am over-protective, but that’s my take!!

    I am sure she will think twice before calling any plumber/electrician when she is alone at home after hearing such news! Many Societies have their regular plumber etc, whose background etc is known, but if somebody still dares to misbehave, he should be severely punished to set an example for others

    I could not follow the coverage completely yesterday, but i heard something like there was some discussion going on which was irrelevant during prosecution … the lawyer was not completely aware of the law etc etc, so it seems the defense lawyer and the judge at large is more responsible. Just shocking!!!

    Very shocking. Disgusting in fact.

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    • Hey one doubt regarding the WP itself, when you are moderating and publishing other’s comments, i get the email notification, but I don’t get any email when my comment is published, so i don’t get to know your response to my comments, until and unless i visit your post again:(

      Is this a known thing? is this the way WP works?

      You can check on ‘My Comments’ in your WP Dashboard Mustaf.

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  7. ‘If I were a woman, I would have filed a case against a man every day.’
    so the guy admits knowledge of what some women have to go through every day – in buses, trains, shopping areas. And is he suggesting that Kaya should have suffered it like most Indian women?

    Good point Usha!! I am shocked by the audacity of it all. Looks like they were not pleased that she was complaining!

    This is one funny legal system where the system tells the victim has to prove that she did not provoke the crime and the criminal is punished as a last course of action.
    Shameful!

    The culprit is only punished as a last course of action!!! True! Why do we make it so convenient for such criminals?? 🙄

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  8. This is so f*ing messed up! I remember reading somewhere that apart from some of the war-torn countries, India was one of the most unsafe countries for women (on the TOI website) It’s a disgusting state of affairs and kudos to the girl for staying on and not withdrawing her case. I’m not surprised so many cases of rape or molestation go unreported. It’s like the woman is being raped or molested all over again.

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  9. I was disgusted. First thing we need to do is once and for all define groping etc as sexual harassment, not a part of everyday life for women!

    Yes groping is and should be defined as sexual harassment>

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  10. @Mustaf I dont think its about the education of the lawyer. The lawyer is just playing to the gallery because the general perception about such women is what helps him press a point and sway the judge and jury (yes when it comes to this, its does tend to be like what we see in the movies). As for lawyers not knowing anything and all, this is generally true for any case that involves new age education or professions like IT simply because the law itself hasnt caught on. In this case though, I dont know what went wrong. Also the law in this country hasn’t caught on to the change in lifestyle and thinking in our country in the last two decades and some lawyers take advantage of this to turn the case against the victims.

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  11. Shame on Sanjay Prajapati’s for saying that. He knows all that and he is still ok with it? And so what if she was drunk or high or wearing revealing clothes? Does that make the assault ok?

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  12. We are in a country where even a female IAS officer is not spared from molestion.

    True Saritah that speaks for the kind of respect we have for women. 🙄

    We make big issue when there is a racist attack on indians aboard,and put pressure on the foreign country to deal with the attack and catch the attackers.And when a foreign national get molested we are trying to put the blame on her asking her whether she is drunk/smoking.When i heard this i thought what is the relation between her smoking/drinking to the molestation,apart from what she is wearing,drinking/smoking also leads to molestation???

    We have double standards Saritha.

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  13. Absolutely stunned to see this piece of news. Felt very bad for Kaya. Atleast they could’ve had a translator for her. So sad with the turn of events. At least this case has come out in the open…there are so many which are closed even before the case is registered. It is happening, not only India, but in other countries too. And it happens with tourists mainly, as they are new to that place !!!

    Freya they realise how easily they can get away with such an offence. We have made a lot of effort to let all sex offenders know that they would never be punished. 😡

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  14. Completely agree with Sraboney here. The root of the problem lies in the fact that we have been taught to place men on a pedestal and worship them. Its so shameful what`s happening in this case. Makes me want to puke. Our police force is corrupted and we have a coloured justice system. The whole thing sucks big time.
    I did mention it in your post on wearing a burqa. We Indians seriously need to learn how to respect women. And it has to come at a grass-root level – from the women in each family.
    I do hope and pray that this girl finds justice soon. Today it is a foreign national. Tomorrow it will be one of us. It has been in the past,you know..
    It scares me, the fact that I feel insecure living and breathing in my country. Because God forbid, if I`m in trouble tomorrow, I know there is not one system in place I can trust, to find me justice.

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  15. I just do not know what my feeling is here. News these days just leaves me numb for several minutes. In India especially there is total lack of privacy. In addition to that law is ambigous and not always followed. There is no single place of authority or decision. And on top of that a woman does not get the respect. I feel sorry for Kaya. In addition to the molestation, the total lack of order and respect must be too hard to register. I just cannot understand how anyone feels like they can impose on another one.

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  16. Sigh !! psychos are on the loose even in the form of plumbers these days !! Im not kidding, being a guy, I myself am scared when I would be harassed by one of these sexually frustrated animals !

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  17. Because of the attitude of these type of lawyers, i think court has long back has stated that even if the victim is a prostitute, rape is a rape and should be tried accordingly. In the past, it seems lighter sentence is awarded of the victim s character is in question….

    i think these lawyers are still trying to argue on those lines…it is sad….

    the problem i feel is, most of the professions have reputed institutions…..i am not sure there is any law college of repute…

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  18. Indian men disgust me (I’m one too though). It’s outrageous how women are literally groped everyday in buses etc. It is so very frustrating to know. It’s admirable how women have the strength to go on… if I were the subject of such vile, I’d be a broken person by now.

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  19. It’s also due to their mood towards western women: they think they’re all whores, because they see something on television and conclude all women who have white skin are like that. But basically they’re rude to all women, many of them. Even if they’re cultured and polite, their mood is that women are lesser. The gross, less-cultured ones are simply more external about it. It’s sickening…

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  20. Indians,in general are bloody hypocrites jumping from different boats of culture,tradion and modernization…

    I am sure that 6/10 men will say that ‘she asked for it’….

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  21. i so so agree that indian culture does not respect its women….our men are conditioned in this way….they are brought up to treat women as just objects…our is a country where female infanciticide is the highest….where women are molested and raped every day….where domestic violence and marital rape is an everyday affair….i shudder whenever i think of all this…its easy to target a single woman i think…she comes across as an easy prey…..i’m just apalled at the way the lawyer behaved with her…just shows his upbringing….an uncouth barbaric man like him should not only be stripped of his licence but should also be punished for demeaning and character assasination of the Kaya…

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  22. it’s so disturbing…..i remember a british journalist who is a blogger too once told me when we were returning from an outing late in the evening n i pointed out at the completely deserted metro station n how Delhi is not a safe place for women (chawri bazar, which is three underground if i am correct)…she said that she never has seen such things in her 3 yr stay in India…( she visits old delhi areas frequently by public transport)…….i was wondering how she is in this impression as i has experienced lewd comments the same day with them……clearly they do not understand the language ( of the comments ) n think that everything is fine…….

    I would applaud Kaya for her courage but am ashamed for the behavior of the people…….but i believe this is different from the racist attacks on Indians abroad……..as you know in our country only ( well mostly) the foreigner ladies are attacked ( feeling really shameful for this) …don’t you think it is because ladies are seen as a ‘ body only ‘ in our country…..and gori bodies may be more alluring to them….n when they do not understand their lewd comments…those criminal minded rapist think that they can get away with anything……( this is the thought i get after having that conversation at the metro station)..
    But the behavior of people in the court is really disgusting…..i have heard Dr. Rajat Mitra who runs an NGO to help rape victims, talk about the psychology of rapists …… but what about the people who draw entertainment from an abuse victim during the trial……..

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  23. We provide security, newspapers, Urdu translaters and whatnot to the lone terrorist caught after 26/11 and then we treat a molested woman this way. 😐

    We also raucously raise voice against racism and discrimination in foreign land and now have the audacity to mock at a molested woman and try to see the reasons behind this act and those reasons would be:
    was she drunk
    was she wearing revealing clothes.

    If either or both are true then it is her fault. Case closed.

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  24. I think that whether the woman wears western clothes or traditional ones, being a woman in itself sets the odds against her, when she tries to fight for justice! She will be insulted , found fault with and TRIED herself, before any semblance of justice can even be expected from the system! A sad and miserable truth for both our own Indian women, and as a result also for visiting women from other nations! 😦

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  25. 😐 😐
    and WE complain that indians are being harassed abroad?? when we cant take care of our guests (technically so to speak, since they are guests in our country)…. then what right do we have to complain???

    worst part is, it has happened, is happening and will keep on happening… 😐

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  26. A man’s perspective is sooooooo different. As we were watching this piece of news, I had an argument with a friend, who thought these questions were relevant. I respect his point of view but it just is so sad that most men think alike on such issues.

    Another piece of news upset me today when a stalker who was arrested got released and went straight to the victims house and attacked them, grievously injuring the victim and killing her parents. Did whether the victim smoke or how she was dressed at the moment have a bearing on the crime?? From a man’s point of view, maybe….. How about that 70 year old woman who was gang-raped by 3 youths? My guess is she was attired in a bikini…

    You are right. The Indian Law really goes out of the way to make sure these attackers know that they will be spared from their crimes. There should be a public outcry every time these things happen, to make sure that the victims of these crimes know that the law will take a stand on such crimes.

    If you ever start any such outfit, count me in. I really like your blog and the issues you write about. Good work!

    Butterfly when they say women should stay at home and look after their families, (according to them, the way nature intended it to be)… then this is what I feel, that we need women representatives in every field. Law makers, governance, police, everywhere… so that men like this guy do not have the final say in how relevant a woman’s lifestyle is, and how like you pointed out, if a man is drunk, it is an excuse for his misbehavior, if a woman is drunk, it is also an excuse for the man’s misbehavior.

