She started a fight between two men?

Sharing this email shared by the victim’s friend who’s also a blogger.

This young woman could have been any of us. Please keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to know how one would react in such situations, shock and trauma can confuse and immobilize or fill us with rage. This incident reminded me of the time (have blogged about it , will link) I yelled at four army jawans who were harassing a woman in a train in 1999, it could have turned very ugly too.

What do you think of the reactions of the fellow passengers here?

The account in this courageous young woman’s own words, with a big hug to her.

**

This post contains language, four-letter word language. These are my words and my account. Most of the exchange was in Hindi, nearly everything I shouted was in English. 
23rd June, afternoonish, I board the metro from Noida City Center. The train was almost empty, I find a spot by the right side of the car near the door, put my earphones on and prepare to wait through all the stations till Rajiv Chowk. Few stations afterwards, I feel someone hovering, I turn to look and this guy wearing shades is leaning towards me, his arm extended above me brushing my head, holding the seat railing, his breath fans my hair. I look beyond him, the coach is still relatively empty with plenty of space for someone to stand comfortably without being forced to lean on another passenger and breathe down their neck. I assumed he wanted to get off at the next station and waited. Station arrives, we are standing to the right of the coach, the doors open to the left and he doesn’t move.  I ask him now, do you wish to get off at the next station?  He answers in negative and looks away. I continue to address him, please step back you are crowding me.  He ignores me. I speak again. 

He turns and says, why are you here, you should be in the women’s coach. 

I tell him, women do not have restrictions on travelling cause they apparently can travel in decency, step back please.  He continues to ignore me and doesn’t move. 

Another guy standing to the front us says to 1st guy, when she’s asking you to move why don’t you just move?  2nd guy says, what is it to you? You are her what?

They start arguing. 2nd guy says to 1st guy, hey! speak to her however you want but speak to me with respect! Interesting how suddenly the dynamic of the situation changes.

It’s about respect, not towards me but to his manhood. Sufficiently angered they start shoving each other. I try to turn away and ignore them hoping they will stop and quit being assholes. But it escalates.

The other passengers are watching but not really doing anything to stop the fight. In a matter of seconds it turns horrifically ugly, 1st guy smashes his fist into 2nd guys face and 2nd guy falls to the floor, blood gushing out of his nose and forehead. The other passengers go wild. Few turn to me and start shouting, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, YOU STARTED THIS FIGHT, THIS IS ALL BECAUSE YOU CAME INTO THIS COACH.

I’m a little surprised and I try to tell them, I am not the reason they started fighting cause 1st guy didn’t speak with “respect” to 2nd guy. Of course no one is listening. The crowd is a frenzy. The 2nd guy get up off the floor, blood dripping everywhere, no one helps him.

One of the passengers steps up to me and shouts, DO SOMETHING THIS IS YOUR FAULT STOP THEM FROM FIGHTING.

Can you imagine stepping in between 2 aggressive physically violent men and trying to stop a fight?

Me, a girl? When all these other men in the coach haven’t yet made ANY moves to stop the fight!? The train stops at Akshardham station and 1st guy runs out. 2nd guy starts calling his friends and runs out as well. The crowd is screaming at me to call the cops. My shock is a delayed reaction, but it finally sets in. I am supposed to call the cops? If I was in an accident am I supposed to call the ambulance? I dial 100, networks choppy no surprises there. Someone answers, I give the details, which station, 2 men fighting, badly hurt. The guy on the other end of the line hangs up.

I can’t believe this is happening to me, I’m standing here in a coach with 50 odd men and they are all shouting at me. 

– YOU WOMEN ALWAYS DO THIS, YOU STARTED THIS FIGHT – I did not start anything, I spoke up because he wouldn’t move!

– WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE GO TO THE WOMEN’S COACH – I have as much right to be here as any of you. I’m not the reason the government made separate coach for women.

– YOU ARE THE REASON, GET OFF – The reason is men like you who cannot respect women and instead of stepping up to stop harassment you encourage it by segregating us.

Yes. I shouted these words. Perhaps not coherently. Perhaps not eloquently.

I couldn’t understand how even one individual out of all these people didn’t have the decency to REALLY see what had happened and try to stop it.

My disbelief had turned to royal fucking rage. There were a few women, who looked on like how you glance back at road accidents. I shouted at them as well, shame on you for standing there, this happens to you too and you don’t have the balls to say a word now.

My head was a screaming mess of thoughts, my heart felt it will explode. Strangely even though my knees were shaking like hell, I felt a strange compulsion to stay and not flee.

There’s a button by the door for emergencies. I recall this hours after the incident. The crowd wouldn’t let up. Every time the coach doors opened and new passengers got on they ask about all the blood on the floor, everyone starts pointing fingers at me,

– SHE STARTED A FIGHT BETWEEN 2 MEN. WHY DON’T YOU GET OFF, GET OFF GET OFF GET OFF!!!!

After 3-4 more stations I’m trying really not to fucking loose it. I continue to stand by the door. 

One man in the back shouts, Ladkiyan to hoti hi aisee hain… I turn to see who spoke, he’s hidden between passengers… wo dono pit gaye par isko koi asar nahi huya. I turn back, FUCK YOU! 

Another man from the front of the coach jumps out, HEY SHOW SOME RESPECT!! – Respect????? I’m aghast. Respect to whom? You all stand around and do nothing and I said fuck you so now you want to teach me respect. – YOU WILL SHOW RESPECT.  

– All the men all the time keep saying vile abuses, maa bahen ki gaaliyan and NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING TO THEM. I said fuck you, so you want to teach me respect!

I’m glad he didn’t dare. I do not know what I would have done. I start clapping and giving everyone the thumbs up, THANK YOU EVERYONE, brilliant display of support, I feel so good about my country. Keep it up.  I’m sure they all thought I have gone completely mad. I was mad. Stark raving mad. But I stood there listening to them talk and laugh and stare at me.

I wondered why I wasn’t crying or falling apart. My shock was tremendous, my disappointment crippled me. Frozen I continued to stand by that door.   7 stations later I get off at Rajiv Chowk. I do not know why I didn’t just get off before. I probably should have. But I felt at that point, perhaps stupidly now that I have hindsight, no fucking force on earth is going to make me feel like a victim, I’m not going to get off, I have as much right to be here as any one of these barbaric men. My knees wouldn’t quit shaking by the way, I felt as if I had no oxygen. I didn’t want to report it. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to be left alone, that’s all I had asked.

Thinking back I cannot still understand how literally the most ridiculous thing turned so ugly. I’m sure you are thinking, why did she do this, why didn’t she just leave, why did she even get in the general coach, what was she wearing, what does she look like to elicit such an incident. And you know what, that’s precisely the whole fucking point. It doesn’t matter what you think might be a cause or a reason. No one, NOT A SINGLE person had the balls to step up and help me. And all these 50 odd men, your regular joes, college kids, engineers going to office shouldering laptops, salesmen and just normal folks commuting.  I have never felt this alone.  And for the record, I’m AGAINST the separate coach for women. It is the most ridiculous solution the government came up with to ensure women traveler’s safety. Segregating men and women will never help anyone develop tolerance and respect for others PERSONAL SPACE.  Thank you for reading.

***
You can also read this story here,

http://doiwrite.blogspot.in/2012/06/in-her-own-words.html

133 thoughts on “She started a fight between two men?

