Aitraaz ( Male Harassment )

Aitraaz, released in 2004, is a Bollywood thriller. The plot revolves around the protagonist,who was falsely accused by his female superior of sexual harassment. A woman accusing man of molesting her. AITRAAZ tackles the issue of sexual harassment, with the unique spin of placing the man in the position of victim and the woman as aggressor.

Aitraaz is the story of Raj Malhotra, happily married to Priya, a non-practicing lawyer. Raj is an engineer in a firm chaired by Ranjit Roy, and his young wife Sonia is among the board of directors. Sonia also happens to be Raj’s ex-girlfriend. Seeing Raj after five years, Sonia is again drawn towards him, in a purely lustful manner. Failing to get that, she accuses him of rape and asks her husband to remove Raj from the office. Raj, based on his innocence, decides to sue Sonia for sexual harassment. When nobody is ready to trust him, his wife predictably puts on lawyer-garb to fight his case. Priya wins the case and Roy leaves Sonia. Guilt-stricken and humiliated, Sonia commits suicide by jumping from a building.

Yes, men are also victims of harassment, many of us think it’s a myth, how can men be harassed when they are the main reason for harassment against women. But in the current day and age, with more women coming to powerful positions in the workplace, there is no reason why a woman in power cannot be as abusive as a man. We do not realize that harassment can happen to anyone despite age, gender identity, religion, and attitude. The attention on harassment towards men is not as much attention shown towards women.

We usually perceive and see harassment or rape cases related to females only and this is the reason that legislations are made only for the women victims. But, this doesn’t mean that men are away from the evil of sexual harassment or rape. Now days, males face one in ten cases of exasperation also. Men and boys who have been sexually pester may have many of the identical feelings as other survivors of sexual assault, but they face many additional challenges because of ‘social ridicule’ and ‘stereotypes’ about men masculinity. The need of the hour is to change the mindsets of the people of Indian society who believe that a man is not made to cry and only a woman cries. This is a completely wrong notion as all those who have hearts and souls, are also having dignity, emotions, self-confidence and respect too for themselves.

 Sexual harassment of men is increasing at a very lofty rate.  One cannot ignore the statistic of harassment with men. For sexual harassment against women, there are many legislations and statutes prevailing in India. But, we can’t ignore the sexual harassment against men also. In India, under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, there is a “right to equality”. There is no law, no statute to sheild males from the bloodthirsty act of harassment and rape. Under Indian law, there is only one section 377 of Indian Penal Code which talks about ‘sodomy’. Except this section, all other laws and sections are meant only for females. If legislation does not take into account the men related issues too and will only stresses upon the women related issues, then this right is in violation. As it provides equality before law and equal treatment before law. So, there must be ‘equal access to justice’ in case of both men and women.

 These kinds of brutal incident not only physically ruin the body of the victim but also destroy his soul.  Acts like harassment attacks the soul and it is immaterial whether the soul is of a male or of a female, harassment kills the soul and pushes a person into a state where he or she begin to reflect that they are not of any worth. In addition to this, it is also very important to note down that harassment with any human being is wrong as we are all humans first then males and females. For the sake of humanity it is a very brutal act and both the male as well as female perpetrators must be punished equally under law.

Here, is a demand of ‘equal access to justice’ for both males as well as females. For this, the government and legislation must have to make laws, which safeguards the males from various kinds of harassments, assaults or rapes etc. at different areas.

Conclusion

So, without any requirement of further discussion or doubts, it is very authoritative to make the sexual harassment as well as rape laws gender neutral in india. So that , there must be equal ‘access to justice’ in india. Also, the people of our society needs to alter and adapt their minds and must toss out the beliefs that men are strong and cannot be raped or that they can sheild themselves in case something wrong will happen to them. Also, if you are believing that ‘men cannot be raped’ than you should also keep this in mind that ‘women can rape’. Sexual harassment can occur to any person at any age and place. 

AUTHOR:

SHIVANGI GUPTA
Lloyd Law College