"A man made obscene comments at me today (Sunday) at around 8 p.m. near Aggarwal, Tilak Nagar. He was on a silver Royal Enfield, vehicle number DL 4S CE 3623. When I told him I am clicking his picture and I'm going to file a complaint against him, he responded by posing for a picture and said, "Jo kar sakti hai kar le. Complaint karke dikha, fir dekhiyo kya karta hun main (Do whatever you like. Complain and see what I do then).”
This is what Jasleen Kaur, a Delhi University student posted on her Facebook page last Sunday. From being lauded for her ‘bravery’ to being castigated for her ‘duplicity’, the past week has surely been a roller coaster ride for Jasleen.
She has been accused of trying to gain publicity by the alleged offender Saravjeet Singh and his family, she has been called an ‘AAP activist’ trying to gain sympathy and even a ‘shirker’ who could not face tough questions posed to her by a TV channel. Things reached such a stage that Bollywood actor Sonaksi Sinha tweeted saying she felt embarrassed that she had initially supported Jasleen Kaur, the actor like many others had listened to an eyewitness who claimed that Jasleen had fabricated the entire episode.
The 20 year old has tried to clarify her stand and in a blog written for Youthkiawaaz, she responds to four questions that have been posed to her.
Links with AAP
According to Jasleen, the pictures of her with Aravind Kejriwal that were doing the rounds on social media were taken a year ago and her connection with AAP is only ‘incidental’.
She also says that the allegation that she was tryong to garner publicity as she had plans of contesting University elections is false as ‘being a part of St. Stephen’s College prohibits her from contesting elections at the University level.’
Why would I give a complaint if it was publicity and go through the hassle she asks.
Why she ‘ran away’ from Zee interview
There has been much discussion of Jasleen’s decision to walk out on a discussion held by Zee channel with the channel even claiming that she was unwilling to answer some straight questions. Jasleen says the channel had told her prior to the shoot that she would be on a panel that would not consist of the accused or his family member, but the channel went against their word.
“A news channel contacted me promising me that I would not be sitting on the same panel as the accused or with any of his family members, the reason being -I was not comfortable with speaking to the same guy who abused and humiliated me on the street, which is still fresh in memory…. It perplexes me as to how media thinks of itself as super-judge, putting the victim on the same table as the accused and asking the victim to talk it out.”
The witness who claimed Jasleen had fabricated the entire incident
Jasleen says in her blog that though she does not know why the witness chose to give his particular narrative, she is not in a position to call it true or false, and that’s for the law to decide.
Jasleen’s blog will perhaps be debated about, many will choose to believe or disbelieve her. She however ends it making a glum point, a harsh reality that even rape survivors have had to face in India.
“After all of this, if you are abused and shamed publicly because you chose not to be silent, and if this is what happens if someone raises their voice, I doubt anyone will ever raise their voice again.”