Like many of us, have you been shown lewd and inappropriate gestures by men in public spaces? If yes, then what did you do?
Did you report them to make sure they learn their lesson or just ignored it like many of us? Here is one woman who refused to ignore and we are celebrating her courage!
Recently Nupur Saraswat, a resident of Kormangala Bengaluru, raised her voice against the man who flashed at her and got him arrested.
On 8 November, Nupur Saraswat, a resident of Koramangala, Bengaluru, reached out for help on an Instagram post. She was flashed by a man standing on a terrace, who lives two blocks from her apartment. As the houses in her locality are not spaced out, she got a clear view of the perpetrator from her window.
While revealing the details of the shocking incident, Nupur shared with TBI,
“I moved into this apartment one month ago. His house is not very far from mine. He stood there staring at me for an hour, which made me very uncomfortable. The first thought in my head was to not stay silent. The second thought was of fear because he knew which building I was living in. So, I yelled at him and used abusive words. Immediately, his pants dropped and he gave me a disgusting smile while he held his penis at me. I threatened to take pictures of him and when I brought out my camera he pulled them back up and stood there watching me!”
Her social media post began with the question – “Is flashing an offense in India?”
After her post went viral, some legal experts and activists shared with her that it is a punishable offence to flash a woman in public. Many women also came forward to share their own horrifying experiences. Sadly there were also comments from people asking her to ignore it and walk away.
But when she saw so many women coming forward with their experiences, she realized that she can’t stay silent. She can’t ignore and move on because staying silent will not change anything and more women will have to face this traumatic experience.
So, further sharing how she got the man behind bars, Nupur mentioned:
“While the law is still in a grey area (over such cases), I wanted to raise my voice against the accused and get him the punishment he deserved. So, I called the police and on 9 November. From Koramangala police station I was connected to the Viveknagar station. The man was identified and arrested. I was also escorted to the station for filing my complaint,”
It broke our heart when Nupur shared that the same man even flashed at a 15-year-old girl.
“A lady in my building approached me about how her 15-year-old daughter was also flashed by the same man. After she informed her mother of what happened, the two of them have stopped going on to the terrace, fearing that man,”
When the next day, the police informed Nupur that they have to let go of the man with a strict warning, Nupur approached a lawyer. But after knowing about the long and tedious process, she decided not to put herself through that.
Even though Nupur might not be pursuing a legal battle, she is very clear why women can’t stay silent on such matters:
“The most important lesson I learned from what happened in the last two days is to never stay silent. If you are being harassed, raise your voice, let others know and seek help. And even though he is being released, his landlord informed me that he will be evicted from his residence by the end of this week.”
As a society, we need to celebrate the courage of young women like Nupur who are raising their voices to fight for their dignity.
Nupur’s brave spirit may manage to instill some fear in this man and may push him to take a deep look at his behavior. It is heartbreaking how many more sex-deprived men are roaming free on the roads.
Hope this story gives you the courage to fight back the next time you are shown lewd and inappropriate gestures by men in public spaces!