The year was 1992, I was doing my masters in English Literature from Mumbai University, located at Kalina campus. Every morning, I got off at Santacruz railway station, on the east side and went to the bus stop that would take me to the university. Sometimes I would meet other students, at others I wouldn’t.
When I emerged from class, he was at the gate, waiting. I jumped into a waiting auto rickshaw and went home, terrified.
The next morning he was there again, standing behind me, muttering obscenities, touching me, on a crowded bus. I screamed for help. No one said a word. And he was there the next day. I changed my timings, got off at another railway station, had friends walk with me, but he was always there. I was terrified. I couldn’t tell my mother, it would worry her. I did what I think most girls end up doing in such a situation, I dropped out of my masters a few months before my exams, found a job in a small advertising agency as a copywriter and never went back to formal education again.
Whether this was a good thing or a bad one, I will never know. Thankfully, advertising bored the socks off me and condensing my words to fit into a box allocated by the design team was not what I felt chuffed about and I moved to journalism.
I read in the news today that the Delhi government plans to bring in an amendment to make stalking a non-bailable offence. On Women’s Day this year, Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor proposed a bill in the Lok Sabha to make stalking a non-bailable offence.
What is stalking? According to Section 354D of Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013, stalking is “To follow a woman and contact or attempt to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman or monitor the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication.”
Read the rest here