HOME > SOCIETY > CRIME > Is Bangalore safe for women? Ask me, I’m a Bengaluru hudugi

Is Bangalore safe for women? Ask me, I’m a Bengaluru hudugi

It’s amusing to see men from Bangalore share posts on Facebook about how Bangalore is a safe city. And that, what happened on New years’ was just alcohol-induced.

Firstly, dear men of Bangalore, hold that thought. Would you care to ask a woman how she feels, before you post another status on Facebook?

I’m a Bangalorean, I was born here, and lived here all my life. I am as Bangalorean as  and I can tell you this: I do not feel safe in the city. Not a decade ago, not now.

When I’m hopping on an Uber at 6 pm: my dad wants to track my location. Why do you think that is?

“You never wear skirts to office!,” a colleague remarked once. Why do you think I don’t?

My friends tell me that I never smile when I am walking on the road. Why do you think that is?

I always put my bag in the front, and jut out an elbow while walking in a crowded place. Why do you think that is?

The not-so-great times

Here’s some incidents from my life, if you care to read them. My friends and relatives have gone through worse. I’m just sharing three of the many many things that happen at an almost periodic basis.

I was 17 years old. So this was almost a decade ago, mind you. It was 6:30 in the morning in Malleshwaram. I was headed to my weekend tuition class. One kannada-speaking person called me: “Aye! Illi nodu” (Hey! Look here!)

I looked at the person. He was without a pant or an underwear. Naked from the bottom. He winked at me, one hand on his hip the other on his crotch. I ran, in horror and disgust.

Oh by the way, what was I wearing? A chudidar with dupatta.

I was 20. I was in the Majestic bus stand,  headed to my college in Basavangudi in South Bangalore. While going from one platform to the next, I sensed a person following my friend and I. Senses on alert, I quickly sprinted to an empty bus 45E, and sat in the front seat, right behind the driver, and beside the conductor. Two seconds later, my stalker tugged at my dress from the window of the bus. I screamed for full five seconds in shock, anger and horror. The stalker ran away. What did the conductor do? He simply shook his head. And the driver? He moved the bus forward by 2 inches.

And what was I wearing: A pair of jeans and a top that reached all the way to my knees.

I was 21. I was heading back home from the Majestic bus terminal. I found my bus, chose a spot on the right hand side of the bus, beside the window. I was happy not only because that I had a seat for the hour long journey, but also because it was in the women’s section. As I sat down, someone called to me from the window.

“Where are you going?” he asked in Hindi.

Thinking he making a bus route enquiry, I said “HMT.”

“Will you sleep with me?” he asked, again in Hindi.

Disgusted, I moved to the left, away from the window. I did not know if the person hopped on the bus. I was too afraid to even find out. I spent the entire journey, putting my head down and hiding my face, afraid that the man would make a move on me once again. I did not have the patience, energy and courage to deal with another horny bastard.

Oh, and again, what was I wearing? Chudidar (or what is commonly called salwar-kameez), with a dupatta.

Do you see the pattern, dear men?

It’s not the drunk men. It’s men from all walks of life, from Bangalore and outside. It’s not during the night. It’s 24/7.

One need not be provocatively dressed to become a victim of these eve-teasers and molestors. I hope you’re intelligent enough to know that by now.

Coming back to the main point: The overarching mindset across the many FB posts are: “Bangalore is so safe! We host so many events, and it has always been safe! Look at Kadlekai Parshe. Such a peaceful event where no one feels threatened. (I was groped at the parshe, FYI). Look at Pinkathon (I participated in this. This was a largely women’s-only event and thankfully, no sickening incidents occurred). Look at all the call-center employees working in the midnight. (Please talk to them. They face these issues regularly.) Stop giving it a bad name, and go back to your city if you find it problematic.”

‘Sshh.. Don’t tell anybody’ 

My close friend once asked me to not shout or attract attention. This was right after when a man tried to graze my crotch while I was standing in a crowded place.

Kannadigas, by design are soft-spoken folks who try to be as accommodating as possible. I know, because I’m one.

And when Kannadiga women face these incidents, they just talk to the family about it, and bury it deep down. “Don’t tell anybody!” we’re advised. Who wants controversy, right?

That to me, is part of the problem too. Women don’t talk, for fear of judgement from peers and family alike. Maybe that’s why, this piece of news and the opinions sound so jarring and unreal to you.

Dear men, if anything, this episode should make you realize that:

1. You should open up and talk to the women in your life – your office, your neighbours, your relatives about how safe they feel.

2. Acknowledge that the problem exists, and try to find a solution to it together, as a community.

Your devotion to the city is laudable. I agree that Bangalore has graduated to a multicultural, multilingual city in a very short period of time. But blaming it all on the people who’re coming in is just.. well, stupid.

