From the films
I think men harass women because they are inspired by heroes in Bollywood. Ladki cherna is projected as a cool act in movies – Shahrukh Khan did in ‘Darr’, Aamir Khan did it in ‘Dil’ and many other such examples. Even our songs - ‘Tune English mein jab humko daanta, toh aashiq surrender hua; pyar se maara galon pe chanta toh aashiq surrender hua’, from 'Badrinath ki Dulhaniya', shows actor Varun Dhawan stalking Alia Bhatt. In Bollywood, it’s cool to stalk.
*Karan, 26, Software Engineer, Gurgaon
Lack of sex education
We in India do not have access to sex education. Our biology teacher too skipped lessons on reproduction and we have grown up seeing how amoeba reproduces asexually. Come think of it. We have zero knowledge about a girl’s body. We see porn to get information. Maybe some men find it too tough to control their desires on seeing a woman and indulge in such behaviour of stalking and eve teasing.
*Nitin Jaitly, 28, Software Engineer, Bangalore
Lack of relationships
Men who do such acts of harassing women have no sense of respect for women. Men these days see porn films at a young age and get addicted to masturbation and start seeking sex.
If they find a woman to have sex with, it becomes okay for them to release their energies but those who can’t have sex, they stalk and harass other women.
*Mukesh Rathi, 28, Property Dealer, Haryana
They know most women won’t react
Men know that women will either stay quiet or not react if they are harassed. They also prefer to not report the incident. This gives them more power. These acts happen in more populated areas where social accountability of a stalker is less and there are more chances of such incidents going unnoticed. Also, when young men see older men doing hurtful things towards women, this cycle of harassment goes on because of a lack of understanding of social etiquettes.
My advice to women is – please react. It is not your fault. When anybody is harassed, it is psychologically very hurtful to them. Women must raise their voice and confront such men when any form of stalking incident happens.
*Limin Sherpa, 38, School Principal, Sikkim
Weak men trying to feel strong
Men who don’t have the confidence to talk to women as a decent human being, they indulge in stalking and harassment. When such under-confident men get together on a street corner, they feel empowered to whistle and pass comments to a lady walking near them.
To compensate for their small sense of self, some men harass women and make them feel disgusted and victimized without any fault.
*Dhrub Mukherjee, 25, Firm Manager, Bangalore
It’s because of the way women dress
Ab ladkian aise short kapde pehnegi to main to kya koi bhi excited hoga. Nahi? Women should also take note that when they wear tight dresses which show their body shape and skin, it acts as a stimulus for such disrespectful men and they get provoked to harass women.
*Sagar, 20, Student, Delhi
Women as objects
Women in our society are only looked upon as flesh meant for sexual gratification. I can’t feel what a woman feels when she is harassed. But intellectually I believe that some part of a woman’s existence is lost when she gets eve-teased or harassed.
*Maunik Basu, 24, Filmmaker, Kolkata
Women should not be alone
Women get stalked when alone. To keep themselves safe, women should accompany somebody with them if they are travelling at night or in some unsafe area. Men who harass are careless about a woman’s feelings and make her guilty without any reason.
*Dorji Rai, 23, Student, Sikkim
It’s not eve-teasing, it’s sexual harassment
First off, it is not eve-teasing. It is sexual harassment. Don’t downplay the act by calling it ‘teasing’ of any sort. I don't indulge in any forms of sexual harassment but I feel the reason why many men ( some of my colleagues too) do so is because they treat girls as aliens!
There has been a lack of communication between men and women since school or college times. Girls sit this side, boys sit that side. Girls always maintained a distance from boys, so boys become curious to know about them. Though it is no excuse for stalking someone.
*Sankalp Shingari, 35, Government Teacher, Amritsar
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.