Bangalore Witnessed

Written By

Chitra Doraiswami

Bangalore witnessed Loading

Bangalore witnessed some very ugly scenes recently – on New Year’s eve, on trendy MG and Brigade Roads! Since then the media has flooded us with opinions, counter opinions, expressions of outrage and news about vigils, sit-ins, squat outs…!

True. It must have been awful to have a lecherous crowd of men trying to paw the girls. Nightmarish for those women and hellish for the men with them who were trying to protect them.

Why did the girls go there?” I asked, and unleashed a wave of ‘anti-me’ remarks from the guys and young gals I know. “We have a right to go where we like and when we want,’ said one. “People like you want to impose a curfew on all women”, scolded another. “Why don’t you tell the men to behave?”’ reprimanded a third.

Ok. Now that the yelling has stopped I would like to point out a few things…no bias!

Your placard-holding march with some men and transgenders isn’t going to make a difference. For the main part, the guys who do such things are not very literate. If they are educated at all, they would be the first in their families!

No, no. I’m not saying that educated men will not grope, lech or misbehave. They are usually perverts. They are to be found everywhere. Most of us will accept that we had an ‘uncle’ (or two, if really unlucky) who hugged you too close, tried to walk into the bathroom when you were bathing, or at least, stood way too close to you. Creeped you out!

But the errant taxi driver, auto chappie, the factory worker, etc. do it for another reason. They probably adore their mother, are very protective of their sisters and keep a strict watch on their wife. They are women-stree, like our goddesses, to be worshipped. These adored women stay at home, do their bidding and are subservient to their men folk. But you and I are not made of that mould. We are different and this scares them. We are a threat to their macho-ness. We frighten them by our independence and our ability to handle most things. Hence they want to ‘break’ us at every chance they get. “After all, you are just a woman“. The strong (always) bash the weak.

Yes, this mindset has to change. Women will have to bring up their boys better, not let their husbands or men-in-charge treat them badly, bring up their girls to be brave and smart. You think all this will happen in two days? This has been the way the East has been for centuries. But, does that mean we have to put up with indignities?

Not at all.  I say, be careful, avoid very crowded spaces, ‘specially when drinking and roistering is likely. Your man is just one guy against a nasty mob. He cannot do much to protect you. Nobody is asking you to stay home and eschew parties. Stay with your gang, don’t accept drinks from anyone, don’t drink unless you can sleep over at your party place. It’s no good putting yourself in harm’s way and then feeling sullied and soiled by the touch of louts.

Stay safe.




Chitra Doraiswami, 69, is from Bangalore. She has written for many publications such as the Deccan Herald, The Times, Femina, Eve’s Weekly, etc. Chitra has many an interesting tale to tell including the one about finishing her Masters along with her son; sadly “only” getting a First Class, where her son got a rank. She joined CMR, NPS as Headmistress two decades ago and is now known as the Associate Principal of the institution. She also has a sixteen year old grandson. Chitra is an avid dancer, reader and drama-enthusiast. She's traveled extensively with her husband who was in the IAF. She taught wherever they were posted. Chitra enjoys teaching people innovative ways of helping children learn, but she is definitely not the prototypical fluffy grandma!

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