Bengaluru has been witnessing an alarming rise in harassment cases, predominantly affecting women and minority groups. The city’s vibrancy and cosmopolitan nature stand in stark contrast to the distressing accounts emerging from its streets, workplaces, and public spaces.
Recently, a Bengaluru-based man took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share the ordeal his wife had to face after her car was chased by a group of men. In a post on X, Srijan R Shetty wrote, ‘I’ve never felt unsafe in Bangalore-I know my privilege of being a Kannada-speaking male last Thursday night I felt how unsafe certain parts of the city are post-10 p.m. I’ve seen those horrific videos of fake accidents in Sarjapur where hooligans have tried to blackmail people in the car.’
He further added, ‘On November 8, my wife offered to drop off some other colleagues (2 females and one male), considering it was hard to get a cab from Sarjapur. Their car was chased down by a bunch of men for a few kilometres; she was smart enough to stop only on the main road and inform the cops as soon as possible.’
Srijan also informed that ‘None of the bystanders helped the three women and a guy in the car.’
Soon after this post went viral, people started sharing their own experiences. Of course, this is not, as especially in the last few months there have been many such cases of harassment in the city which even made headlines.
Earlier in April this year, a Bengaluru-based woman had alleged that she was sexually harassed by her Rapido bike taxi rider. She had to jump off a moving vehicle to escape the harassment.
Another similar and yet very disturbing case was when a video of a Dutch vlogger being manhandled in Bengaluru’s Chickpet went viral. The Youtuber Pedro Mota posted a video on his channel where he was seen getting harassed by a local shopkeeper in the market.
Not just that people have also complained of language-based harassment in the city. In a video that went viral, a man from Bihar was seen breaking down because of language-based harassment by the locals. The man was abused and threatened for not being able to speak in Kannada.
At the same time, the threat of violent bikers is becoming real day by day in the city. An incident was reported back in July where a group of bikers attacked individuals travelling in cars. It all started when the driver of the car honked to signal the bikers to clear the road. This however did not turn out well, they ended up irking these bikers so much that they followed the driver to his apartment and assaulted him as well.
Well, this recent surge in harassment incidents has ignited public outcry and raised serious concerns about safety and security in Bengaluru. Reports of verbal abuse, stalking, and physical assault have underscored the urgency to confront this pervasive issue. Victims, often fearful of repercussions or societal stigma, have been hesitant to come forward, exacerbating the problem and perpetuating a culture of silence.