Zomato Delivery Boy Case:
In absence of witness, in collaboration with both the sides of the story, this is what was alleged. It seems that the delivery boy was delayed due to traffic and reached the house of the customer late. The customer by then had called up customer care while he waited at her door and asked them to cancel the order or waive off the charges.
She asked the boy to wait having the customer call on her phone line and then abused him. She then alleged that he tried to enter into her house which is illegal trespass into her property, if it at all happened, after which a scuffle broke out and she said to have picked up her slippers in self defence.
The delivery boy however presents a different version saying that she called him a slave and on refusing to accept the order, he complied with it and while returning to the lift, he was abused and thrown slippers at and in self defence, he held up his hands when she accidentally hit her nose with her own finger ring. He later alleged that he was beaten.
This zomato delivery boy case, if not anything, exposes the sociological reality and transition we currently stand in and points to the dreaded future that analysts and equal rights activists alike have been pointing towards for years now.
The case is currently under investigation and hopefully the truth shall prevail over which it is futile to comment, more so in absence of witnesses and any CCTV footage to substantiate the claims of both the sides.
Analysis & Depiction:
Since facts of this case are murky and analysing it would be mere speculation, we can however talk about the endless cases, along with this case, that took place. Be it Manav Singh Case or Kolkata Salt Lake Domestic Violence Case or the hike in domestic violencecases against men, look no further than the reports of Men’s Day Out itself that suggest a grim and grave reality.
But what do these frequent cases of violence depict sociologically and criminologically?
The picture of the boy in folded hands, crestfallen, crying emerged. This is the true representation of the situation what men in India face today – with folded hands at the mercy of women, society and justice – pleading not to file false cases for self gain, just demanding for recognition from the judiciary.
India is going through a stage of social transition – economically, emotionally and even culturally. The situation is chaotic and the transition is too abrupt for acceptance when ideally it should have been gradual. Caught up between traditional values and western liberalism, a confusion and a subsequent misuse of it is evident.
Case on point would be the likely situation of a girl administering beating on the boy for self defence which is socially acceptable. But is it the same, the other way round, when the boy protects himself in defence itself? It then becomes a scandalous affair & a sensational viral video for social media enthusiasts. The hypocrisy stares right at our faces.
Western Influences & Their Consequences:
In the feminist movement in India, a lot seems to be borrowed from the west. The core ideas of equality and equal pay among several others are commendable, but since they could not be interpreted and characterised in the Indian format, the laxity in applicability is evident.
Westernisation cannot be achieved with cosmetic changes of food, attire or lifestyle. It is the development of a scientific temperament – critical thinking and analysing and questioning with broadening of mind which can be achieved not with degree in education, but substantial reading and comparative studies of cultures and ideas.
If this doesn’t take place, adopting the superficial outlook leads to the phenomenon of Westoxification – adopting the toxicities of the west. An apt example of it would be empowering women. But it is only when class consciousness among citizens (men and women) will emerge, that it will be productive – not misused or misled but used as it should be.
Problem is not with the demand for equality but with the intensity to which the line of equality has been crossed, so much so that it has rendered into domination of the other gender. There is no denial that in pocket spaces of the urban cities and in widespread rural areas, women are subjugated. But what is the psychology with which the feminist movement is approached? Is it honestly to overcome the inequalities prevalent in certain walks of life against women or is it to promote inequalities for self gain and domination?
The gap in between these two makes a huge difference. The prevalence to label the society as patriarchal is yet another study on it.
Patriarchy is associated with tyranny, domination, violence against women at large. But is it the case today? The highest suicide rate is among men; justice to male rape victims is zero in India, according to a recent report, 80% of the homeless people are men, people who engage in manual labour jobs are mostly men and who die doing it are also men. The male gender is less likely to report abuses against themselves.
Men have been victimised too. It is also men today who are made to feel sorry for their masculinity. Patriarchy is more of a society structure than a male created enterprise to dominate females and every citizen must be held accountable for it.
How would it be to label laws as matriarchal when it fails to recognise male rapes or domestic violence on Men? From calling an accused as a rapist, to tagging minorities (religion, gender and others) with something pejorative – this entire process of labelling must come to an end.
In the end what was the consequence of such an act? A case was filed and the boy was temporarily suspended while the customer saw a multi-fold increase in her social media following. She was privileged but the boy wasn’t. He needed the job more than ever, having rendered his services diligently over a period of several years and having delivered over 5000 orders with a high rating.
People are unreliable narrators of their stories, which is why supporting evidences are collected to match the claims. The truth shall come out in a court of law after due investigation, but to use a simple case such as a late food delivery or unsubstantiated allegations of rape and molestation with misleading screenshots on social media is detrimental.
The importance and power of the media and consequent misuse of it, was predicted by Jean Baudrillard in as early as 2000. At a time when the opinion of the media is the opinion of the masses and when media itself doesn’t participate in intellectual discussions but report entertaining sizzling stories, not much can be expected from the citizenry at large.
We, however, must be cautious in realising the power of social media and think twice before sharing any post from the comforts of our home and be responsible to be honest about the cases we report, the stories we narrate and the causes we support.
A lot is left unknown. A lot is left unrecognised. It is in this era that alternate sources and mediums of media must be supported for wider comprehension. The protests are not just to stand on the side of the victors but to depict that the world is aware of the atrocities faced by men and they shall not be taken advantage of. Quoting Ravish Kumar of NDTV,
Not all battles are fought for victory- some are fought to tell the world that someone was there on the battlefield.
*Views expressed by the author are his own
About The Author
Parthiv Chakraborty is an award winning public speaker and has columned articles across several platforms on law, society and politics. He has worked on men’s rights issues in association with activist groups.