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Pruthvi Banwasi

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Eve Teasing Evils

Chapter Three

Truths about Eve Teasing

 

This book will achieve the success it desires if:

·        It helps women to not lose grip over themselves when accosted by an eve teaser. If a woman is able to assess all possible avenues open to her in tackling the issue she is sure to be better equipped to deal with the issue.

 

·        It enshrines the fact that eve teasing is the first step that leads to many more uncouth acts that a man can attempt opening. A man should realize that he has, by indulging in eve teasing even once, given away his prerogative to be termed as a decent human.

A woman, more often than not, is stunned when she is confronted by an eve teaser. A lot of myths that surround eve teasing have diluted the drive in women to face the issue with assured certainty about their feelings and reactions. A good number of these myths are broken down here with a hope that this would go a long way in empowering woman to better understand the situation that they are faced with and in drilling sense into men that eve teasing is not a macho thing to do but on the other extreme is the act of a coward that is better avoided.

Many a women are in a state of shock and are unsure as to what to feel. It is not surprising that due to this ambiguity they even end up accusing themselves as the wrong doers and suffer pangs of guilt.

Such a reaction prohibits them from dissecting such incidents with close friends and family members and bettering their understanding of how to react, by which they are trapped further.

This book will, in the least, acclimatize women to the ways of an eve teaser and renew their strength to face him without having to blame themselves for his actions.

How does a victim who has eve teased react to it? How can we ensure that the victim reacts to eve-teasers in the right way? Is there an optimum way for a woman to react to an eve-teaser? How does she tackle eve teasing? Can we direct the way a woman reacts to an instance of eve teasing? Can we ensure that her reaction not only makes the eve-teaser realize that his act is wrong but further dissuades him from unleashing a string of abuses against other women later? All this, without causing herself any harm?

This section deals with the myths that prevent the propagation of right thought and right action by women in our society when confronted by an instance of eve teasing. These myths also play a pivotal part in breaking down the resolve of others to tackle eve teasing with conviction.

In this section an attempt is made to break down these myths and take a reality check to better evaluate eve teasing with a holistic perspective. Twenty two truths regarding eve teasing are explained here.

These truths are read in co-relation to the myths that shroud eve teasing and they seek to enable the reader to compare his or her existing stand on aspects relating to eve teasing with the analysis presented here.

The truth is that an eve-teaser should be made to bear the brunt of his consequences.

The victims reaction to an eve-teaser will determine if he will be made to realize his folly and thus deterred from resorting to such cheap tactics again or only provide active encouragement to the eve teaser by showing him that the victim’s inaction and the utter lack of resistance to his act is what he can expect in future from other women too.

Myth        :            Silence is the best way out! Any reaction encourages the eve-teasers.

Note        :            Only silence or a mild retort encourages eve-teasers. By ensuring that eve-teasers are faced with the very possibility of being made to suffer the consequences of their actions, every time they eve tease, can we send a severe signal to them and their ilk.

Reality    :             Victims can make an eve-teaser sweat by raising a hue and cry immediately. Public reaction and condemnation scares the wits out of the eve-teaser.

Any instance of eve teasing has two aspects to it, the first being the deplorable act of eve teasing and the second and more decisive factor in terms of the reaction to it by the woman or women concerned. It is seen that many women react instinctively when accosted by an eve-teaser. This instinct may provoke her to rebuke the eve-teaser’s acts or persuade her to silently get away from the eve-teaser.

When girls report instances of eve teasing at home, they are asked to avoid any further conflict with eve-teasers and are reminded that every act of theirs would only go to encourage eve-teasers; thus they are advised to be safe than sorry.

The above norm is followed by most victims of eve teasing and has contributed to a great extent in encouraging eve-teasers to cover further ground and crystallize even rank amateurs to become hardcore deviants who will indulge in all possible offences against women, thanks to the inaction and lack of resistance they witness.

There are some girls who do not react to eve teasing when faced by it, as they are shocked for a moment and caught unawares by an eve-teaser. Even though they have the courage to stand up for their dignity right then, they fail to do so as they are unsure as to how to react.

CAUTION: Notwithstanding what is written above it is important to note that there might be quite a good number of situations that warrant the silent approach and avoid further harm.

The above statement is made with the hope that such a silence will be broken occasionally at first and then slowly but surely become the order of the day when every eve teaser is aware that an act of eve teasing will be a sure way of invoking the wrath of society, starting with the very woman whom he has eve teased.

The truth is that most girls do not report instances of eve teasing at home.

The best thing for a girl to resort to while battling instances of eve teasing is to report the same to a responsible elder at home, be it one of her parents or her elder siblings.

Myth        :   Girls will bring instances of eve teasing to the notice of the parents as and when they face it, thus every instance of eve teasing is reported to her parents.

Note        :    For this to change, parents have to stop blaming the girl who is eve teased

Reality    :     Victims of eve teasing are too scared to make a mention of such abuse to their family members, specially their parents, as they know that they would be at the receiving end by facing some kind of detriment.

Parents are to be constantly on their guard when it comes to protecting the girl child. They have to be on the lookout for any sign, however insignificant it may be, that will lead them to a dark incident that a girl child has experienced and is unsure as to how to react.

They have to keep reassuring the girl child that she can talk to them in case of even the slightest discomfort that she might be facing. They have to provide the necessary strength and support that their daughter seeks, especially so in the age of adolescence when she is not even able to identify an instance of eve teasing and label it so.

They also have to thrust upon themselves the task of ensuring that the girl child has a healthy relationship with them and that she is so very comfortable that she would approach them first to seek advice on any issue – however minor it be. The girl child should be made to realize that the parents are not fighting with her but are fighting for her everyday, trying to genuinely look at the interests of the girl at all costs.

It is true that most of the girls today would rather face the worst consequence than bring such issues to the notice of the parents as they would dissect this instance of eve teasing in a manner that is bound to cause detriment to her. The parents make statements like: “Who asked you to be there at that time of the night?” or “I told you earlier that what you were wearing was not appropriate!” and finally “Before I blame someone else, you should check how you have contributed to it and brought this upon yourself!” 

