As the Indian government passes the law for more stringent punishments for stalking, voyeurism and acid attacks on women, buzz sets in. Hopes and expectations have risen like bubbles of boiling water. Before these bubbles experience a fall and you think it was just gravity pulling these down, let me advise you what to expect.
What to Expect?
Good question. If you are being stalked by someone then you may register a complaint to your nearest police station.
What not to expect?
Great question! Well, you already know it. 😉 Do not expect the police to register your complaint.
For your information, it is now a punishable offence for police personnel not to register an FIR. We were in need of one such law on paper at least. Happy realization Indian Government!
Central Government Act Section 294(b) in The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (b), whoever sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.
Section 509: Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman – whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
My experience so far:
- Eve-Teasing: A guy, sorry, a boy, not even 15 years old, eve-teased me under section 294(b). My friend slapped the boy. The boy left. He came back with three more guys, this time adults. Before that argument became physical, I felt it was time we called the police. The police station was nearby. I warned the boys that I will take them to the police. I was stupefied at their agreement to this proposal. At the police station, the guys made a phone call. I guess they had the policemen talk to some politician because after the call the policemen started scolding us for getting involved with ruffians. They told us that our law always takes the side of the ‘minor’. The men in Khaki refused to register a complaint, and as a token of mercy they let ‘us’ free.
- Stalking: A few months back, I started getting calls from a mobile number. I handled it my way first. (Some abusive words, warnings of a police complaint, blah…blah) The stalker didn’t budge. Then I decided to ignore those calls. Calls started pouring in from a few more numbers. Finally, I lodged a complaint to the police.The police called back on the number I was getting calls from and asked me to change my number as a solution. I had to feel satisfied that they at least registered my complaint this time.
- Eve-teasing maybe: I had gone to register a complaint against a phone theft and one of the policemen started staring at me in a way I felt very uncomfortable. I looked back at him in order to make him realize that I knew what he was up to. He gave up, but I felt eve-teased in the police station by a policeman. Where could I register an FIR?
Moral of the crap written above: the Bill is fit for the paper. (Add Only!)
What do I think?
We can deal with eve-teasing, molestation and all such crimes together. By the way, we fought colonialism without a war. Non-cooperation movement, if your memories are withering. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-cooperation_movement) We may all raise our voice together, and I’m sure it will be heard. We have the right to object. We do not always have to co-operate with the society and the situation. Poor women of our country, they fight only with outsiders. In fact, some of them believe wrong is wrong only when it‘s known to people. Well, this is something that deserves a full-fledge discussion. For now, I have something else to say.
Do you know who gives birth to eve-teasers and molesters? A woman. Biologically. And for what I know, some women fail to prevent their boys from maturing into eve-teasers and molesters. Some women. I know many of them who stand by their boys irrespective of what they do. Whether it’s hitting another boy or hitting at girls. When boys fortunate enough to have a family become eve-teasers, their families share the crime. It is the crime of not imbibing in their kids respect for women. When a mother compares her son and daughter only on the basis of gender, she shares the crime.
Of course, fathers too are equally responsible. If we cannot expect this from a woman, then there’s no point in blaming the other gender and the society. A mother should be a woman first, a mother second. When a family sends its son out of the house, it should at least make sure that its son is moral enough to resist the malice coming from bad peer group.
You do not open the window when you know that the wind coming in could be dusty, do you?