It is not a novel affair for Indian women to be subjected to judgement when they are out and about, doing what makes them happy as their free, confident selves. However, with each new incident of ‘moral policing’ that we come across, the surprise remains.
Earlier this month, actor Samyuktha Hegde became a victim of moral policing for working out with her friends in a local park. The trivial act of the actor choosing to hula-hoop in her clothing of choice, that happened to be a sports bra, was enough to incite unreasonable behaviour from the onlookers. Congress leader Kavitha Reddy was at the fore of this baseless argument. She went to the extent of attempting to physically assault one of the women as she hurled various atrocities towards them.
The Indian Express reports that Kavitha Reddy was arrested and released on the same day as Samyuktha Hegde chose not to file an official complaint. The Congress leader has since tendered an apology.
Samyuktha Hegde, even in discomfort, chose to go live on Instagram to show the grave reality of the mindset of most Indians that pushes them to harass women based on their choice of clothes. The whole incident has put into perspective the lack of freedom and safety for women. In a world where women must only support and lift other women up, such incidents are heartbreaking.
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