This sort of reaction will make the girl decide that if she ever walks up to her parents with a genuine instance of eve teasing she will first be accused of contributing to the act and it will finally culminate in a statement on the lines of ‘“That’s it! Henceforth you shall not be out after 8 p.m.” or some such stringent step taken against the victim.

In all this the more important task of tackling such eve-teasers is forgotten and the girl reaches a dead end where she can no longer risk revealing such acts of eve teasing to her parents.

As stated earlier the best thing for a girl to resort to while battling instances of eve teasing is to report the same to a responsible elder at home, be it one of her parents or her elder siblings.

CAUTION: The eve-teaser is hoping that you will suffer his misconduct in silence. He only attacks those girls who show signs of unwillingness to open up to others about such harrowing experiences. The surest way of tackling an eve-teaser or putting him on his guard is to inform your parents. If this is not possible then at least inform someone in your close family circle or friends who will be able to instill fear in the eve teaser. Getting someone to intimidate eve-teasers and scare them by showing that you have enough people who are not going take such a thing lightly is a sure way of driving away the will in any eve teaser to harass you. Not reporting being eve teased to your parents or someone you trust is the surest way of landing into more trouble with eve teasers.

There was this interesting case of a girl who was accosted by an eve teaser on the road every day at the very same spot. Initially the eve teaser was content just jeering at her from a distance, standing near a shop. Slowly, noticing that she was helpless against his advances, he was emboldened to the extent of walking with her for a few paces with all preparations to touch her anywhere.

This girl was unable to inform her family against such recurring instances of eve teasing and she had a tough time figuring out what to do. In the mean time she avoided going to school on the pretext that she was ill. After a lot of though she decided to become bold and worked out a plan to solve this crisis without having to inform her family or bringing harm to herself. She took her father to school with her the next day on the pretext that he has to personally inform her class teacher about her illness and also ensure that her class teacher would not deduct marks for her project submission that was to happen that day and get some extra time to submit her project.

While they were both walking to school this girl was hoping that the eve teaser would be around that day too. Fortunately for her he was there as it was a Monday and he was hopeful that she would be there that day at least (after an absence of two to three days).

This girl who was walking with her father, on seeing him from a distance, immediately asked her father to check the shirt that this man was wearing and suggested to her father that he too wear buy a similar shirt. Her father was unable to clearly see the shirt as the eve teaser was at a distance and he strained his eyes to see the man who was being pointed out by his daughter.

To make it clear to her father she started gesturing repeatedly to the eve teaser and kept talking to him. The eve teaser, on observing the girl walk with an elderly person and also noting that she was pointing her hand towards him and talking, got the impression that she had told her father and he had come there to take him to task.

He scooted away before the girl’s father could get a clearer look at his shirt and that was the last time that she was harassed by him, even though she saw him inadvertently once in a way, at times walking by, busy with his work and at times even sulking to avoid her.  

The truth is that we should not wait for the next time to take stern action.

This is one sentence that has encouraged many petty offenders to graduate to bigger offences and finally enter his name in the record of criminals.

Myth        :            The eve-teaser will sweat when he is reprimanded thus.

Note        :            Why should we tolerate a depraved act even once?

Reality    :             An eve-teaser has acted against the norms of decency in the first instance, for which he has to be punished in a manner that will deter him and others too from pulling such a debut stunt.

The judiciary has always been lenient to first time offenders, especially so if they are not adults (under the age of 18). This is backed by sound logic*. This is not to be the case with eve-teasers who are no doubt making their criminal debut with an offense that they consider as minor. They have to be made to realize that outraging the dignity of any woman, even that isolated one time, holds serious repercussions.

Society does not condone a murderer appreciating the fact that it was his first kill, similarly every time an itch to eve tease is born, that instinct has to be killed at once, lest this eve-teaser murder two things together with one act. Firstly murdering the dignity of any woman, in however small a manner and equally important, murdering the decency in him that will slowly allow him to disrespect women in greater degrees.

On spotting an eve-teaser I walk up to them and request them to desist from indulging in such a degrading act, to which they react in three ways, One way that is very much in vogue (specially with first time offenders) is that they immediately grasp the gravity of the situation and apologize quickly, wanting to scoot unscathed from the place as soon as possible. I reprimand them lightly and request them to not bring disrepute to their families by such acts and let them off.

The second way they react is that they put up a show of indifference or mouth obscenities at me and question my right to get involved in the situation. When I resist this assault with authority and confidence and inform them that the same situation will be reported to the police as what they attempted will not be tolerated in civilized society, they realize that matters can get worse for them and they scoot.

The third reaction which warrants the intervention by police and their families is their showing total disregard for societal norms and mouthing obscenities and assaulting those questioning them in a hardened manner. Here the only way to drive sense into them about the depravity of their act of eve teasing is by ensuring that their families come to know of their act.

Many of these first time eve teasers are testing waters and are cautiously trying out their skills at such an act and are shocked by the fact that they are questioned by others who witness their act, something that they never expected. This is when they slither out of this situation with profound apologies and ensure that they are never again caught in such an awkward position.

*I recall my teachers at National Law School discuss the judgment given by Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer when asked if a juvenile delinquent was to be awarded with jail or bail for an offence. He ruled in this case that the court has to disallow the delinquent’s (who was a first time offender) association with hardened criminals for reason of his fontal criminal deviance and it was their duty, as right thinking members of a sane society to be very cautious and ensure that the first time offender realizes that his act is an aberration from normalcy, all this without exposing him to the world of criminals.

For if his aberration from normalcy was to be punished with his being exposed to the avoidable company of rogues who are contained in jail for worse offences, their influence might cause much irreparable damage to the psyche of this juvenile. In awarding such a punishment to the first time juvenile delinquent the court would have failed miserably in its duties towards safeguarding the future of this society.

Yet it is my firm belief that a first time eve teaser is not to be let go scot free unless he is made to realize the grave nature of his offence and is also made to thoroughly understand the consequences that would be evoked as a natural corollary to his uncouth act.

This does not, however, mean that he has to be dragged to a police station or he has to be insulted in the presence of a group of people. It is my belief that if he is spoken to in a calm yet firm manner and sternly reprimanded for his act without the use of threatening gestures, profanity or high pitched assertions he will still fully comprehend the calamity that has been averted by the thoughtful words of the person holding him responsible for such an act and will apologize and run away from the spot, realizing that he has been shown the easy way out. He will also revere the transfixed notion that he should never, ever, again, even think of indulging in an act of eve teasing and this by itself will go a long way in ensuring that he will desist from committing graver atrocities against women in future.

