The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

And here comes the sad news. While I was wryly enjoying the hullabaloo in Colombo on the 31st, in various cities in India, women were being abused and molested. While I know that neither eve teasing nor abuse and violence against women is anything new, I was particularly mortified when reading the following stories, courtesy Shrek.

Have a look at the picture on the left. This happened, I believe, on New Year's Day 2008. A married couple, together with a cousin and another young women, exits a hotel at 1.30 in the morning and starts walking towards the beach. A group of men, numbering 40 - 50, starts following them, taunting the women. The mob grows into 70 - 80 men, eventually trapping the two women and their helpless companions. One of the men actually tore off the dress of one of the women, as shown in the picture. As the women fell on the ground, dozens of men jumped on them. The photographs were taken by two Hindustan Times reporters, who happened to be in the vicinity. One of the reporters managed to locate a police van, which eventually managed to chase the mob away.

Full series of pictures:

Full story:

This is almost a replay of a similar event that took place on New Year's Eve 2007. On New Year’s Eve, a reporter from Midday, Shadab Khan, was perched atop a police post, trying to capture the spirit of the revellers. Instead, what he captured was a crowd of about sixty people surrounding a
young girl and her boyfriend at the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The screaming girl was molested by the thugs while her boyfriend was roughly pushed aside. In the melee her dress was torn and she fell down. Miraculously, the couple managed to extricate themselves from the crowd and run away. The police have managed to arrest several suspects based on the photographs provided by the reporter.

Full story:

To sum up with the final story, a Swedish father and his 15 year old daughter landed up on a Kerala beach to usher in the New Year, only to have the poor girl manhandled by some jerk.

Full story:



WTF???? Imagine the brazenness of the men involved in all of the above incidents. Even the fear of being photographed couldn't keep them at bay. And if not for the photographers? Who knows how these stories would've ended. This is not merely one man assaulting a woman, but a hole mob. In the most metropolitan of cities, is this how safe women are? In a country that spent millions on an advertising campaign called
Incredible India, is it this type of incredulousness that you want your tourists to feel? Surely, instead of rebuilding temples, the concerned political parties should try educating the masses.

I have been to India - it is a beautiful country with some truly lovely people. But with this kind of ugliness simmering underneath, how far can it expect to grow? No amount of IT companies, no amount of wealth and vehicles will compensate for the total lack of humanity displayed in such incidents. How much development can you truly expect, when one half of the country is yet to learn how to respect the other half?

Let us also not kid ourselves - these types of incidents are common, if not quite on this scale, across the region. Eve teasing incidents can be found a dime a dozen on any given day.

Napoleon said that if we educate a woman, we educate a nation. How can we educate a woman when we cannot even protect her?


Actually this has happened in a number of places and isn't limited to India. I've seen/heard of instances in New Orleans, Cabo (during Spring Break), etc. Note that I am NOT condoning it or anything silly like that (seems obvious but misinterpretation is so easy these days).

Mob mentality is an ugly, ugly thing. Not sure how it can be handled except for firm, quick police action and preemptive crowd control.

Nice blog!:)

An excellent, well written and well linked post.
As women, we need to express our anguish over such happenings otherwise they will be taken as the norm. In the 21st century, the least men can do is to treat women as equals if not better.
Keep it up.

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