  1. Empathize & hugs sister.. seriously this is so so sad.. worst still people being unreasonable enough to blame the poor girl I mean what is her fault? She would let the guy do anything? .. and round the clock we boast of Indian culture blah blah and so we should be blah blah !.. and I think its given that no one would stand up that’s why the guy(s) at the first place would have the courage to do all this.

    Kudos to you girl..for staying there, my reactions as I read it honestly were like you could have got down to the next best opportunity just for your safety..

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  2. Welll done. We need more and more people like this brave straight talking girl to show some insight into the Society blind with Patriarchal conditioning.

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  3. No words. Just a round of Applause – for standing up & not letting herself be bullied off.
    I think, I will make it a point to use the general compartment in the metro from now – at least whenever I am in no hurry. These people seriously seem to need help in coming to terms with “women being around” – especially “women who do not consider themselves victims and can speak up for themselves”. I’m in the mood for doling out that kind of free lessons – social service?

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  4. This is a horrible incident. The woman has been subjected to escalating levels of harassment and discrimination. There are no words to adequately applaud her for bravely standing her ground in extremely trying circumstances.
    1. The first guy – leaning on her too closely
    2. The second guy – apparently leaping to her defense…then forgetting about her and leaping on the first guy
    3. The people around her – putting the blame for the entire incident on her and expecting her to do something about two adult male morons battering each other
    4. The people around her – claiming repeatedly that she had no right to travel in the general carriage
    5. The general public – standing around doing nothing in a situation where a group of men are picking on a woman.
    It’s depressing to read about a woman being subjected to this level of harassment in a public space by the public themselves. She has definitely responded the right way. She did not have to take any nonsense from any of those idiots and she didn’t. If she had gotten off the carriage or remained silent, it would have only given more voice to her attackers and vindicated their prejudiced views in their own eyes. By staying in the carriage and fighting back, she has asserted her right to be there just as much as anyone else. She may not have been able to convince them but she made it damn sure that they knew they had been in a fight and that their views would not be taken lying down. That is something to be proud of.
    Of these 5 groups, the one that causes me the biggest concern is the 5th group. There are harassers and morons everywhere. But in most countries, they do not dare to do anything in public spaces as they are held in check by the public eye. However, in our case, the public eye seems to be blind. In that context, I’m grateful to the writer of the post and to IHM for bringing these sort of incidents to light. Knowing myself as I do, I have to shamefully admit that if I had been on that train, I would have probably been part of the 5th group myself. However reading about such incidents from the victim’s perspective shows me (and others) how destructive silence really is. This just reminds me of the old saying “the only thing necessary for the victory of evil is for good people to do nothing”. Please keep sharing such incidents…For such incidents to reduce, the awareness has to increase and all of us have to keep fighting back such prejudiced, discriminatory behavior against women again and again.

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  5. This is pathetic!!! just pathetic!!!

    I feel so sorry for this poor girl! It could have easily been me!!

    You know why most people don’t speak up? because they just don’t want to be put in that awkward position. Nobody wants to be the guy who supported her(look what happened to him!) and nobody wants to be her!!(she spoke up, look what happened to her!) So most people JUST KEEP QUIET AND BEHAVE LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED!!!

    You know, it would have been sooooo much better if people had ganged up against that pervert and given him a good trashing… That would have been such a positive news!!

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  6. Kudos to you!! Imagine me with 5 or more pairs of hands clapping for you wishing that as I clap there would be more women like you rising from each of my clap…I am so glad you stood, I am glad for your courage. Thank you for keeping my faith in the strength of a woman!

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  7. As Khaled Hosseini had said, “Like a compass needle points towards the north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman” .. undoubtedly true, for all kinda situations..

    I always find this “blaming the victim” act horrible and unbelievable.. It infuriates me so much that I can’t put it in words..And sadly, most people either do not give a damn or just say its sad, but they do not take an action..

    I feel so proud to read this.. Both men and women must protest against anything at all that happens to be unfair.. I respect her and her strength and courage from the bottom of my heart after reading this.. Hats off !!

    Please keep sharing such posts.. People need to read your posts and they do have an impact on the ones whose conscience is still alive..

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    • It looks to me like it is this woman who is pointing finger of blame at everyone else: the guy who harassed her, the guy who stepped in to defend her and the crowd that saw everything.

      Yes, every single person in that compartment must be a backward thinking patriarchal loser. Except, of course, for this blameless girl who shines bright in her bravery.

      After all, we have heard her version of the story. As we all know, no woman has ever lied or ever tried to stretch the truth in her favor. Naturally, we have no option but to assume that everyone in the compartment is evil and this girl is like Mother Teresa.

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      • Do you believe this is a rare or unusual case? Are you aware that women in India face similar situations all the time? Women (or men or children) do not need to be Mother Teresa or Mayawati or Indira Gandhi, they can be themselves and still expect to feel safe in public spaces and in their own homes.

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  8. Wish I was there – I would have actively stood with you. Sorry you had to go through this but glad you stood your ground. And no, you didn’t cause anyone to fight….people who do need to take responsibility, something their puny minds couldn’t deal with…hence the external blaming. Their problem that unfortunately always impacts us.

    Hugs. And rest easy on a job very well done.

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  9. I really REALLY appreciate the way you stood your ground. Hats off to you.

    //”Segregating men and women will never help anyone develop tolerance and respect for others PERSONAL SPACE.”//
    NEVER, indeed. That’s the whole point. Segregation only aggravates such problems.

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  10. One, I congratulate the brave girl. My stress levels went up as i read this. I could easily imagine myself in this situation and the amount of indignation rising up in me at how stupid people can be. This classic of women causing all the fights (some cite mahabharata ) is so lame. you fight coz u want to and then use women as an a excuse

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  11. good for you. Really really proud and amazed you stood your ground. I cannot imagine being part of a collective, standing around doing nothing to help and then turning to you and saying ‘ladkiyan aise hi hoti gain’. And yet its true.

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  12. What courage from the writer; and what absolutely shameful behavior from pretty much everyone else in the compartment.
    I’m sure the fear played a part there – many of us have families, many of us don’t want to put ourselves at risk of physical harm by shouting out our disapproval in a crowded public compartment. You can’t shout down a mob.
    But why couldn’t anyone call the police themselves? Why couldn’t anyone else try to stop the two guys having a brawl? Were they disabled? Were their hands and feet broken? Why did they just stand there like damned fools and scream at someone else to stop a brawl when they could bloody well do it themselves? How could they blame you for apathy when they demonstrated nothing but yellow-bellied cowardice from the very beginning of the situation?

    I don’t know whether to feel disgusted or proud. This country has innumerable idiots, and even more people who do nothing to raise their voice against those idiots. You’re a star among that crowd. Make no mistake, you’re a star, and whether you wanted it or not, you’re part of that change. I’d hate for my daughter to be stuck in a situation like that, but you know what, I’d also be tremendously proud, tremendously proud, if she could act with a semblance of the same courage that you did if she ever had to.

    Speechless, really.

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  13. well, kudos that you didn’t get down!!! I know the kind of shock you might have felt which literally feels like you have been paralysed or stuck in the Earth!!! your getting down would have confirmed your involvement which wasn’t there but it does take a lot of courage to stand facing such people and honestly, even I don’t like the reservation for women. handicapped, yes. women, no!!