CAUTION: The damage to a victim and the triumph of the eve-teaser happens in the first instance of eve teasing. The first time you are harassed your wound festers if your reaction to eve teasing is that of shame instead of castigating the offender.

The truth is that the eve-teaser is a common man.

What is the mental image that is conjured by most when they visualize an eve-teaser? A thug who is shabbily dressed, with enough brawn to carry out his every threat… This picture is a far cry from the real image of an eve teaser, which is that of a coward who is trying his luck at attacking helpless woman.

Myth        :            Eve-teasers are hardened rowdies who worsen the situation if provoked.

Note         :           Do not let what you see in movies dictate your logic.

Reality     :            A majority of the eve-teasers are commoners like you and me and belong to respectable families who do not disregard the dignity to be accorded to any woman (at least in public?).

Enough and more clichéd portrayals of rowdy looking eve-teasers who are waiting to retrieve their lethal chains and rusty knives awaiting the chance to square things with those who challenge them have been portrayed in movies.

These depictions find a comfortable parallel to the other ‘realistic’ portrayals of intensely dramatic courtroom scenes and highly charged emotional out-bursts in temples, in the sense that they are all far from reality.

Eve-teasers are more easily identified as the next person who you might see in the streets and not bother to size up again, for he is as inconspicuous as any other common man.

Yes, he is a typical example of a common man. Be it the middle-aged fellow who might be quietly standing at the bus stop, the young lad who might bring to your mind the picture of an ordinary college kid or the elderly person who might be busy pulling out his vehicle in a parking lot.

Eve teasers are rotten apples who remain hidden among the tribizillion people in society. They are the kinds who choose to ignore minimum norms of decency and still expect to be treated on par in society. 

CAUTION: The reason so many psychopaths get away with a string of atrocities is that they always go unnoticed in a crowd. In a similar way, eve-teasers too are the prototype of a common man and they blend in so well that you are shocked by the violating act of a person whom you least expected to make an indecent pass at you.

The truth is that the police are pro-active and take immediate action.

When it comes to eve teasing the police don the garb of true social engineers and act sternly against every instance of eve teasing. They are right in ensuring that every complaint of eve teasing is attended to in all seriousness and they lash out at all eve teasers immediately.

Myth        :            The police are least bothered about eve-teasers as they have more important things to address.

Note         :           The police are waiting for an instance of eve teasing to be reported to them or to be noticed by them to take stern action against such eve teasers.

Reality     :            The police are handicapped to a great extent in checking out every instance of eve teasing, but once an instance is reported they take the sternest possible action to deter such eve-teasers for a lifetime.

Many instances of eve teasing are left unreported to the police. The common man has reached a point where he is unwilling to be victimized further by the police by reporting any loss that has occurred to him, be it tangible or intangible.

The thoughts that prevents one from taking a case of eve teasing to the cops is that they have many more important things to address and that the victim might be better off by avoiding police intervention.

The truth is a welcome deviation as most of the cases of eve teasing reported to the police are dealt with in all seriousness by them. Offenders are apprehended wherever possible and further action, viz., regular police beats at places where instances of eve teasing are noticed by the police are put up.

Most policemen acknowledge that the nature of eve teasing as an offence itself is different from the many offenses that are reported to them; here the wrongful loss that cannot be quantified in objective terms caused to the psyche of the girl does provide a cause of action, but one that has to be decided after careful thought.

Unlike other offences reported where the complainant himself might be at fault and holding back facts that put him in a bad light, the police are in no two minds as to the intent behind the complainant’s act.

It is impossible for the police to be able to take notice of every act of eve teasing that happens in the streets (This is where the police can be ably supported by members of the public who can aid the police catch eve teasers.) but once an act of eve teasing is brought to the notice of the police, the action taken is swift and hard hitting.

CAUTION: The police have a well-oiled mechanism that works to your favor when it comes to eve teasing. For every call or complaint that reports eve teasing, the concerned police officer first rushes policemen to the spot and these teams do their best to apprehend eve-teasers who are harassing women there. After this a frequent patrol to the place in question is launched and any anti-social elements loitering there or anyone creating public nuisance face stern warning. Then mufti police (plainclothesmen) too frequent the spot for a week or two to systematically weed out any harassment by eve-teasers.

The truth is that when accosted an eve-teaser is a coward.

Here it is important to understand the mental make-up of a typical eve-teaser. As a rule that has not shown me any exception in 500 plus cases that I have tackled, every eve-teaser who is caught in public while committing this outrageous act by even a single public-spirited individual will behave like a coward. Either he blatantly lies by denying his indulgence in this offensive act or he masks his act by asserting that his intention was never to outrage the dignity of any woman present.

Myth        :            Those who indulge in eve teasing have all the guts in the world to do something wrong so openly.

Note         :           An eve-teaser is like a sly fox who waits for the right time to burst out on defenseless prey.

Reality     :            Eve-teasers are worse than cowards (definably so in the beginning stages) and their palpitations can wreck the curve of any stethoscope when confronted.

The eve teaser will not openly admit that he indulged in such a depraved act. It is pertinent to note here that an eve-teaser when apprehended will admit to having committed any crime in this world rather than admitting that he has teased a woman, for fear of earning eternal disrespect from society, his friends, and worst of all, his own family.

While committing the act of eve teasing there is an attitude of proving male supremacy in the eve-teaser but once apprehended, even a first time eve teaser is ashamed that his family will come to know that he has been apprehended for eve teasing. The hardened eve-teaser is all the more scared when his family is brought into the picture as he would not have painted a far different picture in front of them. His cowardly nature will disallow him from openly admitting his vices and standing by them.

Movies show eve teasers stalking woman who stand up against them and goes to the extent of depicting scenes where acid is thrown on them or eve teasers being depicted as hoodlums with little or no regard for the authorities and other safeguarding elements of society. These may be exceptions but their existence does not disprove the rule that is hidden but is nonetheless very much in existing.

