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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Why we tolerate harrassment

As more and more women are coming up with incidents of molestation by the TVF guy, Arunabh Kumar, it is quite possible that he is not innocent. But it's surprising that these women took so much time to come out and share the incidents. And they are not from small tribal villages with no education and no voice. Most of them are well-educated, financially self-dependent and empowered enough to voice their opinion in English on social media.
Then why didn't they come up earlier? Different people may have different reasons, but there could be one common reason in many of them, I feel.
And this reason has nothing to do with their gender. Even a male would have avoided to put allegations on a hotshot. This reason has something to do with the way our industry works in many cases. On a subtle and invisible level, our industry works like mafia. In mafia, there is a code of silence which is called omerta. This code asks you to keep quiet if a powerful guy is targetting you. If you don't keep quiet, your life will get more difficult which most of us don't desire. It may also lead to your annihilation.
If you take panga with your senior or your workplace, your life will be hell and your chances of getting another job will decrease drastically overnight. Others won't be exited about hiring you because you will be branded as a rebel and people like 'baghawat' in movies, not in their teams.
That's why people tolerate harassment whether it's sexual in nature or not. They put their self-esteem in a dusbin to protect their employability because in a big city it's easier to live without self-esteem than without money. And they come out in public to raise their voice only if they have lost the fear of losing things even more or they are sure that their tormenter cannot harm them any more.

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