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  14. WOW…I am clapping here as well. THIS is how I have felt time and again in my life, doesn’t matter where I was. It is what makes me believe in my strength and my strength only. It’s not a matter of how many men (or women) there were in that train, and what they failed to do. It is an experience that teaches women (even men) to unlearn everything they have been taught (depend, depend and depend) and to learn to live on the strength of their own judgement and decisions.

    One thing though, if this had happened to me…I would change my seat after the guy refused to move. But before moving I would’ve got up and looked straight into his shameless soul until I got those other eyes on me. I would make sure people around me knew why I had to change my seat.
    Either make a scene and draw everyone’s attention to what he is doing OR ignore (by quietly moving to another seat) than to try to deal with these specimens by trying to make them behave. They won’t. They are out to vent their frustrations from life on easy targets – refuse to be one.

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    • Yes, I think many men feel women in public spaces are soft targets.

      Men who would otherwise force themselves to behave in other situations feel that they can drop all pretences of civilised behavior under cover of anonymity.

      These very same men who were screaming at the writer would be the epitome of courtesy and decency in other situations.

      I think most men are cowards at heart. It’s a a myth — men have courage etc etc.

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  15. It took me a while to frame the right words for commenting. Just reading the post had me shaking with fury. I wanted to say you are a warrior – David fighting against Goliath, but the fact that a mere train ride for a woman can become a battle for survival saddens me.

    On one hand, Kudos to you. Like PT has said already, you are a star!

    Those men must be dumbfounded that in spite of all their abuse, you stood your ground and only got off at your stop. That must have frustrated the lot of them and made them feel as small as they are!

    As to some of the commentators who are saying “you should have done this” or “I would have done that”, let’s not judge her. NONE OF US KNOW how we will behave in such a situation until we are actually put in that situation.

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    • @sarkywoman – I didn’t judge her when I wrote I would have moved seats. I was moved, overwhelmed, had goose bumps reading the episode as some memories came back. No harm in sharing tried n tested tips I’m sure.

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      • Ok. To me, It felt that by saying that, you were telling her “she should have done this instead and if she had, the fight would not have happened” – ergo, blaming her again!

        All depends on perception, I guess.

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  16. First thing first… I do not like the victim tag for this courageous woman. The other women who were watching with disdain were actually the ‘victim material’…imagine the same thing happening to them, they would take it with a bowed head.

    You are really courageous by all means lady….. have seen such things happening in Delhi metro and have many time reacted in different ways( I am sure IHM remembers my accounts) Only once it was about me when a guy was lowering his hands in my shopping bag. Other times it was with other younger girls and I made it sure the sicko got noticed and looked down upon. I wish I was there in the metro this time too. There is nothing wrong in feeling threatened or week or alone, it gives you tremendous courage most of the times. I am sure you won’t feel lonely again in such a situation. Power to you.

    Mob mentality would change easily , singular changes would mean more and more…..

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  17. Kudos to you! I join in clapping for you as well!

    And shame on those men! So this is what they do to get high on their ‘manhood’, to up their false pride- snub a woman into submission, corner her, victimize her for being a woman..a woman, who by the way is a fellow human, their fellow being! How pathetically typical! Shame on those men, shame on our culture!

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  18. Hats off to you, girl !! …. and *respect* for standing your ground and sticking by what is right!

    Even though we may think we are progressing, our society is woefully archaic. Its a pity and a crying shame.

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  19. I commend you for standing your ground. These idiotic MCPs think they can bully and cow over women and if they do this long enough, the women will comply. Gender aside, while I hate violence, I wish I could’ve clocked each of these morons in the face.

    I completely agree with you – I think segregation will only widen the gap in how men and women are treated. Why should I be forced to take a women’s coach? Because a man can’t keep it in his pants or control his horniness? (Sorry about that) .. It’s kind of like wearing a burkha to ‘protect yourself’ . Retrograde, and disgusting. These men need to be taught that they should treat other human beings right no matter what. (man, woman, ‘women’s coach’, seated on the floor, whatever.) Their fundamental problem is that they think they are superior to everybody else, and nobody else deserves to be treated like a human being.

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  20. Hats off. May your tribe increase. Can totally feel your outrage.

    On a tangent – I don’t know one single time when folks stood up for a woman being harassed in public. We don’t feel safe in public transport in broad daylight, and yet why are we supposed to feel proud of our country?

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  21. Shame on India – not even one person in that compartment stood up for this brave young woman.

    The so-called manhood of every man in that compartment is questionable.

    I am filled with rage as I read this. But sadly, this is the plight of women in India. T

    his is exactly what happens when young women get raped and people watch the scene as if it is from Bollywood or join in with the rapists.

    Shame, shame on Indian men and their so-called manhood.

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    • Why only shame on Indian men, what about the women who were watching? Is India only made of men…?
      Why is it naturally expected that men will protect…or come to the aid of a woman in distress?
      What about the women? When it comes to bargaining while shopping for the most insignificant things in the world, the same women rip open a man if he dares to stick to his price or refuses to give in to their pressures.
      Don’t tell me no one has witnessed such a scene.

      What is womanhood again? To watch a young girl get harrassed and think, thank goodness that’s not me or my sister or my daughter, thank goodness my conscience doesn’t prick me to get up and stand by her? Why always bash up men?

      What hypocrisy!!!

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        • @Nivedita – I am sincerely sorry if I offended you but nowhere in your first comment did you mention ‘shame on those women who stood watching’ either. Actually I replied to your comment but my response was intended for everyone questioning the men’s manhood.

          We have talked on this blog several times about social conditioning and its effects. Yet we continue to speak under its influence.

          It is only in India that a man’s manhood and a woman’s sacrifice is so glorified.

          A man or a woman, in my humble opinion must at all times use basic common sense when dealing with any situation. Is it manhood to jump into a fight with anyone without considering whether he is armed or not, or with a group of drunken men for that matter, or sheer stupidity? (although sometimes it is a matter of life and death and there are no other option but to fight…)
          Having said that, I would anytime prefer a man’s intelligence and quick, clever, critical thinking, problem solving skills, over his so called manhood.

          Unfortunately there were a bunch of cowardly idiots travelling in that train…men and women both.

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        • Joyee the same men who refuse to support her and all women who travel in general coaches, blamed her for travelling in general coach and making innocent men fight. Also, the man harassing her was not armed.

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        • IHM, I was just making a general remark about how basic intelligence, courage, attitude of a person helps in a situation like this…I am opposed to the term ‘manhood’ or any such superfluous ideas. It doesn’t mean anything to me.

          Yeah in this harrowing episode, this guy wasn’t armed…but what if he had a pocket knife? Its not sensible to expect such jerks who are misbehaving and arrogant as hell to abide by what you want them to do!! Its just my opinion, what I would do or have done in the past…first, bring everyone’s attention to what a guy is doing…be as loud as possible about my objection in the first place. Shove my face into his and shout at the top of my voice to stop doing whatever he is doing because I do not like it, then simply move away.

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        • @Nivedita – I am sorry if I offended you. But nowhere in your first comment had you mentioned ‘shame on the women who stood and watched’ either.
          Actually I replied to your comment but intended to respond to everyone questioning the men’s manhood.

