Monday, 28 November 2011

Time to speak up , Man.........

By Amitabh Kumar, Head of Media and Communication at Centre for Social Research and one of CSR’s gender trainers
It was 21:43 I had just finished dinner when I got a call from a Scottish friend of mine , usually her voice is full of life , positivity but tonight she sounded threatened , so much fear in her voice. She informed me that she was in an auto rickshaw on the ‘ Nelson Mandela Road ‘ and the driver who had been acting sleazy was slowing down in a dark patch, she was scared to death . I told her to be on the phone with me as I rushed to her. I live in J.N.U so was superbly close , as I raced my car to get to her, there was so much fear in me.

What if something happens to her ?
Should I ask her to call the cops ?
Should I ask friends in vasant kunj to get there ?
What am I supposed to do once I get there ?
Do I go all Rambo on the rickshaw driver and beat him to death ?
What if he is stronger or has a knife or a gun ?
Racing through the nelson mandela marg , almost getting into 2 accidents , I saw her standing in front of the b11 market , she was safe ! She got in the car I dropped her home. Afraid for all my other friends who commute at night , furious at bastards who do not respect women , and ashamed at how little I do to change the scenario I drove back.

I have spoken to many people about it since that night ,almost every one said ‘ well she should have not been taking an auto all alone after it gets dark’. The more I heard this answer the more it troubled me , half of my city lives in constant fear of the other half . And we instead of fighting back instead of saying lets find that auto rickshaw driver , put him in jail , beat him up , ensure he never drives an auto again , say ‘ DO NOT TAKE AN AUTO ALONE WHEN IT GETS DARK !!!!

We defend the guilty and blame the victim. With all honesty I hope I had told her note down the number of the auto , in my fear and first instinct of protection it did not occur to me, similarly I think it does not occur to us that avoiding this problem has lead it to take the epidemic dimensions it has today.

So why do I pen down all these thoughts ??

Because I believe its only by being able to express ourselves we can get to the next step of acting on it. So many times we feel so strongly about things but never express it because its not cool/not what people like to hear / cause we are not sure what we did was right or wrong.

This Blog is part of the Men Say No Blogathon, encouraging men to take up action against the violence faced by women. More entries to the Blogathon can be read at Join further conversation on &