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In yet another incident, this time in Bengaluru, a man resorted to shaming and moral policing a woman for wearing shorts. Just when will this end?
‘Girls shouldn’t go out in the night, they shouldn’t wear short clothes, they should stay in their limits kyunki ladkiya hai ladke thodi hai jo haq se jie’. (They are girls, not boys that they’ll have the liberty to live life in their own terms). Statements like these are pretty common for women to hear, just because they are living their life on their terms.
Recently a man in Bengaluru yelled at a woman asking her to follow ‘Indian rules and wear proper clothes.’
The video of the incident, reportedly took place on Thursday night in Bengaluru’s HSR layout area is going pretty viral. In the video uploaded on Facebook, a 28-year-old woman who was riding pillion on a bike with her boyfriend was stopped by a stranger and harassed for ‘not following Indian rules’ and dressing inappropriately.
“You must follow Indian rules. Please wear proper clothes,” the unidentified man can be heard saying in the video recorded by the girl’s boyfriend.
“I heard someone yelling. I was riding pillion and I looked to my right side. There was a man on a two-wheeler, who began yelling at me. He said, ‘Don’t you have any clothes at home?'” the woman from Mumbai told The News Minute.
Throughout the video, the man kept yelling at the girl to change her clothes. Because apparently ‘short clothes are not Indian Culture’.
The entire incident that happened in Bangalore is sad but is it the first time? Well, no. Time and now women are harassed and moral policed for their lifestyle.
In May this year, in Bengaluru itself, four men harassed a woman and attacked her boyfriend in Banaswadi, when they went for a ride at night. This all happened because apparently, the four men felt that a girl and a boy roaming around in midnight and minding their own business was not a righteous thing.
Something similar to this happened in May last year in Kolkata. A young couple was harassed on the Kolkata metro, pushed off the train and then thrashed by a mob, allegedly because they were “standing too close”.
Girls are often morally policed for the type of clothes that they wear. A recent example of this was a college in Hyderabad imposing a strict ‘Knee Length Kurti’ rule. The students alleged that the management stated that ‘Thighs attract men and Knee Length Kurti and decent clothes will lead to good marriage proposals.’
Not only that, similarly NDMC medical college and Hindu Rao Hospital had directed their female MBBS students to wear ‘decent’ clothes. Else they’d suffer serious consequences including expulsion.
The most famous moral policing incident that happened this year was the Delhi Aunty Viral Video. In the video, a woman, in a restaurant moral policed a bunch of young girls. Again, for wearing short clothes. She even asked the men in the restaurant to rape such women who wear short clothes.
Now, these are incidents that came into the limelight. Although if we talk about general life there are plenty of people out there with the same narrow mindset. Everyday, women are judged for living their life on their terms. The reality of moral policing is so bad that women are judged even if they spread their legs and sit.
As we can see in the Bengaluru moral policing video the man is yelling at the girl to dress according to the ‘Indian Culture’. The biggest irony here is that our society has set up an image of clothes representing Indian Culture.
It’s generally meant to be salwar suits, sarees, and lehengas. Often these clothes are termed as ‘Indian.’ Now categorising clothes as ‘decent’, ‘non-decent’ or in fact ‘Indian’ is where the problem lies.
Indian culture is not just sarees, the culture is a very vast concept. India is a country of multiple cultures and every culture has its own traditional dress. Indeed most of the cultures do have sarees or salwar kameez as the signature dress for women of that culture.
Still other cultures have skirts and certain other costumes as their traditional dresses. No matter what the culture is, there is no particular piece of clothing that can be termed as the sole representative of Indian culture.
Also the fun fact there is no dress for women that is ‘decent’ enough to avoid any kind of harassment. Because from skirts to jeans to kurtis to sarees and even in burqas, women get eve teased and harassed.
Moral of the story, Indian Culture is flexible. No one has a right to judge anyone based on their particular standards of Indian culture. If we are the land of ‘Manusmriti,’ we are also the land of ‘Kamasutra’ so digest that fact. Most importantly, leave everything aside and understand that our country runs on a constitution.
The Constitution gives us the Right to Privacy because nobody would like to be told what to eat or how to dress. So if the constitution doesn’t have a problem with women living their lives on their terms, then the so-called guardians of ‘Indian Culture’ shouldn’t have one too.
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I read, I write, I dream and search for the silver lining in my life.
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