The very fact that he is not directly approaching woman and gaining an acknowledgement of his emotions from them shows that an eve-teaser is a coward. It is only natural for a male to vie for the attention of woman at a certain age. This need makes him gain the friendship of women and have them to play an important part in his everyday interaction and even in the framing of his thoughts.

There are instances where such healthy interactions between men and women are made impossible by the innumerable avoidable clichés that attack society. Unable to access a healthy relationship with women and have them play an important part in his everyday interaction and even in the framing of his thoughts makes him resort to the cowardly act of eve teasing.

At the age of adolescence a man idolizes certain men and woman and aspires to take the best of what they stand for. He benefits from interacting with women in society and gains a certain regard for them that only grows as days passes by.

Thus when a boy is curtailed from his interactions with the opposite sex his mind develops a warped logic that guides him to a state of confusion regarding what the proper behavioral mode should be while talking with women. This allows him to be influenced by peers to indulge in the so called ‘macho’ act of eve teasing.

All this results in his indulgence in certain unnatural acts that make him gain interaction with women in a manner that is not pleasing to the women involved and these acts are classified as eve teasing.  When he lacks the guts to fulfill this natural desire to interact with women he finds such ways to open an avenue to them.

CAUTION: Notwithstanding everything stated above, even though I state with great emphasis that the eve-teaser when accosted is a coward and request all to destroy the intent in an eve teaser to continue with his deplorable act, it has to be done without throwing caution to the winds, specially so when women are lashing out against it single handedly.

The truth is that eve teasing is not a mere offence.

It is not need (theft, cheating and the such) or greed (crimes of passion) or a wrongful act without intention (as in cases of criminal negligence viz., rash and negligent driving) that causes the initiation of an act of eve teasing. An eve teaser, by his act, is giving proof that he should not to be afforded respect in society.

Myth        :            Eve teasing will not be taken notice of as it is just another offence.

Note         :           An eve teaser would rather admit to theft or murder than own up his lack of respect for women in front of his family.

Reality     :            Eve teasing will evoke disrespect for the offender for a lifetime from his family, friends and society at large. The outrage it causes to women is not commonplaces and should not be treated so.

It has to be understood here that eve teasing is not just another offence, but it is an act that will give a character certificate for a lifetime to the offender, one that is not easily forgotten by those in contact with him. The fact that an eve teaser will not reveal his act in front of his family is more than enough to underline the fact that eve teasing is not considered to be another mere offence even by the offender himself.

Eve teasing is not just another offence but a serious one that is the first step in the invalidation of the very respect that a woman holds in society. I firmly believe that the ability to imbibe the essence of art and uphold culture is what places man on a notch above the rest of nature’s creations. The farce of social behavior can well end in a man when he refuses to acknowledge his duty and obligation of respecting women.

Every man has been accorded rights, duties, privileges and obligations. Most of us are concentrating on making demands regarding our rights and we conveniently forget to honour our obligations and duties. Eve teasing is not to be taken notice of as just another offence and should be recorded shown as an aberration that the offender has resorted to, unmindful of his duties and obligations as a member of a civilized society.

It is argued at police stations by friends supporting eve teasers that they have to be excused as they have committed this offence at a stage when they were coming to terms with life and reality, this attitude sends wrong signals to society at large and should not be encouraged. Eve teasers should be dealt with in a stringent manner as they are violating the sanctity that we accord to women in society.

The truth is that those who see the public trash an eve teaser support the eve teaser.

The psyche of the Indian public is to let an eve teaser go, preferably with a mild warning only. This reality might be hard for many to bear but is none the less the truth of the matter. On a subconscious level the Indian society identifies with the eve teaser and somehow gains vicarious redemption when they let an eve teaser go scot free.

Myth        :            The bystanders who witness eve teasing take the eve teaser to task.

Note         :           The members of the public would rather that an eve teaser is let off with a slight warning only.

Reality     :            The members of the public are unwilling to assist those who are actively taking an eve teaser to task, at considerable risk to themselves. 

If at all you take an eve teaser to task and count on gaining public support to strengthen your actions, do think again, for many members of the public openly sympathize with the eve teasers and would rather that they are let off than see them bear the brunt of this disgrace by getting beaten up or by being dragged to the police station.

This is not an exception to the rule but the complete rule stated with ample experience. There have been instances initially when I have been flummoxed by the lack of assertiveness of the public in even apprehending a known eve teaser. They would rather be a part of the process that willingly forgives all the atrocities of an eve teaser.

There was an instance when I was trashing an eve teaser who had put Holi colors on a lady in a manner that put her to shame. On catching up with the eve teaser after a 4 kilometer chase and after getting the eve teaser to accept his guilt, I began trashing him.

By then the members of the public insisted that I let him go and even though I held on for a while, informing them that they did not know what he had done, one of the members of the public told me in no uncertain terms, “Whatever he has done, you have hit him enough, just let him go!”

When I did not heed their words, they even held me back after a point of time and instigated the eve teaser to run away from there. They let me loose only after ensuring that the eve teaser was far away from my grasp. Though it is appalling that many come forward to support an eve teaser, it is possible that they refuse to acknowledge an unseen act and would rather offer their sympathies to the eve teaser and be benevolent enough to aid him make good his escape.

CAUTION: Members of the public will not attack an eve teaser. It is rare that they will play a strong role in aiding those who are being eve teased. If they do aid you it would be an added advantage but if they are unsure as to what is to be done, then do take a very strong stand against the eve teaser and request for minimum support of the public, to the extent that they hold the eve teaser till the police arrive to take the matter to its natural outcome.

The truth is that for any woman, an eve-teaser is an infant rapist.

Forget being enamoured by an eve teaser and furthering a romantic liaison with an eve teaser, a victim of eve teasing will not even bother to acknowledge an eve teaser as a human being. The truth truly is that a woman abhors an eve teaser.

Myth        :            The next natural consequence of eve teasing is that the victim will be floored by your show of manliness.

Note         :           Any lady will not tolerate an assault on her dignity.

Reality     :            A woman hurls an eve-teaser in the lowest possible rung of people she has ever sized up. 

I also advise men that eve teasing will only culminate in diluting the respect that a woman, whom they have teased, holds for them. It is wise to not go by the illogical romances shown in movies where the girl being teased by the guy falls for him - hook, line and sinker by the time the third stanza (of the eve teasing song that the crude hero sings) gets to an end!