          We have discussed on this blog on several occasions repeatedly, the effects of social conditioning yet we continue to speak under its influence.
          It’s only in India that a man’s manhood and woman’s sacrifices are celebrated and glorified on a daily basis.

          Is it manhood or sheer stupidity to jump into a fight with anyone without considering whether the person is armed or not, or with a bunch of drunken men for that matter who are least likely to act logically?

          I prefer a man’s intelligence, his quick, clever, critical thinking and problem solving skills and courage to carry out an intelligent plan effectively rather than this so called manhood which really means what, inflated ego???

          There were a bunch of cowardly idiots travelling on that train…and sadly that included women as well.

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      • I think the expectation that a man will step in comes from decades of conditioning that we women recieve.

        It takes numerous bitter experiences (like the one the writer narrates) before an Indian woman can admit to herself that all the tales and legends of male courage and bravery she listened to as a child were just that — tales and legends.

        If we women are brutally honest to ourselves, we would realise that the only people we can truly depend on is ourselves.

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  22. If I may, the young lady deserves a standing ovation! As a woman, it just infuriates me to read about such societal arrogance and cowardliness in any country. Being a mother of 2 young men, I would reprimand them (no matter the age) if I ever saw them abuse a young lady in any way.

    It’s amazing how these men treated this young lady but could not even step in and stand for their fellow brother in need. Is this how they treat their very mothers or daughters or allow other men to do so to the women in their family? I have come across such men along my life journey but cannot ever imagine having to live in such a society! It is uncomprehending to why the women of your country, or any country, should be subjected to such crap.

    I am just a reader being educated! I have much respect for you and the women who stand up to this on a daily basis! You are strong! Your are honorable! You are empowering!

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  23. phew!!! I am so proud of you sistah!!!! Very few people have the courage the stand up for their basic rights, and you have that!! Well done, and I hope that flame of courage in you never dies! It is shameful how passive people can be in such situations. And shocking how not one in the 50 odd people even supported you a little bit. Forget supporting, but they held you responsible. But it is awesome you gave them an earful. Maybe atleast one of them will go home and lose their sleep over how they didnt stand up for something they believed in.

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  24. I probably have never made such a racist statement before , but I have to say that the men of this particular city seem to have no balls. I just can not imagine such a scene in any other country of the world, at least not in any country where I have been and I have been to about 2 dozen countries. Other cowardly misogynistic displays may be, but nothing of this style and nature.

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    • It wasnt just the men, there were some women too in that train, the ones who “viewed it like it was an accident on the street”. If a few of them had joined in defense of her, things would have been different…Men in the city have Balls, its sad they use it only when it comes to harassing women. I wish they’d use it to defend the rights of all people instead.

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      • If they really had balls, they wouldn’t furtively grope a young 12-year old, confident in the knowledge of her shamed silence.

        No, I think most men do not have balls (meaning courage and bravery). They may have testicles in overdrive, but no balls.

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    • “common” – well India is a vast country, each region is different, in some places like Delhi…well, it can happen…..Most of us Indians think it is ridiculous too.

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      • If you mean is this atrocious attitude towards females “common”, the answer is YES! sadly, as a foreign woman living in Delhi, it makes me wonder what kind of mothers these men have. They must have grown up in homes where the mother was totally subjugated to the males, and they must have been taught, overtly or covertly, by both their parents that females are inferior beings and objects of ridicule, scorn and blame.

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    • it is VERY common for men to grope women in public areas if they think they can get away with it. And the way the people react (or don’t rather), most men do get away with it.

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    • Yes it is very common. In fact this is what you are supposed to expect if you take public transport. Every single girl/woman can tell you at least one time some b*****d did stuff to her when she was in a train/bus. In the middle of the day too, no need for darkness.

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    • yes sure ,… but now im thinkin the girl didn’t have any thanks 4 the guy who came forward. so maybe its wise not 2 participate in thankless endeavor.

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      • Like you I am wondering too, and that thought would have crossed my mind too if I were a man..On the other hand I wonder if we do things because we want the other to be grateful, acknowlege it and recognize in some way or do we do things because it is the right thing to do, regardless of whether we get recognized for it or not? I hope humanity moves towards the latter version of my wondering.

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        • “I wonder if we do things because we want the other to be grateful, acknowlege it and recognize in some way or do we do things because it is the right thing to do, regardless of whether we get recognized for it or not? I hope humanity moves towards the latter version of my wondering.:”

          Well said, Mysoul..!!

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      • Maybe try reading again. She didn’t thank him cause he really wasn’t fighting for HER or cause she was harassed. He fought cause first guy didn’t speak with respect to HIM. Big difference. Also put yourself in HER shoes, with 50 odd men shouting at her, for something she had no part in, imagine that mental stress. You cant. You have never been harassed like that. I’m assuming this solely based on your comment. And I don’t think I’m too far off in assuming you are an anonymous man.

        I also do not understand why this petulant need for thanks? When did standing up for what is right and good only worth doing if a thank you is attached? If that’s how you feel, please step back and do not bother. We don’t need a hero. We are our own heros.

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      • Well, he made it about himself soon enough, right? Started off with defending her and then it deteriorated to ‘speak to her however you want, speak to me with respect!’….she was supposed to thank him for what? I believe in gratitude – well place gratitude!

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    • I would certainly have assisted her, but I would certainly not have done it the way that this guy did.

      You don’t have to be a hero, you know. Going to her assistance can be as simple as wedging yourself between her and the harasser. It can be as simple as offering your seat to her. It can be as simple as staring at the harasser, and making sure he knows that somebody is watching. It doesn’t take six-pack abs to prevent public harassment, just a certain degree of street smartness.

      If you get into the whole respect and honor deal, you’ve defeated the purpose of your ‘assistance’. How does it help the victim for you to get into a fight with some random idiot? It doesn’t. Best stick to your primary goal and best focus on keeping yourself safe as well. Doesn’t pay to get agitated.

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      • Thank you. Thank YOU. I wish there was a way to clone you. We would of course have to deal with every man looking like you😀 but I can live with that!

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  25. kudos to u gal for not fleeing the place. It takes a lot of bravado to do that. What is even more applause worthy is that you have chosen to share it with us all.Sadly for a country that has 1 billion voices (and counting) not one has been able to stand up in such situations. Even the lone man who spoke out initially turned out to be an insecure and spineless dud. It is not really easy to have gone through the mental trauma while asserting your right to travel in that compartment. Hopefully we learn something out of it.

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  26. Really admire you for standing your ground.

    Frankly speakign I feel more comfortable in a general compartment than the ladies one. Maybe it’s because i travel with my husband and normally do not travel much in a crowded one.

    I remember one time we entered the couch just adjacent to the ladies couch in delhi – gurgaon metro. It was so crowded and congested and the ladies couch had free seats so i went and sat there. My husband disappeared from my view and with in two min he called me from his cell telling , there was enough and more space in the opposite end of the compartment and he was in fact sitting. “Then why are these men here .Can’t they just sit? ” I wondered. With in 5 minutes i got the answer. They were leering at the girls so much – ya they did not cross the line but one push and all would have tumbled down. Infact i felt like a women put on a stage. I would have preferred being in the Zoo to this. Needless to say within 5-10 min, i decided to join my husband as there were seats there too.

