India's culture is ancient, noble and exalted. It has been the most tolerant nation in the world accepting every faith and every race. But of late this great culture is getting raped!
Women in the Indian states like Kerala are subjected to pinching, stalking, hooting, singing with sexual undertones and flashing of objects. I still remember a guy who used to piss openly standing towards his neighbor’s house when he knew the lady of the house is outside doing her daily chores. He used to go on passing until the lady, noticing him holding his manhood in the guise of urinating, had to go inside expressing her displeasure.
No girl can pass alone through the roads without inviting derisive comments. No woman-whatever be her age-will be spared. Then imagine their plight at night or after dusk has fallen. A bevy of loitering youth or middle-aged guys will start stalking her as if every woman is available for sex. Even foreign tourists are not spared these days. This made an Italian traveler comment: ‘Kerala is the most sex-hungry place in the world!’
Women here experience eve-teasing in every phase of their life every day, every where: at school, at college, at the work-place, in the public transport vehicles, in the parks, cinema halls, festival sites… It is a clear case of sexual harassment but most women prefer to ignore it. They are advised to dress ‘modestly’ when they go out and come home early. Men are free to dress the way they want to; they can flaunt their chest or buttock muscles (remember today’s low waste stuff) or walk half naked in the house or even outside. They dress to their convenience and comfort. Nobody can question it, let alone women. But women have to conform to society (men) approved norms; even if it is scorching hot and humid. Are they not equal human beings too? Are they simply sex-objects of men? The sad paradox is that even if they are covered up fully from head to foot, there is a lot of sexual harassment. As they try to board a bus or train they are subjected to a squeeze here, a touch there or a poking in the most undesirable places. There are those who make it a point to press against a woman in a crowded bus or train and enjoy the pleasure of continuing with the pressure maintained at peak levels. If she does not protest, the thing will go on until the natural pressure releasing system comes to work. There is the story of a man who followed a lady traveling in a bus for 15 kilometers. When she alighted and shouted at him he said casually: “I have not touched you yet and all that I want is to ask you out for tea.” What a way to ask a strange girl for a date! This happens in a state where literacy rate is near to 100% and where people claim to be very cultured. Well, women have been discriminated against throughout history in all lands; but this attitude has changed and now men and women are equal and they march together respecting each other. It is a pity we are still a century or two behind. Men and boys are free to go out, drink in a pub or hang out to their heart’s content but girls have restrictions in everything everywhere. Last year a bevy of youth beat up women who were drinking bear in a Mangalore pub. Let women have fun and let them enjoy life as men do. Keralites have advanced in many fields and they cannot be lagging behind in their behavior to women. Today every girl past 10 feels insecure to go out alone; she feels her body can be trounced or molested and the virtues she holds dear can be defiled by lurking men all around. Is this culture? .