This is an unrealistic fantasy. No woman will be attracted to a boy who has little or no respect for a woman’s dignity. A woman is only appalled when given evidence of the lack of upbringing in an eve-teaser.

The eve teaser, on the other hand, is a man who takes pride in blatantly displaying his total disregard for a woman’s dignity. Thus his acts of eve teasing will, in no way, aid him to gain respect from a woman. Eve teasing is not an act that makes you a macho man, who the ladies are queuing up to swoon for.

It is true that boys in the age of adolescence are subjected to peer pressure and will, in all probability, encounter instances when their peers ask them to stand up to the occasion and behave like vandals and resort to offenses like eve teasing or damaging public property.

Succumbing to such influences will not constitute to be an act that shows how manly you are. It is true that you prove to be manly when you resist such wrong thoughts and condemn actions that may seem to be fit at the occasion and the company but is not what an honorable man would resort to, whatever be the pressure.

CAUTION: It will prove that you are truly a man if you fail to fall prey to such bad influences and go the length to not only desist from being part of such a display of eve teasing but also aid these misled youths to get back on the right track!

Any woman is being given a reasonable ground to think that this man who is capable of eve teasing is just showing the tip of his moral iceberg and worse things are definitely in store for those eves who would bother to even associate with him.

The truth is that society should encourage interpersonal relationships between the two sexes to avoid aberrations in perception.

When society shows man the numerous relationships that women have with him and encourages him to accord due respect to her in all walks of life then the chances of his seeing a woman as a mother, sister and daughter are enhanced and he is more likely to walk up to her with dignity.

Myth        :            The solution lies in limiting or regulating interaction of men with women in public places.

Note         :           An eve-teaser aspires for interaction with women but is unable to access this in a healthy manner.

Reality     :            Encouraging males to develop healthy relationships with women implants respect for women in their minds.

The faster we realize the need for a harmonious interpersonal relationship between men and women of this world (be they in any sect, creed or in any rung of the economic ladder), the easier it will be to remove the influence of the so called ‘necessary evils’ that are seen in abundance in society.

There are times when social scientists too have been flummoxed by the apathy in their objective analysis of oppression and suppression of women. It is not that they do not feel for it on a personal level but the fact is that they know it to be such a big chuck of existing reality that they are more interested in weeding it out than in pausing to weep over it.

They understand the need for women to be placed on par with man on an economic, psychological and sociological level to lessen the load of sufferings thrust on her by her male counterparts. It is pertinent to note that some sections of the younger generations are emerging out of the shackles prescribed by society and are able to react to women with a care and concern that escaped many others.

This again is attributed by social thinkers to be a direct outcome of the interpersonal bonding that happens between a man and a woman in the many possible relationships that enforce in him an inbuilt and involuntary thought for her betterment and safety.

Man evolves as a respectable member of society only when he fully fathoms the need to respect women at all times. This respect can be cultivated at an early age and will only gain strength with the passage of time. All that has to be done is to allow for a man to indulge in role play with women and fit the bill of a son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, colleague, etc.

No man is an island and it takes a woman to bridge any gap that may have occurred during his interaction with society. It is true that men who eve tease are known to have a history of non-interaction with women on a primary level and they hold in them an innocent urge to gain proximity with women in all spheres of their lives. This instinct is wrongly channelized to acts of eve teasing when society does not make required provisions to encourage a structured relationship between them and women.

An eve teaser will admit to anything in front of his family members other than having outraged the dignity of a woman.

When faced with the degrading prospect of having their family members find out about their atrocious act against a girl, they will cringe and plead, for they would rather that they be accused of murder than stand accused in front of their family as an eve teaser.

Myth        :            An eve teaser is not scared of the consequences of his act and fear is not the key here.

Note         :           An eve teaser respects every woman in his family and will not face any lady in his family when accused of eve teasing.

Reality     :            An eve teaser will cringe if his misdeed is brought to notice of his family members, especially so if he is a hardened eve teaser.

Every person who is living in this society has to adhere to a certain set of codes. Each one is made to imbibe that aspect of culture which commands respect for woman, whichever be the economic strata of society he belongs to.

In the many years that has made me walk up to thousands of eve teasers and request them to desist from their act, I notice that a majority realize the depravity of their acts and they immediately scoot from the very place, lest they be recognized by anyone. Their first thought is to avoid being spotted by even a mere acquaintance, forget being seen by a family member.

The rest who are of the hardened kinds initially put up a brave front and question any authority that confronts them, in some time when their guilt is made clear, they resign in a rush and request for lenient handling by the police.

They make it clear that they would rather pay any amount in fine or even spend a night or two in the police station than bring their families there and make them aware of their having indulged in eve teasing.

I am yet to come across any eve teaser, who would really not care if his family was brought into the picture and informed about his indulgence in eve teasing. Thus the best punishment that will have a lifetime’s effect on an eve teaser (especially so in the light of his being a hardened eve teaser) is to bring his act to the notice of his family.

I had to resort to this act in an approximation of one in twenty cases of eve teasing with the aid of the police (and the same has to be undertaken after a lot of thought as this will effect the image that a person has in front of his whole family and the consequences that follow will have to be borne by him for a lifetime).

I have sought to reassert to myself that this act, used as the last resort, in extreme cases have two justifications.

·        Firstly the truth that nothing else would make this person even remotely feel that what he did was wrong. The hardened eve teaser would only think that everyone made a mountain out of a mole hill of his ‘mischievous’ act and he was the victim and not the victor here as in committing eve teasing as he had to bear a punishment that went far beyond the act that he indulged in, thus he would continue to eve tease.

·        Secondly it is only when the family castigates him by feeling shamed by his act and shows their extreme displeasure at his having eve teased that he will realize the importance his family attaches to non indulgence in eve teasing and will dare not behave in a similar manner ever. This in turn will make him stop eve teasing even if he is not sure about the involvement of guilt from his end.

The truth is that there may be an eve-teaser in your family.

Having understood that an eve teaser is a common man who might be anyone in our midst let us move a step further and accept that we might have an eve teaser in our very family too.

Myth        :            I do not have to be on the look out for any eve teaser in my family.

Note         :           Every family has to discourage any disrespect to woman in their own stern and sure way.

