The brutality met out to Nirbhaya by her rapists still rings fresh. No matter what positions women hold in society, stepping out after dark remains something we think about twice. Each time we read an uplifting post about a cab driver helping a girl in trouble, or a man helping a girl get home with no motive, we’ve somewhere hoped that maybe, just maybe things were getting better. But there’s a long way to go still, and this incident stands as a testimony to the same.

Isha Gupta, one of my colleagues and a resident of Gurgaon (Gurugram), boarded a Haryana Roadways bus at 9.30 pm, making her way back from MGF mall. Registered by the number 0767, it goes from MG road metro and via sector 14 makes its way to sector 56. All along the way, the driver kept looking at Isha, enjoying her discomfort as he passed lewd remarks at her along with the conductor. When she tried to sit further away after a number of passengers deboarded, the driver asked for an explanation why she wanted to move, and things began to turn ugly, until the co-passengers joined the league with them, and asked her to deboard. 


Isha tells ScoopWhoop,

I had paid for that ticket. He kept laughing and I heard the word ‘chedna‘ being repeated over and over again. I sat behind the driver thinking it would be the safest, but he was the one who kept passing lewd remarks at me, with the conductor.
Sanjeevani Today

When she tried to change her seat at sector 14, the driver asked her why she wanted to do so. 

The bus had stopped, I just picked up my things and moved to a place where some other passengers sat, when he asked me why I wanted to move. When he kept up with the persistence, I told him I just wanted to, and it was none of his business. That’s when he stopped the bus and refused to move.

She made her way to the entry, and told the driver that she would call the police. At this, the driver laughed at her and asked her why she’d do that,

He kept asking me why I’d like to call the police. He stopped the bus on a deserted spot with other passengers on. The entire road was empty and the people on board began to blame me for the delay. They told me to step out of the bus and to watch my tone. All I wanted to do was change my seat because the driver was looking at me more than he was looking at the road. I will never board a bus again.

She deboarded, hired an auto, and got back home. There was absolutely nobody to call for help. The stories she had heard made her realise that standing her ground would just result in things getting worse. 


The people found absolutely nothing wrong with the driver harassing a woman out of the bus. In fact, Isha was asked to mind her tone. I don’t know whether to call it ignorance or inhumanity, either way, it has pointed out that this city continues to be unsafe for women. Not only did the driver along with the co-passengers harass her out of a public conveyance, they blamed her for the delay. No questions were posed to the driver, or the conductor and nobody asked Isha about the issue that led to such commotion. Nobody cared. 

Has empathy and humanity become so scarce that none understood her plight? In a society where spines go stiff in the name of morality, why was she all alone? Is anybody listening?