This Japanese Woman Was Harassed And Molested In Rishikesh. So Much For Atithi Devo Bhava.
Atithi Devo Bhava (the guest is God), is a phrase that you must have heard very often. This phrase is a major part of why Indians are known for their hospitality and warmth all around the world. But, do you know what else India is known for? It’s known for being unsafe for solo women travellers. Now, when you put the two together, the combination is dangerous and disastrous. And considering that there are a lot of places in India that rely on tourism, I’d say we should be a hundred times more careful than we are.
It’s no secret that women are subjected to harassment, molestation, catcalling and a lot of other crimes daily. And as messed up as that is, it’s twice as bad when it happens to a tourist who’s only the country for a vacation. Sadly, the case that has come to light just a few days ago is not the first of its kind and our history tells me, it won’t be the last either. I am talking about the Japanese woman who was harassed in Rishikesh just a few days ago.
The Japanese woman had come to India to learn yoga at one of the yoga training centres in Rishikesh. She alleged that at the centre four men molested and stalked her asking for sexual favours.
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Uttarakhand police said they have arrested three persons including two yoga teachers for allegedly molesting and stalking a Japanese woman for sexual favours https://t.co/vis5yid2Xo
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) May 10, 2020
Thoroughly disturbed by these advances, she lodged a complaint and the Uttarakhand police have arrested three of the four men. Harikishan Singh, Chandrakant Dahal who are teachers at this centre and Somraj who is staffer working in the kitchen. The fourth person is still to be arrested.
Arun Mohan Joshi, deputy inspector general of Dehradun said that the foreign national board had complained on Saturday. He said, “In her complaint, she had stated that she came to Rishikesh a few months ago to learn yoga at a yoga training centre in the popular tourist town. At the centre, all four accused who were employed there started harassing her with obscene talks for sexual favours.”
The three accused are all set to be produced before a magistrate in a local court soon. But the million dollar question remains- is that enough? I know harassing women is a rotten thing to do on every single level but the added problem with harassing tourist women is that they carry the worst impression about India back home.
Is this what Atithi Devo Bhava really means? I mean, for a country with a lot of big talk about customs and traditions, in reality, there are times we do a completely shoddy job of upholding them.