With the Delhi Slut Walk (renamed ‘Besharmi Morcha’) dominating contemporary feminist discussion in India,
women nationwide have begun to re-examine the issue of sexual harassment.
No woman in Bangalore is a stranger to what is now euphemistically called “eve teasing”. Ask college-student Margaret if she has been harassed on the streets, and she replies without a second thought, “Which girl hasn’t?” This
is how commonplace the phenomenon is.
Over the past three-and-a-half years, 829 instances of sexual harassment have been reported in Bangalore, which
seems relatively small. However, Donna Fernandes from the women’s rights forum, Vimochana, insisted that “the data
does not reflect the reality.” She argued that short of rape, most cases of sexual harassment are either ignored or
approached on the “premise of disbelief.”
She explained this by saying that it is the woman who is most often held responsible for the man’s actions. This
consequently discourages victims of sexual harassment from coming forward to file complaints. For example, when a
woman goes to the police with such an issue, she is the one questioned about the company she keeps or the clothes she