I’m Guilty of Not Protesting Against Men Harassing An Air Hostess
I was afraid of inviting their wrath on me, afraid of being embarrassed publicly.
In light of the Nana Patekar-Tanushree Dutta controversy finding place in dining room discussions, my conscience kept gnawing at me to speak about an incident that happened a while ago.
Around three months back, me and three of my friends boarded a late evening flight after work from Delhi to Goa. It was the first ever experience, and I could not manage a window seat in the aircraft. One of my friends sat next to me on the aisle seat, and the other two were seated one row ahead on our left.
The aircraft was almost full, and we saw a group of 4-5 men (tall and sturdy) enter the aircraft and find seats in the row behind ours. They were annoyingly loud and ill-mannered.
I found their conversation pretty hilarious, and in the middle of their banter, the flight took off.
I was busy conversing with this gentleman from Goa, who was busy telling me what to do while I was in Goa. Suddenly, we heard some loud voice from the same group of men.
Cutting the long narrative short:
The men were openly, unabashedly catcalling an air hostess, looking for every opportunity to harass her. It all seemed harmless fun for them.
My astonishment knew no bounds on seeing them harass her.
We all saw it but none of us raised our voice against them. We were the silent spectators.
Honestly, I’m not one to keep quiet, but at that moment I did not utter a single word.
Why? Because I was AFRAID.
Afraid of inviting their wrath on me. Afraid of being embarrassed publicly.
Afraid or perhaps not willing to get involved in someone else’s matter.
After all, it was not happening to me!
I kept waiting and hoping for someone else to take the lead.
Perhaps I, too, could have raised my voice if someone else had.
I realised, we Indians are armchair philosophers and provide unsolicited opinions on matters without actively partaking in them. We have no intention of bringing a good change.
That day, I witnessed how easily crowd mentality can work in favour of hooligans. If any one of the passengers had raised his or her voice against them, we could have saved the flight attendant from getting ridiculed.
(Sarita Kandari is born and brought up in Delhi. She is a travel enthusiast and aspires to author a book someday. You can connect with Sarita here.)
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