Those who watched the video, raised one pertinent question. Why no other passenger intervened or rescued the girls? The question to be asked is why public transport buses aren’t fitted with cameras like one often sees in other states, i.e: Shivneri buses ferrying passengers between Pune and Mumbai. Such tools are available, and if found to be working can stand testimony to untoward incidents and hopefully even act as a deterrent to crimes in public transport.
A bus belting incident, but now what?
The sexual harassment label was ground enough for immediate public backlash. The trio was charged with assault, and arrested after the girls parents lodged an FIR. Director General of Haryana Transport department (Sonipat) suspended the driver and conductor of the roadways bus(HR 69 6150) almost immediately. What’s shameful is the fact that since the initial report was of molestation, why weren’t the girls faces appropriately pixalated/blurred by numerous media channels that used the video. It’s the same in television interviews. Now, in a possible scenario of backlash the girls identities are no longer protected, and under no circumstances should they have to face a mob verdict, whatever the buildup.
The original walloping video was soon followed by another video that surfaced online of the duo. A similar approach, another beating, only this time it was in a park. It’s no surprise that the incident gained such prominence almost immediately, and then backlash. The girls are boldfaced about similar videos emerging keeping in mind their personal experience with harassment over the years. One can’t question their intent when belting a third party or videographing an incident when the duo feel threatened in a certain situation. Another question that’s being asked is who is clicking videos for them?
India has in recent times been dealing with an increased number of incidents involving women, and yes, they are sexual and violent in nature. However, what should also be mentioned that the times are changing, and it’s most likely that violence remains the same, but number of instances being reported has increased.
An impartial enquiry has been mentioned. In the meantime, an immediate effect of the video was the Indian army stating they wouldn’t recruit the offenders despite clearing the physical test. There’s been no recent announcement regarding the matter.
Questions that need answering are: The Indian government can be fallible, but why would they fail to carry out an interrogation before determining right from wrong? It clearly reflects poor decision making skills of those involved, and was no one responsible for verifying the video in question? That’s not all. The army too based their judgement without further initial query, and media judgement millions watching to pass a judgement at first glance. Surely, a nation quick to judge, but based on what?
Allegations are in great numbers from parties involved. There’s also a video of eyewitnesses who had been travelling in the same bus, as well as the boy’ families. An independent enquiry needs to ascertain video authenticity, and who really clicked the alleged assault video? And of course why, since an ulterior motive is implied now.
Since parts of northern India has often been labelled a patriarchal society, the support for the boys will be scrutinised. The girls do feel eyewitness accounts are being stage managed.