    This interesting behavior made me study the guys in the compartment who were sitting. The guys who were supposed to have raging hormones – teenages were the one who were totally indifferent about the girls. I guess it’s because they had enough interaction with girls so as to not treat them like foreign chocolate.

    That day , I came to the conclusion that guys of metro culture had better attitude towards girls. Separate schools for girls and guys, unnecessary restrictions in their mingling is not going to make the situation better, it is only going to make it worse.

    Sometimes i wonder about this moral policing. If a girl likes a guy it is a big problem cause you know, everything leads to physical intimacy which is just a blow to the culture.but it is ok if she is groped, leered and even raped as long as it is done without her wish. Then of course she should just bear it. or better still not travel at all.

    Sorry for the long post IHM. Wanted to share this incident.

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    • @Rahmath – I agree.
      Also, if we study the background of these leering men, where they come from, what they do…how they spend most of their time etc….there is a high possibility that we will find these men to be jobless, living in chawls, slums or some such unprivilieged, unfortunate area where there is no running water, short or no supply of electricity, heavily rationed food, no cash plus sick members in the family with no access to healthcare. These men probably grew up watching their parents or other family members make out in front of them because of a tiny room 6,7 or perhaps more people share. What they see, expereince as a child, plus regular scarcity of basic supplies for living, plus constant ill-treatment at the hands of an alcoholic father or relative end up shaping their psyche and feeding their dark side. There is no love in their life…perhaps they have never known love, respect, graceful behaviour. Or not seen anything good happen to them or anybody else close to them.

      There is an interesting mix of people in these cities. I believe if the same men grew up in different circumstances, environment…felt accepted, loved, respected, they would give back the same??

      If there were no class distinctions, and everyone was respected (actually if every job was looked at with respect) and ‘exploitation’ of the poor, the weak, the less educated/privileged class wasn’t looked upon as the birthright of the rich and the privileged…the scene in a bus, or a train or a street in India might be a lot different.

      Everything is really not about women…a lot of other people including children are exploited day after day right in front of our eyes. What do we do about them?

      Like

      • That’s a very interesting point you make Joyee.
        I always thought that we can bring the change by educating the men around us. But it never occurred to me that it’s not the men around us who need this kind of education. At least not with groping.
        One more thing is these gropers always target upper tier women(at least that’s what I have witnessed in Bangalore). Also it is the upper tier women who most likely keep quiet to these harassments. Because they don’t want to make a scene. It’s humiliating to be caught in the middle of all this. Even then, it’s only the women who are taught to keep quiet at home are the ones who generally tolerate this abuse(or any abuse for that matter).
        Women from the lower class(no disrespect intended) generally fight back, yell back, hit back. May be they are used to these kind of men and know how to handle them.

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        • Sushma I have seen young girls (no more than 13) being harassed. This filthy looking man kind of walked into a young domestic helper walking to work, I slowed down my car and let him see I was watching. My cook and her sister are 17 & 20, they face harassment too.

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        • @IHM – I wonder if it has got anything to do with their age. We had a 14-15ish girl who worked for us one time. She too was meek, afraid and could’ve easily been harassed. Now the maid at my parent’s house also has a teenage daughter. That girl is very naive, shy and she too can be easily harassed. Our maid(around 30) is overprotective of her because she doesn’t trust her neighborhood. But otherwise all our maids, they were all over 25 or 30, were very very gutsy. Surprisingly not so much with their husbands. Even the ones who I’ve witnessed fighting back crudely on the buses could have been over 25-30.

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        • @ Sushma – I also wonder if behind every leering jerk there is a woman – a mother, a wife, a sister who is just too meek, accommodating, forgiving, scared, fearful who indirectly supports, encourages such behaviour, and thus such incidents that continue to happen on a street, bus or train?

          Imagine if a mother or a wife refused to let these men into the house, punished him severely, stood against him for an offence the first time ….wouldn’t that make a difference?

          If a mother raised her son so he knew for sure that his mother or wife wouldn’t think twice about breaking his legs if he dared be disrespectful towards a woman on the street, if he knew this was unacceptable at his home…that he won’t be forgiven not even the first time…wouldn’t that make a difference?

          Wonder if that is even a possibility.

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      • I agree IHM.

        “Pretend to be brave, and the trick will take you far…
        You’re as brave, as you make believe you are!!”

        Not my words…some anonymous quote from the web I have remembered!!

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      • Joyee,
        I do not exactly know how the ‘under-privileged’ male behaves, was born into a pretty well to do family and haven’t interacted very much with people from other classes.
        But please DO NOT live under the impression that so called educated guys/men are any better these lower class men. The higher class devils are simply more polished and adept. They don’t give their true identities up very easily but once you interact with them and they open up a bit, turns out these ‘modern’, ‘educated’ guys have a quite similar view of women.
        I’m saying this because I know it first hand. I work in IT and when I was younger my thoughts were very like yours. Once I started interacting with male colleagues this misconception evaporated VERY quickly. You being a girl are not privy to what guys talk about amongst themselves and have no idea what PREPOSTEROUS things these outwardly decent guys say about women in private.
        I am absolutely FED UP with the Indian male in general (from every class) and I really am very sorry for being one. I am branded a joru-ka-ghulam at office and now-a-days primarily chit-chat with women only and restrict my interactions with male colleagues to work related only.

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        • Actually Swarup, I was thinking on the same line while writing the comment. It would need a complete post on its own to truly describe what the so called educated class can do behind a wall of secrecy. I grew up in Delhi and there was a slum dwelling nearby where the maids lived. Every theft, robbery, eve-teasing, harrassment related incidents were automatically blamed on the young slum dwellers. Four years back when I visited India, a 13 yr old boy from the same slum was working at my uncle’s house. (that requires another post where I can vent out my anger on people like my uncle who employ children) The boy was hard working, but my uncle would still shout at him for a missed task or for getting up late. I cried, I fought for this boy but the answer I got repeatedly was – these people need to be treated this way, otherwise they take advantage of you, that I was too naive to understand how clever and distrustful they are. My family even blamed me for spoiling him and said that its easy for me because I would leave and wouldn’t have to deal with his tantrums later.

          The day I heard the boy ran away from my uncle’s house I celebrated. And again I gave my family a piece of my mind. The uncle and people like him won’t change but I wouldn’t be surprised if that boy turned up being a thief or doing something equally bad. Its not enough to say these people are distrustful. They are not treated humanely, they are not allowed to have self respect. If they stare, they are slapped, if they say a word in defense they are slapped in full view of every one present…these employers say the crudest, rudest things to them and behave with them like they have no right to be on this earth.

          I still have a picture of this boy, and the reason why I felt for him was my daughter was the same age as him then. Yes, the educated class commits even more heinous crimes, but its okay. These faces will remain safe and hidden as long as there are class distinctions.

          I must commend you for saying what it is…how it is.

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        • Swarup

          I get what you are saying. But I will say this-guys can be crude, rude, obnoxious as much as they like with other guys. But it is still commendable if they do not harass girls and women in public (or private). It’s a low bar I know, but still If we had crudeness limited to being only in the presence of other males we would still be better off as a society.

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      • I have experienced far less harrassment in rural Tamil Nadu than I have in swanky Noida. I think the harrassment of women is very much a function of geography and local culture.

        In Bangalore, I have rarely been harrassed while walking the streets. Yes, I get bullied a lot while driving but very rarely have been hooted at or groped while out on the streets.

