When Hyderabad-based Milind Chandwani, a Teach for India fellow saw a group of men eve-teasing women in a local train, he and his friends decided to take matters into their hands and stop them. The incident ended with a scuffle between the groups, but it is Milind’s message about standing up against bullies, which has been lauded in all quarters.
Milind has written about his experience in a Facebook post recounting how he was sickened when he heard three men using extremely lewd and vulgar language for some women in the ladies-only compartment. At first he decided to politely ask them to stop their behaviour.
“I chose to take a stick and walk up to them very politely and remind them that it’s not a good thing what they’re doing. No girl deserves this. I used typical dialogue to get to him “Aapki, meri, kisi ki bhi behen ho sakti hai, aapko bhi accha nai lagega koi usse chedega toh” (She can be your or my sister; even you won’t like it if someone behaved like this with your sister).”
This however seemed to enrage the eve-teasers further and they became more abusive. And when Milind threatened to call the police, they started shoving him. That’s when the scuffle became physical. Thankfully it came to an end when Milind got an upper hand and another person took the men away.
Milind notes that while passengers were quick to dissuade the physical fight between the men, they had chosen to ignore the eve-teasers when they were abusing women. He writes, “Why do we forget that if we don’t stop them at this, they might go ahead and do more things that will make us regret later!”
He ends the message with a hopeful note entreating everyone to make sure they stand up to bullies and eve teasers across the country.
After a great day at school, after teaching my kids “why respecting all the teachers equally is important”, after they made greeting cards for all teachers and distributed them, I was sitting peaceful and content at the railway station waiting for my local train. (With Gopi)
I see a group of 3 guys teasing girls in the ladies compartment of the train that had made a stop. (Using filthy language[really vulgar] and making obscene gestures)
I stare at them with anger, hoping for them to stop because someone was observing, but that only seemed to encourage them. Multiple thoughts crossed my mind at this time. “Should I let it be? The train is anyway leaving” “Should I call the police and let them handle it?” “Should I politely request them to stop?” Or “Should I go with the aggression that I had in me!!!”
I chose to take a stick and walk up to them very politely and remind them that it’s not a good thing what they’re doing. No girl deserves this. I used to typical dialogue to get to him “Aapki, meri, kisi ki bhi behen ho sakti hai, aapko bhi accha nai lagega koi usse chedega toh”
He seemed to take pride in the fact that it was somebody’s sister and started abusing even more. Claiming that he couldn’t care less if she was somebody’s mother either. (Apparently he was drunk as well!)
By now Gopi and I were furious But I’ve learnt to keep my calm in the last 6 months, so I told him that I may have to call the police if you keep abusing this way. This pushed him to touch my shoulder and say “Do whatever you want!!”
After him pushing us a lot, it got to us. Gopi and I were already pissed and then he abuses from a distance! I ran to give their dumb leader a spere(A wrestling move), but avoided it at the last minute and hurt him in other ways instead. After me choking him, punching him and by mistake tearing his shirt, they knew that they shouldn’t have done this!
One of them then called someone who they thought of as their saviour. The guy comes, respectfully ends the matter and takes them home. (Apparently he tore my shirt as well during the tiny fight .
All I could think on the way was what have we come down to! There were at least 10 more people around but no one wanted to stop them! They just wanted to stop the fight!
There are hundreds of such scoundrels every square Kilometer and we’ve learnt to keep ourselves away from them!
Why do we forget that if we don’t stop them at this, they might go ahead and do more things that will make us regret later!
DON’T BE AFRAID, for overcoming your fear of such people is much better than overcoming the guilt later!! United we stand, divided we fall. Every time you you think “It’s okay”, another person falls prey to teasing, bullying and so much more So let us try to be truly independent
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