Following up on ‘The Larger Impact of Blank Noise,’ I was curious to see what concrete actions and legal actions have been taken concerning sexual harassment of women in public. As previously mentioned, various lawyers groups have taken up the street sexual violence charge, including the National Commission for Women, India, which has compiled a number of reports concerning eve-teasing, and proposed new legislation regarding Sections 294 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code that address eve-teasing concerning the definition of eve-teasing, appropriate punishments, etc. Although most recently eve-teasing has become a non-bailable offense (as previously mentioned) which will definitely help to deter eve-teasers, unfortunately I have not been able to find a recent amendment to the Indian law regarding the new legislation that the NCW has proposed, and as such the current laws demonize the victim.
As a way to guard women against such attacks, “Ladies Special” trains and buses have been established in India that are intended to “spare women travellers the unwanted attention of leery males and their wandering hands.” But I wonder if this is really the type of solution that the Blank Noise campaign has been striving for. It seems to me that this is a quick fix – a band aid covering up rather than addressing the core problem. Shouldn’t Indian women be able to ride in public transportation freely without fear of molestation? Altering societal perceptions about personal boundaries should allow for just that.
Posted by The Chandigarh Tribune