Just the day before we were all reading the verdict of the Prathibha murder case. The newspapers were full of articles regarding how this shocking incident changed the whole approach to providing a secure work and travel atmosphere to women employees. Many It companies changed their policies, many rules and regulations were established regarding this. Today, after all these, how women-friendly are our cities?
This very shocking and humiliating experience happened to a girl I know. She is working in one of those bing Indian multinationals in Bangalore. One day she left office at 8 p.m. and was walking home. It was not a very isolated or remote area, there were lot of people around. As she walked, a man who was stading at the roadside moved closer, took a sip of water from a bottle in his hand and spat the whole thing on to her face. She was shocked, scared and humiliated beyond words. As the man laughed out aloud, people around made a half-hearted effort to catch this guy. He threatened them with the bottle in his hand and ran away.She walked home with tears of hurt and humiliation streaming down her face.
We are not speaking about remote villages where women still remain inside the four walls of the house. This is Bangalore, and we are speaking about a professionally qualified girl who would probabaly have a fat pay cheque. Does education and high paid jobs really make things easier for girls?
We take things seriously when something as big as rape or murder happen. The newspapers get a sensational news item and they run the story for days together. Nobody really cares for things like these. Many girls put up with things like these - wilful acts of humiliation. For newspapers, policmen and spectators these are 'minor incidents'.
Why is it that in this country some bastard could do this and then walk away just like that? Why do we always lead our complacent lives believing things like that happen to someone else?