I think this is the best news (link) I came across in quite some time - filling me with a ray of hope. So here's the silver lining we were all looking for:
// ....On Saturday, when Tilak tried a flying kiss, little did he know that he would end up spending that night in a police lock-up and parting with Rs6,000.....what went wrong was that Tilak’s target was a total stranger.....When he was near the traffic signal opposite Gulistan Hotel, he saw a girl on the other side and let out a flying kiss.Embarrassed, the girl informed some policemen, who were nearby. They arrested Tilak and produced him before a local court on Sunday. The court remanded Tilak in judicial custody till December 7. He was granted a bail of Rs6,000.....// (link)
There are so many things right about the way this had been dealt with that I can't help listing them out:
1) The girl wasn't shamed into silence. She didn't have to think it was her fault. She didn't take this act lightly. She responded by reporting the incident.
2) Help (police) was available to her nearby to make her reporting easy. Also, she didn't have to be intimidated or discomforted because of reporting the offense.
3) Police did not dismiss her complaint as a non-issue. They were diligent in discharging their duties: Right from not letting the accused 'buy' them out with a bribe to being swift in response and producing the accused at the court the very next day, they did everything right.
4) Law does seem to extend its application from paper to practice. Court has considered this act to be an offense.
5) News like this is being reported (not just gang-rapes) - meaning our country is taking sexual harassment seriously now and 'eve-teasing' can no longer be dismissed of as the norm :)
6) Most important aspect is that there has been no victim-blaming reported in the article - No highlighting of the time at which this incident occurred (after 10 p.m.)
7) Quick response from police and judicial system
Don't we wish for a world/country where every act of sexual harassment was dealt with in this way? What we need to do to create this world is to follow these steps which are simple to understand but probably more time-taking to implement throughout the country (but then again, nothing in life comes easy!):
- Report every act of sexual harassment to the law-enforcing authorities.
- Create a system in which reporting a crime is easy for all.
- Police reforms: Gender sensitization courses, improving efficiency, following procedural guidelines.
- Ensure quick response from all concerned authorities, to ensure speedy delivery of justice.
- No victim blaming.
Of course, it's a not a perfect world. The imperfection in this near-perfect case can be seen in Arnold's comment on this article (link):
// I think it's quite ridiculous that we even have laws like this! What does "a word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman" even mean? If she didn't like his flying kiss she could have just ignored it. No one is hurt. For some reason Indians tend to believe that 'taking offense' is a birthright. It's not. You don't like something, move on.