Reality     :            Every family has real people in them who have real emotions and are susceptible to baser instincts too.

The moving force in this world is not a leader who impresses the masses but the common man of this mass of humanity who takes it upon himself to give direction to his life and thus also affects the course that many factors and people dependent on his decision take.

Any social phenomenon may assume incurable dimension or be solved in a jiffy by the conscious decision of the common man. The common man is the person who breathes in every home in this world. He is your family member, he is you.

To rid this world of any garbage all that one has to do is to ensure that his home and his road is clean and if not, then the solution does not lie in pondering over what the right course of action should be but in the actual cleansing of such garbage by physically taking the broom and taking the garbage and throwing it away in an appropriate place.

Assuming that every person in this world is educated to do so, the logic in doing so will awaken a reality that will keep your home, your road, your community, your city, your country, your continent and thus your complete world garbage free. Garbage here includes the kind that exists in people’s minds too.

Let us not look at the possibility of an eve teaser being bred in our family as a problem but more as a preventive opportunity to rid this world of the mental garbage that our home has and cleanse the same. When every home conditions itself to such thought and rids itself of eve teasers, then it is a pragmatic certainty that our world will be free of eve teasers and any other garbage.

This simple approach assumes the availability of a collective conscience that again is dependent on every single person who contributes his unshakable and moral based conscience to this community.

The truth is that aged people can also be eve-teasers.

Age is not a factor that commands respect always. This unfortunate truth stares at us in our face every once in a way and strikes a chord of disharmony to the very roots of our value base, specially so in the Indian context which has forever taught us to pay our unquestioned respects to those who are elder to us.

Myth        :            Aged people are not potential eve teasers.

Note         :           With the passage of time one does not always change for the better.

Reality     :            Some aged people act like the proverbial rotten apple that brings discredit to the whole bunch.

A famous actress and singer who is basking in international recognition once caught an elderly gentleman in the audience who was old enough to be her granddad cast lewd glances at her while she was performing in a show.

Her reaction was immediate and stern, in between the performance she threw all caution to the winds and pointing a finger at this man and signaled that he better be careful. This simple act of hers was enough to make this man sweat it out.

The whole crowd was aware that this man had invited her wrath by some indecent act that was not fitting the occasion and those standing near the man were quick to express their discomfort, this made the man slither away from the place and thank his lucky stars that he was let of with a slight warning.

In my years of taking eve teasers to task I have realized that it is easier to tackle hot blooded youth who make visible their attempts at eve teasing and face the consequence for it than the cold calculated ways in which an elderly gentlemen eve teasers makes it next to impossible to even assertively point a finger at him as his acts are always bordering on decency and therefore hard to pinpoint.

Elders always take refuge in acts on the lines of a lewd stare, an unwarranted bump, a seemingly casual touch, a lingering look at a vulnerable time and usually avoid other blatant acts of eve teasing like a sly whistle, a well-timed clap, the humming of a suggestive song, passing downright uncouth comments, cheap gestures, showing an indecent snap or video, etc.

This makes it difficult for most to gauge the intention of the elderly person indulging in such an act but not impossible. As goodness of the heart cannot be hidden in the long run, so is it impossible for anyone to conceal malicious intent all the time.

The truth is that eve teasing does not occur only in desolate roads.

Gone are the days when certain places could be safely excluded from instances of eve teasing, be they premises that promote education, hospitals or even places of worship. Now the eve teaser strikes with apathy in all those places which had an added sanctity to it.

Myth        :            Eve teasing only occurs on the roads.

Note         :           Instances of eve teasing on the roads account for a good percentage of eve teasing.

Reality     :            Eve teasing happens in every possible available place.

The inability to perceive myself to be on the same platter with men who eve tease in hospitals, schools or even temples is not something that I am suffering from alone. A good chunk of men refuse to be a part of that society that has people who will not desist from giving into banal instincts even in places where it is not at all expected.

Roads are definitely places where woman feel more vulnerable in the face of public attention than anywhere else. It is here that she has had innumerable encounters with all kinds of eve teasers. It is here that she felt many humiliations and began to feel apologetic for her very existence, yet the travelogue of travails with eve teasers is not limited to these roads only.

Name a place where she is saved the trouble of having to watch out for eve teasers now. Women have learnt to be on their guard while conducting themselves in shopping malls, the many outlets and cinema halls therein and every other conceivable place.

‘Ramrajya’ is equated to be a utopian condition where the entire society basks in amity according to Indian mythology. To describe this learned men have depicted a condition where a beautiful woman, bedecked in ornaments, walks in the middle of the night on a desolate road without fear.

The analogy indirectly underlines the fact that if a woman is safe on the roads in the dead of the night with valuables on her, then she need not nurture fear in any place that she finds herself in.

Taking this as a barometer to assess the present standards we fall short in comparison, for even now a woman cannot move around without fear or assured support. Such being the case she has to be a step ahead of her eve teaser in this obstacle race of life to be able to escape his harassment.

The truth is that an eve-teaser will not attack any woman he chances upon.

Eve teasers might be sly but they are not fools, in fact they are a tad bit too clever, as is the case with many who go against the norms of society. The eve teaser too knows that if he accosts any woman who is confident about herself there is a possibility that she might lash out against him or create a racket, thus placing him in public scrutiny. To avoid this he selects his victim, mostly by gauging her lack of confidence.

Myth        :            An eve teaser will indiscriminately pounce upon any woman he spots.

Note         :           Eve teasers too are weary of being caught and are on the lookout for danger signs.

Reality     :            An eve teaser will only harass those who show him an inkling of insecurity in most of the cases.

Women should be bold and confident or at least appear to be so when out in public, this is bound to make any potential eve teaser think twice before he attempts to pull a stunt. Show him a sign of insecurity and he will be the first to pounce on you, without a thought about the consequences, for he is well aware that any woman who has a visible lack of confidence will not be spunky enough to report the matter to anyone or even lash out against him.

An eve teaser knows that most of the women who walk on the roads are unwilling to take matters too far, how else does he account for the innumerable successful eve teasing episodes that his friends have bragged about. An eve teaser is assured by his friends that they have indulged in the same act many times over and the unwritten law is that they address those women who do not display confidence as they go by their lives as they are not capable of lashing out at them.

