New Year’s Eve celebrations in Bangalore were marred by another ugly series of mass molestations, making them the third such incident to happen in India. As women walked in the streets of their city, celebrating with friends and family, masses of men descended on them, all hands, and grabbed everything that they could see. It was a visible and obvious message, and one that Indian women are eerily familiar with: I come, I see, I take.
Although Indian police were present, women reported that the officers were no more than mute spectators. Even though they possessed weapons, they stood by and watched as these men grabbed and fondled women around them with impunity. Sobbing women screamed and tried to run towards the police, even as the men pulled them back to keep groping and fondling them, and the cops did nothing to step in and protect them. Later, Bangalore police claimed that they were heavily outnumbered.
As the news broke on the first of January and the country was understandably furious, the attention shifted from the molestations and the sexual assault to – you guessed it – Indian men. The hashtag #NotAllMen began trending around the third of January, presumably in response to the attention men were facing as a result of the mass molestations, and it soon overtook the real issue at hand. By the fourth day of 2017, the attention was solely focused on #NotAllMen instead of #WhatHappenedInBangaloreMustNeverHappenAgain.
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