I was dressed in a white salwar kameez with a multicolour dupatta, after all, that is the national attire of girls on Holi.
Like every year, a Holi party was organised in our colony. I was on my way to my friend Saloni’s house which was just opposite to my colony. It was a bright sunny day and the road was a little busier than usual.
The sun suddenly sunk for me when a random guy on his worn-out Royal Enfield, dark lips (probably from smoking too much), a golden chain around his neck who seemed like a Gangster of a Tollywood movie cornered me in the middle of the street and asked my name. My mind was unable to process the entire incident when his lusty eyes shifted from my stomach to the fragment of cloth that covered my breasts.
Before I could shout for help, he pressed my bosoms hard and said “Bura Na Mano Holi hai “.
It’s been 6 years to this incident. Over the years I have come to realise, it’s not the clothes that you wear, not your age, not your gait, not the curves, it’s not even the gender for I have heard of boys being victims of molestation too.
So, What is EVE TEASING?
An intentional act of troubling and annoying women in a public place. This includes:
1. Teasing Girl by passing comments
2. Display of indecent dirty video
3. Cheap gestures
4. Offensive watch
5. Improper behavior
6. Sly whistle
7. Suggestive song with closed lips
8. Passing by in slow-moving car blasting loud music with many eyes.
9. Improper touch
Eve teasing can also be called a form of sexual harassment. I know almost all women go through such experiences at different extremes. But does it makes it easier for anyone just because it happens with every woman?
Here’s everything you need to know about the provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against it.
This penalizes annoying acts of obscenity by a man against women in a public place that includes singing songs, stating words or making gestures which are obscene in nature.
Punishes for instances of eve-teasing which breaks the line of verbal harassment and can be called more of molestation and physical abuse.
It is non-bailable and punishable with imprisonment for a term of 1-5 years.
Section 354 A:
Gives protection to women from Eve teasing that has underlying sexual innuendoes like a man asking for sexual favours and making sexually coloured remarks which are punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to 3 years.
Section 354 D:
Applies to acts of eve-teasing which take on the form of pursuing and stalking a woman against her wishes, which shall be liable to imprisonment for three years.
Punishes all acts of eve-teasing which are intended at outraging and insulting the modesty of a woman, the person is liable to punishment with imprisonment for a period up to three years.
Most of the women live with the trauma of such experiences all their lives, knowingly or unknowingly because every time she goes to her brother/ husband/ boyfriend /friend; they say, “It happens to everyone. Calm down and forget it.”
When any female decides to share such traumatic experience with you, be there and listen to her whatever she has to say. Don’t say that you understand because you never know what she has gone through.
Instead of saying, ‘I understand’, say, ‘I hear you. You’re brave to let this pain out. You are safe here. You can be yourself in my company.’
All she wants is, to be heard.
You put her on shame when you advise her to forget about it. Be kind to them.
Help them heal
Ankita Behera is an undergraduate in a bachelor of technology. An amateur writer and a keen nature lover who loves traveling. When asked about life, she says that she is trying to manipulate the truths & realities of her life and weave meaningful stories out of them.