The truth is that most eve teasers are put off when they see women who are confident as they know that the risk of being dragged to public gaze is higher.

It is hoped that after reading this book women will be more confident (even in a non-confrontational way) when they are accosted by eve teasers and the very show of confidence will go a long way in putting off any attempts of eve teasers of harassing them and thus eve teasers too will find lesser opportunities in displaying their unwanted urges.

The truth is that educated people can also be eve-teasers.

It is not lack of education but the inability to apply the values bred in them by academic orientation that leads men to indulge in eve teasing. Education has failed to a great extent in inculcating ethics, morals and the ‘ought’ factor that cautions man to consciously behave better.

Myth        :            Educated people do not indulge in eve teasing.

Note         :           Education today merely shows one the right way but does enforce one to walk righteously.

Reality     :            Educated people are equally responsible for indulging in eve teasing.

No longer can we safely blame the uneducated masses for a majority of the social evils and the socio-economic offences that are threatening to throttle the very breath of harmonious life in today’s world. In reality educated people are equally responsible for the propagation and perpetuation of social evils. They use their education to take undue advantage of the law and further to vociferously put across their justifications.

Any policeman will vouch for the fact that a majority of the traffic rules are flouted not by the uneducated people but the educated ones who throw caution to the winds and break the law and then argue with the authorities when caught red handed. The illiterate masses would rather not fall foul of the law and cough up fines.

Here the educated man has three things that work in his favor; firstly he can get to escape by stating that his act did not amount to harmful eve teasing. According to him, he was well within limits of decency and too much has been read into an innocent act. He can use his education to argue for a prescription of the benefit of doubt to his act.

Secondly he will resort to some kind of influence or even indulge in bribing the authorities to escape the logical punishment that would follow his dastardly act. Thirdly he will blatantly lie and claim that he has been falsely implicated and that he was not at all involved in any act of eve teasing.

These escape routes are also known to the uneducated but the handicap of not being able to vociferously advocate these might make them choose the available option of pleading guilty and placing themselves at the mercy of those who take them to task.

The truth is that eve-teasers do not target only those women who lead them on.

For an eve teaser every woman is a potential victim and he does not search around and wait until a woman who seems to welcome such advances appears on the scene. It is possible that an eve teaser may find it convenient to focus on those women who are meek and are walking with their gaze fixed to the ground.

Myth        :            Eve teasers target only those women who lead them on.

Note         :           Eve teasers may take note of the confidence or the lack of it that a woman shows in deciding if she is a safe victim, not her reaction to it.

Reality     :            Eve teasers accost any woman when they are confident that they will suffer no detriment with total disregard to the response of the said woman.

Eve teasers might not behave like compulsive maniacs when they see women but they will surely not let a chance pass by without accosting women when they are certain that they will go scot free with such an aberration.

An eve teaser has been convinced that his act will prove irresistible to women. This is because he goes by the popular notion that the woman who is eve teased and provoked ends up falling in love with the ‘macho man’ who has eve teased her, a misconception that is so well woven in regional movies.

Thus he is not looking for any signs welcoming his advances, as he plays the game according to the rules so well laid out, it is for him to make the first move and this only means that he can target any unsuspecting victim who might not even know about his existence. Words or gestures are not needed to encourage the eve teaser initiative to abuse women.

He just has to sum up a girl and label her as one who will not be able to lash out against him and that would sum up all the qualifications that he is looking for in a woman to make her his immediate target.

This truth has to be understood in its entirety by all the parents and guardians of girls who somehow sow the suspicion that the girl played an active part in the whole incident. At times the moment a girl reports a case of eve teasing to her family; it is a fact that the family members accuse her of contributing to the act by a little more then her mere presence at an unguarded place. An inkling of such a notion is all that is needed to create a bias and make the girl suffer for her act of reporting an incident of eve teasing that she was made an unwilling part of.

The truth is that the eve-teaser waits for the right time to burst out on defenseless prey.

This is another reassertion of the fact that the eve teaser is a coward. He will not ignore the moral depravity of his act but is cautious enough to be up to his wily ways only when it safe for him to do so. He will not be up to his tricks when there is a chance that he might be taken to task.

Myth        :            Eve teasers are macho men who accost anyone in random.

Note         :           Eve teasers are very selective about their prey. They would rather stand in silence when women move around due to bad timing than fall prey to their own wrongdoings.

Reality     :            Eve teasers are cowards by nature and are experts in selecting the right time to target defenseless and meek woman who (in all probability) will not react in an assertive manner against their misdeeds.

An eve teaser is definitely not a brave man. For if he was anything near being brave he would have found other civilized ways of reaching out and bonding with women. He knows fully well that eve teasing is not the right mode to get in touch with woman, so he waits for the right moment to burst out on them when they are defenseless.

He is seeking gratification for himself by reaching out to women in a crude manner. Here he is further cautious as he knows that his act is not welcomed by civilized society and so he has to be clever enough to escape attention and emerge unscathed after harassing women.

When an eve teaser accosts helpless women he underlines his inability to inflict harm on those stronger than him. Cowards have to plan their way well so as to ensure that they are not caught. Being a coward an eve teaser too acts in a similar fashion by scheming and getting what he wants without causing any detriment to his own self.

The truth is that eve teasing is not a macho thing to do.

The definition of a macho man is one who does not think twice before using his might to do the right thing, not one who wrecks havoc on those who are gagged by circumstances and are unable to stand up to their rights.

Myth        :            You are macho if you eve tease.

Note         :           Any woman aspires to be accorded with respect.

Reality     :            Women loathe those who are unable to afford dignity to the very women that men are born to.

When was the last time you praised the manly qualities of any man who used his available might to wreck havoc on a woman who is expending all her energies to strive for an identity and earn her wings. The only way to answer this query is by reminding ourselves that we, as civilized humans, are never admired for our cruelty towards any living being in society.

The truth is that a man wishing to proclaim his manly qualities by eve teasing is walking far away from his goals. To prove your manliness, unlike the popular misconception, one does not merely have to inhale cancer sticks, speed on bikes and cars without skill, consume alcohol or treat women with disrespect.

