Encroach on their space and pay dearly

Gender bender

In a recent incident, a man travelling in women’s coach of Delhi Metro was severely beaten up by security guards, reviving the debate on encroachment of women’s seats in the Metro, and the amount of penalty that must be levied on men for this offence.

intrusion Men come out of the coach reserved for women.Neha Pushpakar, a Delhi University student, who takes the metro regularly, says, “This practice must be discouraged. Today, it’s one guy who’s claiming the right to exit from the women’s coach. Tomorrow, all would want to do the same. In any case, the huge rush while exiting is the best excuse for men to touch women ‘inadvertently’.”

Other women metro commuters just refuse to buy the ‘only exiting’ argument. Anita Sharma, who takes the metro to her office in Connaught Place  daily, says, “It is just a stupid alibi. Isn’t a literate, or even illiterate, person supposed to know that when your station is approaching, you should get up and stand at the door?”

However, most agree that beating men who are caught travelling in the women’s coach, is not the best way to deter them. In fact, it can lead to a backlash.

According to Delhi Metro statistics, a total of 4,289 men were caught travelling in the women’s compartment between  October 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011.

Volunteers from various organisations and Metro security personnel are known to have made men to do sit-ups, wear bangles, handed a broom and even asked to sweep the platforms, besides being beaten up and slapped which have become pretty regular.

Vikash Sharma, a student of Khalsa College and a regular metro user says, “This is just not the way to go about it. You can fine men, take administrative action against them, but which law of the country states that men should be thrashed for this? After all, some men might also do it by mistake. To paint everybody with the same brush is to actually widen the gender divide prevalent in our society.”

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