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Shaming Bengaluru is Also Shameful, Blame That Time, That Event

CCTV footage of two men trying to sexually assault a woman in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: I am also concerned about what is happening in Bengaluru, my city. But shaming the entire city for such incidents is also shameful.

Bengaluru is not just MG Road, Brigade Road or Kammanahalli. It is a huge metropolitan city with over 10 million population. Blame that time, blame that event. Not the entire city.

The violence against women is a deep rooted issue in India. It is a very sensitive issue. We need a sobered down approach. The media going hysterical and start branding the entire city as unsafe are bad. It is easy to blame the police. But it is not just a law or order issue. It is a cultural issue. The New Year Partying has been happening may be for over 30 years in Bengaluru. This is not the first time. In a place like Goa such things may not happen. There are various reasons.

Groping, molestation, rape and so on are highly condemnable and should be dealt with firmly. But they do happen and normal in some societies. We need to analyse these things in a sober, mature way. In India we have a deep rooted patriarchy. It is also one of the main reasons for such incidents. Bengaluru has a huge number of migrants. They have migrated to the city from all over India. There are also migrants from rest of Karnataka. These things also add to such things. Sadly, in our society women are not seen equal.

I once again say please don’t blame the entire city. That’s wrong. The same people can do the same thing even in Istanbul. They may have already done it in Delhi or Mumbai. Why blame Bengaluru for such things? On December 31, my daughters went out and came back safe. They saw no such things.

Everything was normal. That’s why I said that city is a very big place. We should careful before branding the entire city.

It is easy to blame the police for such things. The same police ensure safety in most parts of the city and most parts of the year. Even on December 31, the same city police had ensured safety in over 99% parts of the city.

One or two such incidents should not be used to destroy the reputation of a great city like Bengaluru. Politicising such things is even more dangerous. I once again request the people in the media and civil society not to shame entire Bengaluru. It is not the right thing to do.

(Prakash Belawadi is a noted film actor, theatre personality and journalist. His recent film in Hindi is Airlift)​