2017 New Year celebrations at M.G. Road in Bengaluru turned into disgraceful and shameful nuisance with a bunch of inebriated men resorting to molestation of young women. It was no less than a stampede entailing mass molestation, sexual harassment and hurling of sexist abuses.
The situation further exacerbated with Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara shamelessly remarking that such incidents are quite common during the celebrations of New Year. He even further remarked in a bad taste that, because of westernization of young minds in the way they dress and celebrate, was the real cause of this incident.
The Bengaluru Police also toed the line of their foot-in-the mouth minister with not even a single arrest after 72 hours of the incident. The cops are searching the culprits only in the CCTV footage. No doubt, the perpetrators are freely roaming with cocky confidence that there cannot be any swift action against them. People are cynical of whether there will be any course of action against them.
It is appalling and disheartening to see my state – Karnataka, becoming infamous for atrocities committed against women. Of-late, it was also in the news for all the wrong reasons. The people who represented us were caught watching porn in Assembly. The fringe elements raided Bars/Pubs and beat up women.
If we look at the history of Karnataka, it has always been the land of social reformers. Guru Basavanna emphasized on Women empowerment back in 12th Century. He was the champion of Gender equality and worked for emancipation of women. As a result of which we have Yoginis like Akka Mahadevi , Neelambika and others. The Women could air their voice equivocally on par with men in a public discourse that is used to be held in Anubhava Mantapa, which is a quintessential of Indian Parliament today.
The land is surely turning out to be a dangerous and perilous for Women. With IT industry thriving in Bengaluru, it has attracted the people from length and breadth of this country. Surely, it represents entire India.
The real awful and unfortunate thing that followed the incident was the politics and reckless misogynist statements.
After G Parameshwara’s shocker it was the turn of Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi blamed the Bengaluru Molestation incident on Westernisation and short clothes of women. In his own words “If my sister or daughter goes out with another man to celebrate the New Year and her father or husband is not with them, do you think she will be safe? I don’t think so.
Then it was the turn of the left leaning media. When Congress was cornered in the Bengaluru molestation incident, the Left leaning media easily stretched it and connected it to Hindutva. The Leftist intelligentsia (as always that they do invariably), saffronaised the entire event. They do it with so much ease and comfort that they eventually end up convincing that the crowd was right wing fringe. The Leftists would not display a nerve to blame the sick logic of most peaceful community in this world. They did not raise their voice when Mohammed Shami had to face the ire over comments about his wife’s attire or Kaif due to Surya Namaskar. They have perfected the art of being selective and hide their faces in the sand just like Ostriches, when it comes to blaming the minorities.
Given to the fact that Bengaluru has a presence on the global map, had Karnataka been a BJP ruled state, Bengaluru molestation incident would have been on a front-page headlines in New York Times or BBC airing live coverage about the entire incident.
India is in the middle of a transformation. Neither it has completely embraced the western culture nor it has done away with its culture and tradition. These atrocities against women are unfortunately witnessed with the regressive and retrograde mindset that needs to be nipped in the bud.