If you really love your city, you’ll tackle the problem head-on, understand why this is happening, instead of forcing people out of the city like bully.

Where’s your atithi devo-bhava spirit now?

PS: I refer to the old name of Bangalore, instead of the new Bengaluru purely out of a personal choice. You can follow me here.

Follow ULTRA.news
Kerala Love Jihad: Ashokan says he’s not anti-Muslim Akhila and Ashokan (right)Ashokan Mani, who has accused the Popular Front of India of trying to kidnap his daughter into Syria, today said he had no problems with his daughter converting to Islam or marrying a Muslim.Ashokan, who has been asked by the Supreme Court to pr...
No decision on Sabarimala Temple Entry for women, referred to constitution bench Gender activists and others waiting for today's Supreme Court judgment on the entry of women into Kerala's Sabarimala temple were slightly disappointed today after the court refused to rule one way or the other, instead referring the matter to a constitutional bench.The benc...
India to create law to protect Indian women abroad Laws to protect Indian women who are abandoned by their NRI (non-resident Indian) husbands or foreign partners to be finalised soon, said Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.India has taken a lead r...
Maneka Gandhi clarifies: Didn’t say men don’t commit suicide Union ministry of women & child development has expressed its consternation at its minister Maneka Gandhi being painted as insensitive by the media following a rather lively interaction between the minister and citizens.Media headlines today screamed that Gandhi, who has ...
Kerala girl secretly films man who masturbates in front of her in train A man who was looking for some cheap thrills on a train in Kerala got more than what he bargained for after the girl he was masturbating in front of secretly recorded the entire incident and uploaded it on social media.The incident is reported to have taken place on the A...
‘Nirbhaya scheme’ for women’s transport security at standstill Road minister Nitin Gadkari demonstrating panic button (Year 2015)A well-publicized scheme for ensuring security for women in public road transport unveiled in the wake of the brutal 'Nirbhaya' rape and murder of in December 2012 seems to have ground to a halt in the absence...
Kerala government doctor goes behind the veil to teach Muslim women A government doctor in Kerala has come under criticism on social media for taking a Polio vaccination awareness class for women from behind a veil.According to local media reports, nearly 100 women participated in the thinly veiled awareness drive conducted by a medical super...
Kerala’s Nirbhaya case forces rethink on reliance on Bangladeshi migrants The victimThe latest horror story to come out of Kerala has forced residents in this largely peaceful state to rethink their reliance on migrants -- mostly from Bangladesh -- for carrying out labour-intensive projects.Over the last five days, gruesome details have emerge...
Brigade Group announces new villa project in Devanahalli in Bangalore Brigade Group, one of the biggest developers in Bangalore, announced a new villa project at Devanahalli, near the 'new' Bangalore Airport.The project, called Atmosphere, offers 4 bedroom signature villas with sizes ranging from 3010 sq.ft to 3410 sq.ft, the company said. ...
TERI – Ashok Chawla is new chairman, RK Pachauri to go on leave The Governing Council of TERI appointed former finance secretary Ashok Chawla as its new chairman and said RK Pachauri will be on leave."Dr. R.K. Pachauri, who had been at the Head of the Institute since 1982 will be on leave from TERI, TERI Governing Council, and TERI Un...
Supreme Court sends notice to Center on Muslim divorce laws in India The Supreme Court today sent notice to the central government in a case based on a complaint by a Muslim woman that the divorce laws applied to her in India are not in conformity with the concept of gender equality promised by the Indian constitution.The court today sought th...
Centre to push for 50% reservation for women in Panchayat elections The government today said that it will push amendments for increasing to 50 per cent the reservation for women in Panchayats from 33 percent in the coming Budget session of Parliament.The move comes even as a bill to ensure women's representation in the Parliament continues ...
Greenpeace India sees leadership change after allegations Greenpeace India, which has been under scrutiny by the Union Home ministry for "preventing economic growth in India" and on social media for the way it handled sexual harassment allegations, said it was changing its India leadership."Greenpeace India’s Executive Director ...
Civil Aviation ministry opposes plan to reopen Bangalore’s HAL airport It's a move that would be greeted with much glee by harried Bangaloreans, but commercial considerations are understood to have forced the civil aviation ministry to oppose the reopening of the city's old airport at HAL.The airport in Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was shut down i...
Pramod Mutalik calls “urgent press conference” on Love Jihad Love Jihad may not bring the rosiest memories for the Bharatiya Janata Party, but some of its supporters are definitely in no mood 'abandon' the cause.Pramod Mutalik, chief of Sri Ramasene -- the organisation that became famous for attacking women in a beer parlour in Mangalo...
Half of Indian brides are underage – report Close to half of India's girls are married before the age of 18, and one in five is married even before she turns 15, a report by Dasra, a philanthropic foundation, said.According to the report, India accounts for 40% of the world’s 60 million child marriages, which is th...