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Bengaluru molestation: Forget women's clothes, it's the social psyche that needs cure

Dogs and wolves are known to hunt in packs. Every time you wish to see men emulate this behaviour, do just three things: Allow them the high of alcohol, the company of friends, the anonymity of a mob and then put them in the midst of women.

Samajwadi Party politician Abu Aazmi is wrong and, obviously, a specimen of the regressive and patriarchal politician that is dime a dozen in India. How molesters behave with women has nothing to do with what they wear — shorts, skirts, salwars or sarees — or which civilisational ethos they follow. The false bravado of alcohol, the feeling of security that comes in the company of men and their inner inadequacies and frustrations would make them pounce even on a mannequin in the Gobi Desert.

If the Nirbhaya case did not convince us then, the Bengaluru episode should now: Men will not be men, boys, unfortunately, would not be boys. In groups, they would be dogs and wolves in packs.

The incident in Bengaluru, where women were molested by revellers in the presence of cops, is just another example of the herd mentality of men, how they act and behave when individuals are stripped of their inhibitions and fears and their latent bestiality is exposed in the cover of darkness.

New Year's eve celebration in Bengaluru turned into a nightmare for women. Image courtesy: CNN-News18

New Year's eve celebration in Bengaluru turned into a nightmare for women. Image courtesy: CNN-News18

Let us put this into perspective again. Imagine a world without cops — which Bengaluru was on that night — and fear of the law. Imagine hundreds of drunk, drooling men on a road. And then imagine a few women between them. This, essentially, is what we have now come to.

It is a shame. In a country that has 65 percent of its population below 35. In an era where we claim rapid advances in education, civilisational values and cultural revolution, a next generation city like Bengaluru turns into a hunting ground for herds, a veritable jungle where wolves and dogs stalk their quarry without fear, shame, self-restraint or iota of self-respect. If this is the plight of Bengaluru--the cradle of Indian modernity, hub of technology--fear the fate of women in rest of India.

What's the way out? Just as a mad elephant fears the ankush of his mahout, a deranged dog fears the stick of its master, fear of the law, of course, is the key for taming molesters. Unfortunately, cops are in so low numbers at such events and are outnumbered by a huge majority — in Bengaluru there were just around 1500 cops for thousands of revellers — preventive policing is simply not possible.

So, that leaves us with the option of reactive policing — catching the culprits and giving them exemplary punishment. But, as events in Bengaluru and before that in the Jyoti Singh case — cops are simply not interested in acting swiftly and with adequate force. The standard response of the cops is same across India: First deny, then, if forced to act under public pressure, go slow on investigation.

In Bengaluru, the police failed to register a single FIR in spite of the fact that its staff were present on the site and, as reports indicate, approached with complaints and entreaties for help by women who were pawed. Did not a single cop report the incident? Was the entire police force blind to the lawlessness and anarchy that night? Such denial and lethargy is the single-biggest motivation for criminals and louts. When they know that the statistical possibility of getting caught, punished and shamed is negligible, not only does it leads to repeat offenses but new converts to the culture of perversity.

And then there are the politicians who simply don't get it. By blaming women, what they wear, their preferences and choices, Indian politicians just don't understand that it is the typical male psyche that needs to be diagnosed, addressed and cured. Their focus has to be on the malaise that grips molesters and perverts, not their victims.

Soon after the Bengaluru incident, Karnataka's home minister, no lesson, told a TV channel "such incidents do happen on New Year's eve and on Christmas." This, of course, is a screaming indictment of his own inefficiency, incompetence and mindset. If he was aware that such behaviour is routine, why did he not ensure adequate preventive measures? And if all that he can do his wring his hands helplessly, resort to chalta-hai attitude, G Parameshwara should hang his head in shame and go.

It is apparent politicians won't change their mindset even when they are shamed, in spite of a massive outcry. Just a few months ago, the BJP was shamed by its Uttar Pradesh vice-president Daya Shankar Singh, who compared former chief minister Mayawati with a sex worker. After putting up the pretence of propriety, apologising for his comments, the BJP sacked him. Guess what happened next? At prime minister Narendra Modi's rally in Lucknow, Singh was not only on the dais but also a subject of veneration and salutations. Clearly, politicians too would be politicians.
What then is the way out? Fear of law doesn't work. Cops do not act with urgency and a sense of purpose. And politicians just don't get the root cause of the problem. Does that mean the roads be left for beasts to pack in hunts with impunity?

Perhaps, as many in social media, have pointed out, it is time to tame the real beasts instead of reading out hypocritical moral and cultural sermons to the victims.

How about imposing a code of conduct for men? Asking them to stay indoors after dark? Making it compulsory for them to remain sober in public places? And, asking them to wear chastity belts if they have to venture out among women?

Outrageous? Men have owned the streets and roads for long. Putting on a leash those devoid of self-restraint, conscience, lack of respect for civilisational ethos and with a criminal bent of mind, is the best option to ensure now women on them.

Updated Date: Jan 04, 2017 14:03 PM

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