Bear harassment or bleed: A woman’s protest negated in UP

Some videos have emerged from Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri where we see something that counters the title of a ‘Developing Country’ given to India.  A woman is hit brutally with a stick in the market even after she starts bleeding.  The word ‘market’ suggests that the domestic violence which hunts women has come up in ‘market’.  Market suggests public place as opposed to the four walls where the monster of domestic violence lives. Do we see any change when we travel from these four walls to the public place or a ‘market’?

What this woman faced in a public place questions ethics of the society which participated in the same crime by merely watching the show. Woman was allegedly beaten after she lashed out at 2 men for groping her when she asked for directions. We talk about Women Empowerment and giving agency to women. The little agency that a woman can practice is standing against ill- treatment against her. Here the woman did the same and was beaten mercilessly as a result. This is the situation of a region like UP as opposed to metropolitan cities like Delhi NCR which again gives one after another rape cases. The level of modernity in the two states might be different but what about the level of modernity of values of a society?

The videos show that a man in yellow sweater is hitting the woman repeatedly on her head and body. The dark side of yellow colour stands for cowardice and illness. Indeed such people stand for a coward society which can exploit any woman to sustain masculinity. These are the people who make our society ‘ill’. Hence such men dressed in ‘yellow’ are redundant for our society.

This is the case of exploitation of woman and it is shameful that it is aligned with politics by a ‘fame hungry’ society. Opposition Parties are trying to read this action as freedom practiced by criminals under Samajwadi Party. In fact this incident challenges the agendas of democracy associated to India where on one hand it assures equality to all but on other hand women become victim of physical violence on taking some agency.  It is not about one single political party but politics as a whole. Probably in such a society, these women make a space for themselves by saying “I will shoot myself if those two aren't caught and arrested." They refuse to be the ‘damsel in distress’ and challenge the ‘market’.

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