        Since the average man in Bangalore is no more privileged than an average man in Delhi or Gurgaon, your explanation doesn’t account for Bangalore being generally safer than Noida or Gurgaon.

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  27. This letter is so infuriating! I can’t imagine the poor hapless girl having to go through this kinda torture because of these men. Being blamed for something like this is just preposterous. I read this and wished I was there to support her ( I know that sounds silly, but there you go) when it happened. People need to take action against such madness!

    I know how she felt when no one did anything to help or support her. I’ve been leaned on, touched and what not several times and unless I’m with my friends, when I fight back, no one ever says ANYthing. I once complained to the conductor of the bus, and he said NOTHING. Just walked away! And that egged the jerk who was touching me all the more. He didn’t try anything for the rest of the ride, but as he was leaving, he very deliberately stomped on my foot, I cried out loud, and he just leered at me and stepped out of the bus.

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    • Sad to hear that. Usually here in Blr, bus conductors are helpful and elder ladies come to the rescue of complaining girls. But girls still can’t dream of sitting in the back row seats when bus is full. The situation is just terrible.

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  28. Thanks a lot for posting this IHM. I sent this to a lot of toehr bloggers as well of whom I was sure will not ignore it. But they did. You figure out who the true people at heart are at times like these.

    Similarly, my friend also realised how true are the friends in situations like these. She was surprised that so many of her friends just did not want to talk about it. As if nothing happened.

    I’m really thankful to you for helping me spread this. Thanks.

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  29. One more point I want to make. How many of the commentators who think it is the fault of men that this young girl had to suffer this harrowing incident….know such women who would go to any length to ensure their husbands, sons, brothers DID NOT get involved in a public fight that involves a girl, or a fight that involves a girl ‘clad in modern wear’? There is a difference right?

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    • Well what goes around, comes around. These women will get a taste of their own medicine when a mob bullies them and no man is willing to intervene because the wife said “no”.

      Often the very women who prevent their menfolk from getting involved are the first to appeal to male passersby for help when they’re in trouble.

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  30. it’s not a single incident to have happened, but often this occurs….& what we are likely to hear all time, ‘arre! kya zarurat thi jhansi ki rani banne ki…….chup chap jaa nahi paa rahi thi doosre coach mein?’…they would blame you to show your bravery because you are a woman & a symbol of politeness…this world won’t accept you to be brave enough to stand for yourself even by all yours.

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  31. Kudos to you for standing and fighting, and for yelling at the apathetic mob standing and watching. I want to scream now as well – what the **** gives these losers the sense of entitlement? That if you don’t go where you “belong”, they can harass you? That there is no need for even basic decency because you’re “flouting the rule” of standing sequestered in the women’s compartment? And EVERYONE in the damn compartment acknowledges that the train is not safe for women, and BLAMES you for the fisticuffs between those two insecure excuses for mardaangi?

    Big hug to you. We need more women channeling your sort of spirit,and shaking up these “pillars” of “the great Indian Culture”.

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  32. I traveled in metro a lot when I was in Delhi earlier this year. I didn’t hear or witness anything indecent while my husband who was standing near a group of middle aged men later revealed that a couple of men were ogling at the girls sitting and one of them was talking in the phone about his friend’s wife who had good “assets”. I can still feel the rage that covers my whole body in tremors when I think back of that incident. Because of people like this our capital has become rape capital. Ashamed!

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  33. Reblogged this on Coffee time conversations and commented:
    This is something more important than my regular update. Girls beware and be strong. Have courage and fight back. Men, learn to respect. Women, children, elders, everybody. People, what makes you think this won’t happen to you or your loved ones? Support the right side, support and respect women. Fight injustice.

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    • While women’s coach is exclusively for women, it does not mean that they cannot occupy general coaches. It does not matter why she did not take the women’s coach. What matters is that there are guys out there who think it is fair play to harass any woman they come in contact with and that they are encouraged by people like you who ask “why did she not take the women’s coach” instead of “why was he acting like a jerk”.

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    • I didn’t take the women’s coach cause I don’t really have to. I, a woman, statistically do not leer, lech, grope, fondle, verbally and physically harass men, therefore I have the freedom to travel in any coach. Its not that hard to understand. The purpose, misguided though it is, of the women’s coach is primarily to ensure women can travel safely. Does NOT mean, if she chooses to travel in general coaches she’s a free for all and her safety is irrelevant.

      Perhaps we should be asking, why don’t men collectively agree to behave and absolutely and completely refuse to allow other men to harass?

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      • You know, when the metro first started running to Gurgaon, there was no women’s coach for about 6 weeks. I know, because I used to ride it out to my work, and on top of that, I was the only gori on board, but I never personally experienced or saw problems with harassment. Then, when the women’s only coach was added, I noticed that particularly in the evening, men would crowd around at the end and try to peer into the women’s area. If the train wasn’t too crowded then they would actually boldly step into the women’s coach. I and and an Indian (female) colleague once made some men get up and leave, but I noticed that all the other times the women tolerated all this behavior. Indian women suffer from Stockholm syndrome; it’s time for you sisters to break free and speak up!! and to hell with what “people might think” or that you might get labelled a “bad girl.”

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  34. Disturbing account. Don’t know what my reaction would have been If I was among the crowd. But from now on If I come across such a situation, I’ll make sure that I intervene and help the woman out of it.

    But what if I get beaten up for getting involved? I am just a 19yr old kid. How am I supposed to protect myself then?

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    • if everyone thinks how am i going to protect myself then, no one will be able to protect another person. That guy might have been hit and bled once, but if i was in his place, i would walk out with my principles intact and my dignity in a better place than that of the rest of the coach. and thats a big enough deal. Hell, do you realise that this country would never have won its freedom if it wasnt for the thousands who died for a principle?

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    • Try using your sense, don’t just jump into a fight. U can try taking the place of the girl and offer her your place. It may not guarantee that the harrassment will stop but at least you would’ve attracted some attention towards the girl and no body can blame you for starting a fight in case things turn ugly…

      Try resolving things peacefully. The sly, sneaky ones usually stop after the girl raises a voice or someone else intervenes. But the arrogant, misbehaved fools are another breed. You can’t tackle both kinds the same way.

      I would try my best to avoid getting into any kind of interaction with the latter kind. They are there to make someone miserable, scared and/or hurt to derive mad fun out of it. I wouldn’t give such people a chance to use me as a victim whether I am someone being harrassed or I am someone helping a victim.

      We need more people to think like you, women included…!

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  35. Horrible! Horrible. So proud of you, to stand up for yourself. That is what all women should do even if the world does’nt.

