Four men and women physically and mentally harassed her that day. They had beaten her up along with her friends and publicly kept tugging at her top. There were a lot of people at the scene but, they didn't do much to stop it.
Finally, she and her friends took refuge inside the station master's room and came out only when police arrived.
This incident is a big blow to 'sartorial equity' in our country. It proves that, more or less people in the country consider some type of clothes more appropriate than others for women. And, in certain cases they can become violent in support of what they deem to be appropriate.
This example bears proof of our growing intolerance towards 'others', or people different from us. If this trend keeps going unabated, people will start complaining about more and more things in future. Soon, there will come the day, when they will object to things that are considered appropriate now.
Earlier in mid-March this year, another young girl was harassed by a middle-aged woman inside a bus for wearing a T-shirt. In the video of that incident that went viral on social media then, the woman was seen aggressively trying to attack the girl. She furiously kept bad mouthing the girl as well as her parents for allowing her to wear such attire in public.
In this case, other male passengers, except a few, started making bad comments about the victim girl's clothes and her upbringing in unison with her.
This is not just about western cloths, in an opposite circumstance a woman wearing traditional cloths or covered up in burkha and hijab can also be harassed or looked down upon for her attire by people who considers them as the 'others' based on their clothes.
We must free ourselves from the shackles of patriarchy to gain freedom in the true sense so that a woman doesn't have to worry about what she wears outside and can wear whatever she wants without the fear of snide comments in public
One thing to notice here is that it is always the women who are harassed or taunted for wearing 'indecent cloths'. A man never gets called out for his attire in this country. All this moral policing are actually ways for men to try and control women in the society.
And what's more alarming is that it is also the women who are joining men in harassing those 'other' women, different from them in some way. Women supporting such harassment or participating themselves, give those men more courage to commit such offences. Moreover, those women doing such patriarchal work provide men with a sense of justification for their actions as well.
This trait of 'othering' or creating divisions among ourselves, and hostility towards the 'other' is quite dangerous because, segregation has no end. Now women wearing western clothes are being treated with contempt. Tomorrow women not covering up their head might get harassed. And, the day after that might see women going out of the house being treated as 'others'.
These practices have to be prevented at any cost otherwise women won't have any freedom left to preserve in near future. We should practice and preach tolerance towards people who are different from us.
We must free ourselves from the shackles of patriarchy to gain freedom in the true sense so that a woman doesn't have to worry about what she wears outside and can wear whatever she wants without the fear of snide comments in public.