What happened in our capital city recently is without doubt very disturbing but didn’t take anyone much by surprise. I want to give you my perception and experiences about such situations so we understand things better.
1. Mobs- Men find strength and power in a group; the larger the better. It is said that when men are in a mob they lose all fear . The thought process and behaviour alters drastically. The crowd becomes a separate entity- a powerful entity. They unite as one despite all differences. We are aware of countless terrible incidents when mobs go on a rampage, provoked or not, with reasoning or without, attacking men, women and children alike.
2. Alcohol- Men in a mob are bad enough! Drunk men in a mob is something else. Our brains rely on a delicate balance of chemicals and processes. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can disrupt that balance, affecting our thoughts, feelings and actions
3. Opportunities- Men in this state look for the smallest opportunity to act and when they do, nothing can stop them. Cops nor cctv cameras. And women become the most coveted and sought after opportunity, which the men wouldn’t miss for anything.
4. Darkness- Whether its day or night doesn’t matter to a mob. They take more comfort in the dark because it gives them anonymity and safety. They tend to act more brutally and fearlessly in darkness.
With these facts in place, I want to share couple of experiences with a mob that made me realise how fragile and vulnerable we are.
A few years ago, a girlfriend and I went on a Kinetic Honda for the Usha Uthup show held in a hall in one of the main roads of the city at around 6.15 pm. We parked the scooter on the opposite side of the road and went to the gate with our passes. But we weren’t allowed inside. There was a small crowd and about 6 armed policemen there. We came back and got onto our scooter and within seconds we were surrounded by 50 men in a perfect, tight circle formation ( there must have been at least 20 circles and all this was done telepathically and like they were trained in these formations ) and about 20 hands started groping us from all sides. Luckily, my friend had the presence of mind .She started the scooter and we flew- over several feet , knocking a few men down and we didn’t stop until we reached our home! We were in a complete state of shock for multiple reasons! One that this happened in broad daylight, two- it happened in the main road , three- there were police men there and nobody cared! Fourth- No one could do anything even if they wanted to. Fifth and most important- The realisation that we are vulnerable and helpless . Our first terrifying brush with the MOB
The second time was in a music concert that was a fund raiser for the pain and palliative center of our city. It was mainly sponsored by the Enfield bikers from UK who were touring India ( They buy Enfield bikes from India, tour the country and when they leave they sell the bikes and donate the sale proceeds to deserving causes and our centre was one of them) Back to the concert- the families were in the upper section and the men were below. Halfway through the bikers came in ( after all they were the donors) both men and women. They were standing in the back of the hall. And all of a sudden, within seconds a large group of men surrounded one woman and started molesting her ( the same perfect circle formation ) We were watching from up totally horrified and few of the men ran downstairs. But nobody could break through this; not even the 6 footer bikers. The music stopped and I think it was with divine intervention, a couple of men managed to get in and they bodily lifted this woman over their heads and carried her out! Again MOB power. And we were all watching from above, helplessly.
When there is a mob ( whether sober, drunk, educated, young, old doesn’t matter) , there’s very little anyone can do. Whether you are the law or armed or the President of the country.
We have to be smart and use our common sense and decide what is safe for us and what we are in control of. All this funda about gender equality, woman power, lets show what we are is good on paper, not when you are in a crazed united mob. Its definitely better to be safe than sorry