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  36. let me share ane experience here. i was at the passport office, with all the documents, trying to finish my work. this was my third day. i had been sent back twice for some document or another, but when i asked them for the list of documents needed for my application, they did not have that list. which means they were inventing documents on the go.
    all of us there were facing the same issue. they did not have a displayed list of documents, were not accepting the list of documents given on the website. most of us were there for days on end.
    on my second day there, a lady , who was being sent back yet again, asked the clerk why he wont accept annexure F on a printed letterhead. The clerk replied that they dont accept computer printouts of letter heads. The lady then asked the clerk to give her this objection in writing, and to write that her application is being sent back for this reason. The clerk refused to give anything in writing. She asked for the rulebook. She was told, to her face “we wil not write anything and we will not accept your papers. you can do whatever you want about it.” She created some noise and asked for the manager.
    They refused to call the manager.
    but this is the interesting part:
    EVEN THOUGH EVERYONE IN THE ROOM WAS FACING THE EXACT SAME ISSUE AS THIS WOMAN, NOT ONE PERSON IN THE ROOM RAISED A VOICE TO SUPPORT HER.
    ALL OF THESE PEOPLE WERE EDUCATED, REASONABLY WELL PLACED AND DEFINITELY KNEW THEIR RIGHTS ENOUGH TO SPEAK UP

    In this case, we are talking abt gender based sexual harassment, but this is a country where we wont even collectively stand up for something that is affecting everyone!

    and that, as much as gender perspectives, is the root of the problem. that we have lost our spines, and are a collective country of cripples.

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  37. Uggghhh… This post makes me soooo angry!
    I remember when I was going home for the weekend from Lonavala(my undergrad college) to
    Pune in the local train… Since my guy friends were also travelling, me and my other two girl-friends got into the general compartments… I and my friend, A had to get down 2 stations earlier, while N, and the other 2 guys had to get off at the last stop… So somehow we got seperated because of the huge crowd between the two doors…. As we were waiting for the stop to come, I felt something on my b*tt… I first thought that its my bag that was pushing against my body… Then I felt it again, a distinct pinch… I turned and glared at the man… And then within 30 sec, I felt it again… I turned and snapped…. I just screamed at him loudly, “Ghar pe biwi bhaav nahi deti toh kisi bhi ladki pe haath maroge kya?” There was this sadhu that told me, beta aaya hi mat karo, ladies mein jaaya karo…. I snapped at him as well, jaana hi padega, aise leechad aadmi bhare hain, pata nahi maa ko bhi, ya behen ko bhi chodte honge ya nahi…. I was just struggling to fight back my tears… I felt so humiliated… I was this close to slapping that &*%@*…. Now that I think about it, I should have called the police… Incompetent they maybe, but it would have atleast scared that pig….

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  38. Just realized that our epic stories like Ramayana and Mahabharata explicitly propagate this thinking. Many say and still do that the wars in Ramayana and Mahabharatha all happened because of women. No one says it was Yudisthir’s uncontrollable gambling or Duryodhana’s greed that paved the way for what ultimately was Kurukshetra. Its all Draupadi’s fault not Duryodhana’s fragile ego.

    Sita was the cause of Ravana’s downfall. Not his arrogance or his kidnapping of Sita. It was Sita herself!

    Talk about blaming the victims!

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  39. I didn’t know there was a country were men and women are segregated like that I know I should have know this happens but I guess the fact that I live in a country where such an act seems strange it is not something I am use to………….I think the way those men acted was disgusting and not how a man should act men and women are equal and both should be treated with respect. If this happened to me I would have felt scared and angry I can’t say whether the fear or the anger would win out but I think it was amazing that your anger won out………….

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    • I am sorry Shashi, you probably didn’t mean to be disrespectful but I got to say something here.

      We ‘Indians’ love making fun of the weak, the mentally or physically challenged, fat people, gays and eunuchs alike. And we call it a joke. Harmless fun.
      Whereas in my opinion, it is anything but harmless and it is anything but fun.

      I can bet you, if there was a chakka’s coach as you called it, women would be safer, well protected, respected…actually ‘treated like normal people’ there. And if there were a chakka present in that general coach, the outcome might’ve been somewhat different than with all the men there..

      It is this notion of manhood that creates problems for everyone.
      Sorry again, didn’t mean to be disrespectful towards anyonw. Just felt the need to stand up for those built differently by the Creator..and shunned by the society for no fault of theirs.

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    • the underlying assumption being that a “chakka” (eunuch) is inherently a coward. People like you can surely heal the world from the curse of bigotry..

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  40. Firstly, a huuuuuuuuuuge round of applause for you. And the fact that you stayed put and did not get off the coach, and you shouldn’t even have.🙂 high five!
    I too would like to relate an incident. I am usually described as a shy and reserved girl. And I admit I am, unless necessary I mind my own business. But when incidents which make my blood boil occurs, I am unable to stop myself. In Delhi, the ritual of throwing water balloons during Holi is the cause of most nuisance. I get it when you want to throw it on the day of diwali, but why a week before holi? And this has just turned to be another methods by men/guys to harass the fairer sex. Two days before holi, I was in a rickshaw going somewhere, when a water balloon hit my chest real hard. I turned my head and saw a group of guys telling a small boy on whom to throw the balloons. It was during the day and right int he middle of the local market place. I stopped the rickshaw right at that moment and got down. The small boy saw me approaching so ran off. But those group of guys, honestly I don’t remember what all i shouted at them. But I just had to, and EVERYBODY remained shut, none spoke that it was wrong what they did. I couldn’t help it, I said, ‘Aap buzurg uncle hai, aap nahi samjha sakte ki yeh galat hai.’ His reply, this is holi!!! I was like yes, this is holi, and it is because you idiotic people who keep your mouth shut that encourages them to harass girls and keep quiet throughout your life like this, bahut tarakki karoge aap. And that same evening, I was again hit by a balloon which hit my stomach so hard, unfortunately it came out of nowhere and I couldn’t spot the person. At the end, I know none spoke for me, but it FELT good, that I did not keep my mouth shut.

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  41. >
    >Can you imagine stepping in between 2 aggressive physically violent men and trying
    >to stop a fight?
    >
    why not ? even the guy who spoke up for you took a risk to stand for you– something nobody else in the compartment didnt take.
    if you cant take a stand for someone who is risking for you– then what does it speak of your own sense of guts or character ?
    do you think the guy who got smashed will ever again take the same risk for standing for a woman he doesnt know ?

    Would you ever push your brother or husband to take a stand for a unknown woman when you know this is the kind of risk they face ?
    If you had screamed or spoken up– probably the crowd would have ganged up on the 1st guy OR other woman would have come in.
    Just my thoughts… having myself also gotten smashed for a stranger girl who thought her safety was more important than standing up for her rights OR even speaking up for someone who is getting hurt for her..

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    • The guy who spoke for me made it about himself soon enough when he announced to the 1st guy that the 1st guy can speak to me however he wants but he better speak with respect to him. Why is that so hard to grasp? I really don’t understand where this mental block originates? So, just because he spoke up and then made it about his manhood and then proceeds to brawl for his injured pride, I should still anyways hero-worship him? Hero-worship a man who really didn’t care how the harasser was treating me!? No thanks.

      Lets not get into conjecture of how anyone would behave in any situation over the internet. Asking questions how will your brother behave and how will your cat behave is ridiculous. I genuinely expected the crowd to DO something, it didn’t. Maybe next time it will. Who knows.

