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Rise of Victim Blaming in Arunachal Pradesh

30 Sep,2022 10:20 PM, by: Posy Lui
4 minute read Total views: 5241
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On April 23 2022, a local media outlet in Arunachal Pradesh posted a video of a young lady, on her way back home at night, pleading with the driver of a public commute (a tempo) to end the ride at her requested stop. The video footage that has gone viral ever since, was captured by the lady herself (perhaps a livestream), where she was heard repeatedly requesting the driver to stop the ride (which he failed to comply quite blatantly) and continued the ride while ignoring her pleas.  

The premise of the video affirmed that the lady was the only passenger in the tempo at the time, and the driver started taking advantage of the situation by forcing her to hang out with him for a drink. However, she kept rejecting his offers and instead was heard saying,  "Brother, stop the vehicle! You will miss my stop.", "Brother, stop or I will jump out.", "Stop brother, or I will call my brother “. However, none of her pleas concerned him, as he seemed determined to not drop her off at the stop requested. Instead, the driver catcalls her "mean" for not reciprocating positively to his inappropriate behaviour. The girl says "stop here" more than 10 times in the video. The footage further reveals that the driver ultimately had to end the ride, as she was equally being persistent and patient with her words and action. Although she maintained her politeness, she did not give him any cue to proceed with his intentions. You can say that she handled the situation very well. 

It was good to learn that nothing untoward happened with the lady in the end. However the footage raised some critical concerns. Despite the footage revealing the nuisance that a woman in our society is subjected to face (a sad reality for many women), there were many people in the comments section of the video who quickly jumped to the conclusion that it was a fake video and started judging the morale of the girl. Here’s a snapshot of some of the comments, which goes on to reaffirm the sorry state of affairs when it comes to public sensitisation of sensitive cases. 

Several people assumed that the video is fake saying:

Others just blatantly questioned the character and chastity of the girl:

And other commenters- although concerned, were just condemning the girl in the video (and girls in general) for simply using their right to freedom.