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    • We have some apt sayings for it too…. Like, whether a thorn falls on the leaf, or the leaf falls on the thorn, In the end, only the leaf gets bruised! So when we walk, we better walk with our eyes looking over our shoulders, there is no saying when we might entice somebody!

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  27. Well of course, its always the woman who is at fault. If she is looking nice, she is at fault, is she had wine, she is at fault. If a man was drunk, its an excuse for him. And then we say ours is the culture that is below none. Humaree sabhayataa, humarey sanskar kehtey hain ki ladki ka sir jhuka hua hi accha lagta hai.
    Once I was dating a guy ( oh no, really??) and he said when my mom sees you just bend your head down , and I asked why? What have I done? His response was “it would look good”. Of course, that was the last time I saw him. But he does represent a big part of our society, a girl cannot cannot be dignified unless she behaves meekly.

    btw new Little S post up!! 🙂

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  28. I’m very worried about these kinda incidents coz I have lot of foreign friends who is working with various NGO’S and other firms in chennai.They respect and love indians ,our culture and hospitality a lot.But a few animals spoils everything.
    Now also many of in our society belives foreigners lead a immoral lifestyle(thanks to some pathetic B-grade movies).But the reality is they also value there honor ,more or like us.
    @ prosecutor ….i’m not shocked ,after hearing that.Hope you know, how the authorities record the rape victim’s complaint.while preparing the FIR(guess during trail too) ,she has to tell each and everything ,the accused did to her.Probably she face more mental torcher than when she attacked at that time.It is heartless.What to do ,I guess it is time to re consider some of the rules like this.

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  29. God knows why Indian men always think women ask for harrassment and abuse ??
    “If I were a woman, I would have filed a case against a man every day.” This statement is a reflection of the callousness men have for women who go through abuse and then go on to report it..
    They should perhaps run gender sensitization camps with all police people and lawyers..

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  30. IHM, I read this in the news the other day, and was outraged – to say the least.. All this just because she was a woman and they wanted to prove that – ‘she asked for it’. What difference does the fact that she smokes or drinks make in this case?

    Just a way of humiliating her. I have to say, I certainly admire her courage in the face of all this – in a foreign country – still being strong and determined! Hope she gets justice!

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  31. The last para says it all. I agree with that too. “The level of sexual abuse attacks in India is disgusting” I am always repeating this to anyone who cares to listen: ‘I don’t even want to hear a single word about the ‘greatness” of our so-called ‘culture’ when the women cannot walk a few feet down the road without being groped!’ …and even in their homes!! And if they are and they complain, they have to prove they weren’t drunk??!! I mean, does it mean if they drink and smoke they can be groped??!!!
    This news item is outrageous to say the least.

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  32. I wonder what is wrong with our people here !! First they do not think twice before molesting or insulting a woman (and if he woman is a foreigner then also risking the dignity of the nation) !! They should be tried not only for molesting that woman but also for being so irresponsible towards country that they call “home” !!

    I would be very happy to see the accused man getting punished along with his lawyer ! (yes I have no doubt that he must have did it ) !!

    You will be happy to know some action is being taken… will try to find the link and exact information Niharika.

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  33. Good lord when will men learn to behave like men and not animals! We are in the process of passing a sexual harassment law here in Barbados. Women here have made great strides however there is an element in society that still believes that women are only good for one thing. In the workplace many women are subjected to sexual harassment or threatened their jobs. Whenever I meet this type of behaviour I will say aloud for everyone to hear can you clarify what you have just said? Or I will repeat what was just said loudly. I am a very vocal person so when someone tries to insinuate something sexual I repeat it loudly and ask if this is what I am hearing. Men do not like women who are loud and who would threaten them publicly of taking them to the highest courts. I remember working in an organization where one of the married managers was sleeping with a woman who worked in my department. I had a speech rehearsed for him if he ever approached or touched me. I figured that he knew better than to come to me with that nonsense. I despised the woman who was with him and wondered if she had no shame. Today the company has folded and he is now blind as a bat due to diabetes. He claims that he has found god. I laughed and said that now he can’t see to molest women he is molesting god now. Women cannot be quiet anymore! We have to show the perpetrator up as the piece of slime he is. Men always try to say it is the women’s fault and some stupid women believe that too in the west as well. Women have to learn self defence, have to be always aware of their surroundings and always have a plan on how they are going to defend themselves if attacked. Learn to scream loudly, and shout. If at home any insecticide spray is handy, keep a can nearby. Clorox bleach is another tool to have to throw in the face of an attacker. It is a shame in today’s world our women are still preyed upon.

    I agree Islandgal, if we are strong – the assaulter does fear. I have taught my daughter that it is better to be rude than to be polite to someone when you are not sure …or if his intentions are not clear… I think boldness and lots of presence of mind are great safety tools..

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