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  42. Sadly, I am not surprised about the way the mob reacted. I was narrating this incident to my friends (guys) over lunch today and one of them, a Delhite, said “Arre ladki ne hi kuch kiya hoga. Tumko pata nahi kya. Delhi mein ladkiyan zabardasti general mein ghusti hain kyunki unko in sab mein mazaa aata hain. Tum kaise maan sakti ho ki ladki ki koi galti nahi. Agar poori compartment uske khilaaf hain to obviously uski koi na koi galti ho hogi na. Baaki poori janta bewakoof hain kya?”. I am speechless!
    What my friends kept repeating again and again was that when ladies know that they would face trouble if they board the general compartment, why do they still do it? Why cant they stick to the Ladies coach? I am unable to explain that if the train has 9 general compartments and 1 ladies compartment, you cannot expect the men to have a free run in the general compartment while the ladies stay in the ladies one. But then again they ask me “If men come to the ladies compartment you girls make a big fuss. Then why should we give you a peaceful time in the general compartment??” :-S

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    • Honestly, I have been asked these same questions and faced these same comments before this incident and post this incident and will continue to come across these folks who cannot grasp the concept of right to travel in ANY coach regardless of gender, caste and race. The fact that we have a separate coach for women just endorses this neanderthal mindset and encourages segregationist attitude in both men and women.

      What’s even worse is that these folks forget, general does not mean “mens only”. In their heads, its a typo.

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  43. I read this and all the comments rather late.
    I just got back from a long tour and was out of touch with blogosphere for over two weeks.
    Sorry to hear about this sad experience.
    I believe the lady is innocent.
    She did not cause the fight.

    I am shocked by the reactions of Divya’s Delhi friend.
    The public needs to be educated.
    The authorities must prominently display a message that Ladies compartments are for Ladies only and that General compartments are for both ladies and gentlemen.
    To you and me this should be obvious. But sadly many men need to be educated.
    I agree with clueless chick’s comments on Sita and Draupadi.
    I loved reading Sumana’s latest blog post in which she has referred to this post.
    Recommended reading.
    http://kaapizone.blogspot.in/2012/07/day-in-life-of-pervert.html
    Looking forward to following your future blog posts and participating actively as I used to.
    Regards
    GV

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  44. This is a sad and a Shocking incident where people are trying to blame the girl and not looking at the root cause (Harassed by bad guy at first) no one blamed him for the incident and the guy anyways tried to act even if for other reasons got beaten up. I feel guys esp. in Delhi NCR region are crude and insensitive and do not have respect for women… I am against the concept of a separate coach for women this way man will never learn to live will women and it also creates a mindset that 90% coaches should be used by men. In Calcutta metro there are no separate coaches and people travel in harmony. Hats off to her…

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  45. People need to get out of their gender shoes and see what is basically ‘common sense’.

    Ever since the whole concept of women’s coach in the Delhi metro has begun, I usually prefer traveling in the women’s coach because now every time I enter the general coach, the men stare at me as if I have accidentally entered men’s washroom.

    However, one cannot teach barbarians that ‘general’ does not mean ‘men’. But after reading this post, I have made up my mind. I am going to go back to traveling in the general compartment. They cannot make me feel like I am in a wrong place. It’s not ‘their’ place.

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    • Thank you.

      I wish this could be started as a movement, where women collectively to the extent possible agree to boycott women’s coaches. I do not want to be misunderstood. I take the women’s only coach many times due to the sheer number of people in certain stations. It’s madness really and I’d rather be squished against a strange woman instead of a strange man and come out with my dignity and safety intact. I also understand the government probably cannot provide more coaches or trains to accommodate the massive volume of people who use the metro, I sincerely wish they would if its possible. So maybe asking every woman to always travel in general coaches would be a little impracticable. But maybe when the circumstances are favorable to travelling in general coaches, we should make it a point to.

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  48. I really commend you for standing your ground in the face of such an irrational mob but disagree with the way you have phrased some parts of your experience

    when the first guy was harassing you the second guy tried to stop him…and the situation escalated to a fight

    while i dont per se blame you for the fight it would be unfair of you to absolve all responsibility towards the fight happening (even if that is the response that must be taken against a stupid mob)

    and secondly for all the male bashing happening here the 2nd guy intervened in a matter which did not involve anybody he knew and eventually got into a fight which led to physical damage to him and all you’ve done is criticize him and bash him the way uve bashed the rest of them…so as a male whats the lesson..if a women is being molested i shouldn’t confront the guy unless the entire crowd is with me(which it probably never will)

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    • Sorry to barge in – you probably didn’t get the response of the 2nd guy properly. It was his male chauvinistic ego that propelled him to intervene, and not the intension of helping the lady. If it was really the lady whom he wanted to help – he wouldn’t have left the scene to satisfy his own interest of fight.

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      • So if a women is telling a guy to ” please step back you are crowding me.” and he ignores her and another guy tells him ” when she’s asking you to move why don’t you just move?” its male chauvinistic ego now. So if a random girl is getting molested and i tell a guy to stop doing it im doing it for my male chauvinistic ego na and not to try to help her? badhiya hain m(_ _)m

        And by getting into the fight he did solve the initial problem of molestation. If he hadnt all the OP would have got to complain about would be that people in the metro molest and thats sadly not even newsworthy in present day india..It was because he tried to intervene that this entire tamasha happened.

        I agree that he could have handled the issue better next time..but what if he tried to peacefully sort it out and the women complained ki aajkal ke men kaise se hain..they cant even fight to protect a women’s honour..

        I also agree that the fight eventually took place because dono ek doosre ke saath chaudne lag gaye and the crowd’s reaction in this case was just pathetic so the general thrust of the article is spot on but i feel in trying to get her point across she is painting all men with the same brush.

        If we can go back in time and stop this problem what would i have to do in this case. Obviously stopping the guy from crowding would be coz of my male chauvinist ego so ill just let him carry on i suppose and stop the 2nd male chauvinist guy. All problems solved..oh wait she still got molested but in that case you can only blame one guy and cant get a post with so many reads na but thats ok.atleast nobody came to stop the molester for his male chauvanist ego so everybodys happy.

        And i realize why people might be opposed to the idea of women’s coach but the point is that it was an attempted solution to the problem.The problem was that people in India have such a patriarchal mindset and molest women..and that isnt going to change in a few days…so due to complaints of molestation and to to enable women to be able to travel safely the women’s coach was created so that women of this time can use the metro facility without fear of molestation.

        If it was removed what is going to happen..there will be molestation in all the coaches(since all men are as tharki as the post has proved) instead of all but one so while i understand your theoretical concerns against the women’s coach practicality bhi kisi chidiya kaa naam hota hain and the govt has to take steps keeping that in mind. In an ideal world women could do whatever they want and noone would do anything to them them but the world isnt ideal. Let me ask you..you do have a right to walk around at 2 in the night and noone should harm you and theoretically you can do that all you want ..but if you actually do that there is a chance that something might happen which is why you dont, and your parents would also advise you against it. If you chose to walk around in solitary streets at night saying that its your right do you honestly feel 100% safe even though theoretically you should be able to. So yes travelling by a general coach is your right and noone should stop you from it but it depends on your priorities. If you want to avoid molestation at all costs then use the women’s coach. If you use general there is a chance that this might happen (even if it shouldnt) and you can complain about it all you want but mindset changes dont happen magically.

        That being said i think you were really brave for standing your ground even when everybody was talking shit against you and hats off to you…but the price of bravery is that you have to go to the battlefield and get some wounds and sadly the general compartment of the delhi metro seems to have become a battlefield for women

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  49. read this earlier – re-blogged it in my space…
    and woke up today with the news of another pathetic incident from Guwahati !

    Honestly speaking – as the time goes on, I feel more and more ashamed to call myself and “Indian Male” – to be put into the same bracket as all these people…

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