Author: Anya Taneja
Designation: Law student
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
A cunning look, wicked smile, roguish expression, touching in an unacceptable way, passing offensive comments, these things are frequently experienced by every female of this country. Eve teasing has become a very serious and moral issue nowadays. In an Independent and a free country, a girl cannot walk freely on roads. She is still questioned on her choices, dressing sense and what not. This awful act is now becoming an inseparable part from a girl’s life.
How and when will we be able to say that yes, we actually live in a free country where crime rate especially crime against women is almost negligible. A recent incident that took place in a small town has blown up my mind. Yes, I am talking about that young, bright and a girl full of dreams who lost her life on 7th August 2020.
The girl Sudeeksha Bhati who was pursuing her studies from a prestigious university in USA on scholarship came to India in June due to Covid. She was a resident of small village in Uttar Pradesh while travelling to Bulandshar a town in UP she was followed by two Hooligans on bike. According to the reports they are alleged to eve teased her due to which she met with an accident and died then and there.
Not only in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi but also in small villages this gruesome act is increasing with an immense speed. Gosh, why even these hooligans exist! Catcalling is seen at every single place be it restaurants, pubs, markets, parties especially school which is considered to be one of the sacred places where a person cannot imagine such acts. Even there a girl has experienced it. We say these activities are seen in uneducated boys, no that’s just a myth. Even educated boys belonging from good backgrounds are the accused. Parents should stop curbing girls for wearing clothes of their choice, night outs etc instead they should provide education to boys and should be told how girls should be treated.
Knowledge plays a very important role here; a female should have legal awareness. Women are scared to bring this type of complaint because of “log kya kahenge” and “log kya sochenge” fear. Patriarchy lessens down the confidence of the girl tribe. At times parents also come under the silly thinking of our society, they instead of giving correct advice to their girls ask them to hide such odious acts. Parents have the fear of being neglected or feeling ashamed that their girl has to face this. But the reality is here the guy who did such crimes fearlessly has no embarrassment but the innocent faces the consequences.
What are the reasons behind such monstrous acts?
Male dominated society- Here a girl is always advised to live in a bubble created by society. Women here are considered weak and powerless. Still the crime against women is increasing in rural areas because a girl is still not loved equally as a boy.
Lack of values- Lack of moral and social values have led to instances like eve teasing, rape, harassment etc. There are some boundaries and limits which should never be crossed. When a man is careless about his religion, value, teachings he automatically falls in the category of a hooligan.
Pleasure- Teenage boys do it for fun but they don’t realise the consequences a girl faces after that. When a guy is not able to control his Sexual desires, infatuation he indulges with eve teasing.
To stop this menace a woman should be aware of the legal rights. There are some legal provisions which provide protection to women.
Section 354 which provides for the punishment for the offences involving force intended to outrage the modesty of a woman coupled with the intention to outrage her.
Section 509 of the IPC says whoever intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending, that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine or with both.
Section 294 of IPC which states a man if he does any obscene act in any public place or sings, recites, or utters obscene songs in public place shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months or with fine or with both. Though the word eve teasing is not directly mentioned anywhere in IPC as it is a mindset, behaviour of a particular person.
Every citizen of this country has the right to live with dignity and honour which is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Sexual harassment like eve- teasing of women amounts to violation of rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15 as well.
Our present concern is to make people aware of the present scenarios so that necessary steps could be taken to curb such activities. It is very necessary to stop such a menace so that this world can become a better place to live in for each individual.