A show of physical strength or an ability to indulge in mental gymnastics to achieve the outcome of gaining more money or power is something that is within the reach of all the weaklings of this world. Contrary to popular notions these attributes are really no barometer to measure how ‘macho’ one really is.

To be a macho man one has to work much harder. Even if the temptation and the opportunity to tease a woman comes his way he has to prove his macho qualities by restraining himself from taking the easy way out. The truth is that his refusal to give in to pressure from his peers and disallowing them to treat him like a boy and make him an eve teaser is what will make a man out of him. 

The truth is that eve teasing is also faced by small children.

It is astounding to note that eve teasing is no longer a phenomenon faced by college kids or working women only. It begins much earlier nowadays, an act of eve teasing may be imprinted in the mind of a mere child who is 5-6 years old. This act is registered in her mind and instills fear on recall.

Myth        :            Eve teasing is faced by girls in college or when they near the age of adolescence.

Note         :           Many women recall instances that can be termed as eve teasing at a very tender age.

Reality     :            A high percentage of women accept that they have witnessed instances that can be classified as eve teasing from the age of 5-6 onwards.

When I asked many women as to when was it that they noticed eve teasing first, they were all pointing to a time in their childhood when they felt uneasy or perturbed by an act that they were unable to place. It was only much later that they gave it a negative connotation.

Though it is a welcome relief that the management in many Kindergarten and Montessori schools have taken it upon themselves to educate the parents or guardians to discriminate against a good touch and a bad touch and further sensitize them to the unspoken signals that a child gives out by showing a degree of discomfort with someone.

It is hearty to note that such efforts are being made to educate parents and disallow any child from suffering the ill-effects of eve teasing; somewhere in the corner of our minds we are also saddened by the fact that these things have to be dealt with at such a tender age.

The truth is that the best solution to tackle eve teasing lies in creating awareness

Awareness is the best remedy for a multitude of issues. I am well aware that when I am tackling an eve teaser and taking him to task I am merely addressing the actualization of his uncouth thoughts. Trashing an eve teaser is not a preventive act but an act that merely seeks to set right a wrong perpetuated by him. Crisis management is not the relief afforded in times of crisis but managing a crisis beforehand too.

Myth        :            Eve teasing can be tackled by effectively accosting eve teasers.

Note         :           Awareness is a universal solution to most problems.

Reality     :            The social evil of eve teasing has to be wiped out systematically and from its very roots.

A holistic approach will go a long way in curbing the social evil of eve teasing. Acts in isolation create significant ripples but to weed out eve teasing in totality we have to initiate strong waves of awareness in society regarding all aspects of eve teasing. By doing so one is attacking the issue from all angles and thus hopes for the eradication of the same are very high. A holistic approach will ensure that people are deterred from becoming eve teasers by creating awareness among boys and establishing a mindset in them that will disallow them from becoming eve teasers.

People should start looking out for careers instead of merely seeking jobs, they should try and gain an education instead of trying to channelize all their efforts to obtaining degrees, they should apply the values taught to them instead of preaching about the absence of these values in others and they should foremost apply the right thoughts that have been instilled in them and show culture and stand up against the base act of eve teasing.

This is how they can create awareness in others that eve teasing will not be tolerated and also drive home the message to other civilized members of society that eve teasing should not be tolerated. Awareness among the public about the damage caused by eve teasers and the depraved nature of their indulgence will only strengthen their resolve to stand up against eve teasing, especially so if they are educated on all aspects regarding eve teasing.

A lady too has to realize that her fighting back against eve teasing will hold the following benefits for her:

·        Firstly it will go a long way in reducing the shame and guilt that she piles on herself when eve teased.

·        Secondly it will act as a great deterrent by sending shivers down the spine of every eve teaser and all his friends and further caution them against indulging in such acts.

·        Thirdly it will encourage other women to also stand up for their dignity when faced by a similar instance of eve teasing.

If such awareness is geared up then eve teasers too will be wary of possible attacks by the public or by the woman herself and will decide to be safe than sorry and curb their urge to eve tease.

Awareness will also aid in establishing right from an early age that:

*    Boys can be mischievous but cannot disrespect women at any time.

*    Girls learn from an early age to raise their voice against eve teasing.

In all it can safely be said that a long term plan to eradicate eve teasing should have a holistic approach and the best way to tackle eve teasing from all corners is to spread awareness about this social evil to such an extent that people are compelled to repel it through and through.

The truth is that woman of this era are not empowered per se to fight back against eve teasers.

Empowerment of woman is a phrase that I have carefully avoided in this entire book, the reason for this is that it is a fallacy to assume hat women in India are liberated and empowered. This might be true in a decimal level in urban areas as against the multitude of women who are still bound firmly to the ramshackle of societal suppression, more so in rural areas.

Myth        :            Modern woman are not automatically packaged to stand their ground against eve teasers.

Note         :           Empowerment of women is yet to be achieved in a manner that will scare the wits out of anyone who wishes to ill-treat them or take undue advantage of them.

Reality     :            Women of today are still facing enough discrimination from womb to tomb that disallows them from growing into complete and confident human beings.

Liberation in the true sense underlines the ability of a woman to take complete respect for every act of hers and decide to do something.

True liberation is earned by a woman only when she takes decisions without bothering about any external factor. In India’s metropolitan cities there is a possibility that a woman can proclaim that she is liberated after a certain point of time but to a greater extent such liberation is still eluding the feminine majority in India.

To liberate woman in the true sense one should show women their strength instead of purporting to support them. It is not enough if a certain aspect of a woman’s life is left to her discretion. Using this as a prime example one cannot shout from the roof tops that this woman is liberated as she has decided some aspect of her life without bothering about another’s reaction.

Liberation of women in any sense is akin to an exception that is being lobbied to prove itself as a rule. Empowerment of women is not a consequence that is required to be achieved with some effort. It should be inherent to the very breath of existence of women.

Undiluted respect to women in one’s family should be inculcated by everyone in Indian society. The not so subtle hints of male domination and instances of abject subjugation of woman within the family breed the notion of tolerance to any atrocity committed on women. It is unfortunate that such an anomaly co-exists in our society.

Though women are given due respect as life givers, their vulnerable position in the societal structure makes them an easy target for men. Their empowerment is a sure way of making others think many times before trying to make them easy targets.

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