While ETimes does not support trolling of any kind, nor can we be sure of the truth of this matter, the incident does bring to light the need for laws protecting men. We all know if a drunk man brushed against a woman, he would have hell to pay (imprisonment and fine) if she chose to lodge a complaint against him. But, if what is being said of Sara were true, would the man — in this case the security guard — have had any rights to protest? Does the law safeguard a man’s dignity against molestation? Is there even a thing such as molestation in context of a man? Shocking as it is, it seems no. A man under the same circumstances has no recourse to law!
Advocate Ali Kaashif Khan tells ETimes that the existing laws in the country only safeguard women against such incidents. “There cannot be any molestation complaint against a woman by a man, since molestation word in law is majorly incorporated for the protection of women. And most importantly there has to be prima facie motive and intention for alleging such an act on anyone. There’s no law in existence as such, however if the woman fails to prove her case she can be prosecuted under section 340 CrPC for perjury. In the present video, there exists no such ingredients, nor the security guard has reacted to it in any way,” he says.
Reacting to insinuations on Sara after the video surfaced online, Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee states that the video cannot be treated as an admissible evidence before any Court or law enforcement agencies, either to claim consumption of any narcotic substance, or physically touching the male security guard, attracting molestation charges or any other Sections of Indian Penal Code, or any other laws laid down by the Statute. “Such insinuations made through circulation of videos would instead attract criminal defamation charges against the person,” he said.
When asked if we need laws to protect the dignity of men also, Khan adds, “We don’t have any such law as of now as the law in our country believes more in protecting women since many women have faced harassment, torture, torment, rape since ages. But these days, there are many cases where women are misusing laws against men.”
Actor Vipul Roy is a strong supporter of equal rights for all and has been very vocal about it. While he finds nothing wrong with the incident, he does emphasise on the need for a law that treats men, women and the third gender equally. “Is Sara looking for attention from this security guard? Or is teasing him giving her a different high? I see none of these, she didn’t do it deliberately. Having said that, I also strongly support equality in law for men, women and the third gender,” he says.
One of the photographers present outside the restaurant shares his account on condition of anonymity. He says that Sara had accidentally touched the guard while entering and she did not appear drunk either. “The incident has been blown out of proportion,” he says. Another photographer says, “Yes Sara was drunk — we all spoke about how drunk and unsteady she was, and she did throw out a hand to support herself and her hand almost brushed against the guard, but she didn’t actually touch him.”
Strangely all comments on social media by those who believe that Sara inappropriately touched the guard, imply that he would have been happy and flattered. How unfair! Why is it assumed that any man would be happy if a strange woman touches him? As a colleague says, “Men too value their privacy and space, and feel as dirty by an unwanted touch as any woman would. Ask any man!” While we often talk about women empowerment, society can’t be truly empowered unless the rules for men and women are equal.