Imagine this. You are out with your partner for dinner. After dinner, you are standing outside the restaurant when a drunken lout, passing by, falls on you, intentionally. Tries to paw you. What would you do? You would expect your partner to take up cudgels for you, to help you fight the man molesting you off. You would expect him to step up, intervene and get the rowdies to go their way. You wouldn’t mind if it evolved into fisticuffs..
What if this happened, and the goons come back with three autorickshaws full of men with swords, knives and sticks? And what if those men attack your partner, stab him so horrifically, multiple times in the abdomen so his intestines fall out, and then make a getaway? What would your reaction be if you knew this was something that could happen?
Precisely this happened in Mumbai over the weekend. Keenan Santos died, killed by a group of men he had absolutely no enmity with, purely because he objected one drunken chappie falling over, and getting fresh with his girlfriend while they stood outside a restaurant after having dinner there.
While eyewitnesses claimed three autorickshaws filled with armed men were responsible for the attack, the police say that only four men were involved in the attack.
Among those arrested for the attack include an 18 year old. Which makes it all the more worrying. Who are these people who sit in wait to be called to arms, to attack someone they have no personal enmity with. Nor for any personal gain. Who are these men who are ready to kill, to go to jail, possibly for life, over something that doesn’t involve them at all? Who are these men who believe it is their birthright to molest women and no one should ever protest, or raise a voice? Either that or risk getting killed.
What would you do now, as a woman? Would you expect your partner to stand up for you and risk getting killed? Or would you rather downplay the incident hoping it doesn’t spiral out of control? Would you prefer that he stayed silent, and didn’t risk getting stabbed to death? This incident raises so many questions. About the safety of women in Mumbai, a city which has been considered the safest in India for women. About a man defending his woman. About a woman’s right to walk the roads without being considered fair game for any passing lout. About the sense of ‘she’s asking for it, because she’s out late at night with men.”
What are your reactions to this episode. What would you do? What do you think is causing this? Where are we going wrong as a society? Do post your comments.