Strategy 3 - Formalise a complaint

What did I think would happen when I filed the FIR? A two-and-a-halfyear, and continuing, saga of justice delayed and a judicial system erring unbelievably in my favour? What happened that night perhaps merited a short imprisonment and a fine. Or just a fine. I’m not in any position to decide that, but I do know that in no way did it deserve a hearing process stretched out over two and more years, with no signs of wrapping up.

This piece was published in Tehelka and got me thinking about whether formalising a complaint was a good idea at all.


  1. nisha7:23 pm

    hi Hemangini,
    I believe we must not forget that for every 1 Sanjeev Kumar there are thousands of others who go scot-free in spite of committing crimes like rape. If you would have let go of that incident he might have been encouraged to do something more hideous(rape, perhaps).Who knows you may have saved some womyn...
    We are already paying the price for 'letting go' of all the revolting things done to us. Let us bring a stop to that. It's , of course, easier said than done. but such things always are...

  2. tariq5:53 pm

    but is it fair that sanjeev kumar has to go through this process Especially when a person who may have done the same thing , but was from an english speaking upper middle class background would be treated differently by the victim/ survivor, by the police and by the law?
    to quote hemangini-
    "Of how “institutionalising” does not automatically yield to an impartial process that is free from inflections of identity."
    In this context, can we use a resort to a system which we feel is unfair?

  3. tariq - er, thats exactly what this piece is asking. your thoughts?

  4. draupadi7:44 pm

    maybe it depends on what the alternatives are. whether other methods exist to deal with harassment and whether they are effective in the short and long run.
    but then, is the law effective? it may act as a detterant but does it really SOLVE the problem- i.e societal attitudes?
    also i think women use the law only when its is convenient, for example, if you had a job interview at nine that morning you may not have filed the case. don't know how this is connected, but..

  5. Dear BN,
    I somehow slipped onto your blog and projrct from orkut. I must say.. HATS OFF!!!. I reallllly liked the food chart posters.

    In India, girls are told to "stay away", "dont answer back" to such ppl.. but i feel its high time something is done about it. Ans what with the recent case of almost 4000 men going lunatic on delhi roads.. this is more important than ever. Very nice effort.. i'll be glad to contibute in whatever way i can.. to begin with you are hotlinked on my blog.. :)

  6. I would agree with nisha. There is no other correct way out. Filing the FIR was the best thing to do in my opinion. Coming to the comment "you will spoil the boys life", I think you saved his life. If he would have been left alone, it would have encouraged him to do a similar thing because "he couldnot control himself" and this time he might have got lynched like the way incidents are happening in Bihar now. One can never think of what will happen in future. Doing the right thing on the spot is all one can do. It is better to do something and then think about it rather than think something and do nothing about it.