© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
A “group” of four –five men was halted by the woman security guard. “Show me your pass” She asked.
All of them large sized, different complexions, dressed in all possible indecent dress codes but one common factor: chests and biceps were their only faces. Gold ornaments were their only social claim to respect. Failing which, the revolvers that could be seen beneath the shirts were meant to convey the message loud and clear.
“Our patient is serious, in room XXX. You can ask your boss.. He said we can go in. Go ahead, call your boss”. They smiled shamelessly, as two of them made faces at the awkward security guard. Knowing the VIP patient and his ways, she had no answer. They walked in, and as they passed the entrance, one of them abused her with one of the worst expletives, looking somewhere else. Her tears were as audible as her wet voice.
They all entered an elevator which had not only a patient on wheelchair, but a seventy plus doctor whom the whole medical fraternity respected, and a few male and female young resident doctors. The “musclegold group” made its way closest to one of the female doctors and together, scanned her from head to toe, notwithstanding the angry gazes of everyone else in the elevator. The senior professor tried to ease the situation by talking to the students about a case, when one of the “group” made an obscene comment which I am sure they won’t ever make in the presence of any of their own family. Everyone in that elevator will now remember that moment as one of the most embarrassing and disgusting one in their life. Their fiery eyes kept lustfully embarrassing all humanity till they went out. I wonder if that lady was able to sleep that night.
They went on walking like they were all movie heroes, a culture of arrogant, muscular, aggressive macho men cracking cheap jokes, taking for granted that this attracted all women without exception, and those women who are not actually falling down yet, will do so when they start passing indecent comments and throw the nauseating pick-up lines. They were blind to the disgust in the eyes of everyone sane around them. Whether it was the nurses, receptionists, servants, relatives, doctors or even patients upon the stretcher: if female, the “group”s eyes were full of shameless lust that moved all over their bodies, and if male, their eyes said “try me for a fight”, “just please argue so we can start a physical”.
Age of the girl / woman / lady is immaterial for these “visuo-sexual” offenders.
They are connected and related to almost all those who must act against them.
They usually have a boss too: in white linen, with colorful indications of powerful affiliations, language where threats compensate for the grammar, and who knows your bosses too, who is also a close friend of the ultimate bosses in the region. All of them have mother, sister, wife, daughter etc. at home. All of them are very powerful, with hundreds of such “groups” who are their ardent followers cum bodyguards cum social valets. They make the regional bigshots in society and politics, hence are often protected by those who run the show.
But none of these “Manly” powerful men and richest of the rich are ever seen interfering with this daily scene in almost all hospitals, malls, theaters, offices, gardens, colleges, roads, markets and almost all public places. No political party swears or makes agenda against insulting, misbehaving and harassment of women in public places. There are so many dreadful national and regional political parties in India, but there is none which stands against this “daily roadside” eve teasing, and visual/ verbal harassment. All those muscles, all those macho looks and words and all those guns are so useless when someone else’s mother or sister is openly abused. So many intellectuals on big posts. So many educated ministers. So many “Super Duper” public-ke –liye channels: all unconscious until there is a mishap or a crime. And also the ‘pseudos’ who take every opportunity to exploit the “news” under the pretext of sympathy.
We need to add “Stree-suraksha’ to the essentials “Roti-Kapda aur Makaan” in India now. We need at least one national political party to take up this cause.
A woman is much more than a mother, sister, wife or a daughter. She is as much an individual as anyone else. It must be extremely difficult for her to endure this type of rotten behavior.
We must extend the “Beti Bachaao” slogan to “Beti Bachaao, uski rakshaa karo aur usse sadaa sammaan do” (Save, protect and also respect the girl child). And maybe also launch “Beta sudharo” abhiyaan, to educate boys from kindergartens how to treat a woman.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande