So there was this news that flashed all over the TV and newspapers for nearly a week after new years. A very unfortunate event in Mumbai wherein 2 women were molested by a mob of 70 men! Below is NDTV’s article on the same:
Mumbai ashamed, two girls molested
Wednesday, January 2, 2008 (Mumbai)
The shocking pictures of two young women being molested by a mob of 70 to 80 men at Mumbai’s Juhu area in the early hours of New Year’s Day, has ashamed the city.
The women, one in a black dress and the other in a jeans and top emerged from the JW Marriott with two male friends around 1:45 am, and began walking towards Juhu beach close by.
A mob of about 40 got after them and began teasing the women when one of the women swore loudly at the hooligans. But the mob, now 70-80 strong, wouldn’t let go.
They trapped the women near a vehicle and a tree, and pounced on them. A man in a white shirt tore off the black dress. Another, in a blue shirt, led the assault.
As the women fell on the ground, dozens of men jumped on them.
These pictures were taken by two Hindustan Times lensmen, who alerted the police. The HT photographers claimed that the police didn’t summon them, but they went and recorded statements as witnesses.
Archana Tyagi, Additional Commissioner of Police, Mumbai said, ”I have seen reports today in Hindustan Times. We will certainly take action. HT didn’t show me the pictures yesterday. It happened on 31st night. I got in touch with the girls, they are not from Mumbai and not in Mumbai. We will take action as soon as possible.”
The police said that they will register a suo moto complaint on the case.
Meanwhile, Mumbai’s top cop, Commissioner D N Jadhav feels that the incident is being blown out of proportion and that the police did whatever they could to rescue the girls. The commissioner also said that molestation can happen anywhere.
The state’s Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil made a statement saying, that the police chief’s reaction was inappropriate and that the government was taking the matter seriously.
There is strong reaction from the people on the incident. ”Mumbai is heading towards being the Delhi jungle, where women are attacked every hour. Even if there is no complaint from the girls, police should take action immediately. I am ashamed to live in a city, where there is disrespect all around,” said adman Alyque Padamse.
”Women in Mumbai are not safe. We have always been asking for an increase in women police force because Mumbai is so crowded and so many people are coming from various places, I think security should be beefed up,” said Dr Shubha Raul, Mumbai Mayor.
Exactly a year ago in the otherwise known to be safe city, a girl was molested by New Year Eve revellers at the Gateway of India.
Marriott distances itself
The hotel J W Marriott, which the two women had reportedly just left before being attacked by the mob, has distanced itself from the incident.
In a statement the hotel strongly objected to being dragged into the controversy and asserted that the incident did not take place outside the hotel, but closer to a school further down the road.
In fact the hotel added that an assistant commissioner of police was at the hotel along with the staff supervising.
The statement said, ”Whilst we understand that Mariott Mumbai is one of the most important landmarks in the vicinity we strongly disapprove the loose mention of our hotel in this very unfortunate incident.”
Defending its own arrangements the hotel said it had tripled its security for New Years Eve and advised its guests to stay off the streets.
Now, I sat back reading the news, hearing people talk about it in various emotions like anger, fear, sadness, shame etc. and I felt the exact same way when I heard of this for the first time. A little while later, I thought WHY? Why does this happen in India? Generally when I have questions in my head, I initially seek for answers from outside like, in this case, talking to people or watching debates on this issue on the TV. Some people said women should not be allowed to go out that late and if they do, they should ne ready for this kind of an event to occur. Other feminists thought these men should be executed for disrespecting women. But I did not see anyone talking about WHY it happens.
My husband and I were talking about it when he told me about the “aquarium” system in Singapore wherein women are displayed behind glass doors and men can “pick” the one they want and release their sexual energy in a healthy way (as opposed to molesting women). These women (Commercial Sex Workers) are paid by the hour and get a medical test once in every 15 days. This system is legal in Singapore and every woman in this profession carries a license. The following are the stats of Rape in Singapore in 2007:
Crimes against persons registered 4,084 cases in 2007, compared to the 4,103 cases in 2006. This category refers to crimes where the victim is an individual and suffers bodily harm as a result of the crime. It includes offences such as murder, rioting, rape and outrage of modesty among others. There were 18 murders in 2007, compared to 17 in 2006, all of which were isolated and unrelated. All, except one, were solved. Excluding statutory rape cases, rape fell from 80 in 2006 to 72 in 2007.
Yes, Singapore’s population is way lesser than India’s but I honestly feel that Indian men are denied of a socially acceptable sexual vent which leads to such traumatic incidents. In the frigging land of Kamasutra where most of the Hindu Gods practice polygamy and the pillars in numerous temples have sculptures of people doing it doggy style, Sex is taboo! Wow, now THAT is hypocrisy. As a kid, I wasn’t told about the “good touch” and the “bad touch” is. Was I affected by that? Yes. I was 7 when I asked my mom how babies are born and she said they are “gifted” by God. It’s truly amazing how our folks come up with innovative ways to make babies. The best one however was when my friend’s mom told her that babies are made out of clay by God and the lack of any body part is because he runs out of clay. Why is so hard for parents to educate their children about sex?
Coming back to the Mumbai incident, the commissioner stated that the issue is being blown out of proportion. Yes, it was made a big deal one of the reasons being the men who were involved were not behind bars. One they were caught, the issue faded away from TV and newspapers. When someone as powerful as the commissioner exhibits such a callous attitude and says things like this happen all over the place, what message does that give out to molesters and rapists? That it is ok to do it because it happens everywhere? That molestation is not that big a deal? Exactly a year ago, a woman in her mid 20s decides to usher into the New Year by going to a party and pays the price by getting molested by a mob in spite of police presence and in full public view; she yells and screams for help as a few perverted men tear her dress below the waist. Even her companion at the party – a young man of almost same age – is unable to help her when in the course of being pulled and pushed, the woman falls down and the perverts get another chance to outrage her modesty for nearly ten minutes.
For all those who blame the victim saying she was inappropriately dressed (read scantly dressed) and therefore invited lecherous men to molest her, cameraman Shadab also captured another incident of molestation –a saree-clad woman, at the same venue, and almost the same time getting molested by a small mob of men. She was comparatively lucky to have gotten help and move out before anything untoward could happen to her.
I know for sure that I would not like my kids to grow up in India. India is rich in its culture blah blah but where did basic human values disappear?