Mumbai: In a country where we propagate ‘Athithi Devo Bhav’, a few scumbags shamed the entire nation through their heinous act. In a shocking and a shameful incident, Lucy Hemmings, a travel blogger from Britain, has claimed that she was masturbated at in Mumbai in April.
The globetrotter chose to write a blog post instead of hiding the incident.
“A few days ago I was sitting in a bus stop in Mumbai, India. The local guy that I had paid no particular attention to moved closer. From the corner of my eye, to my horror, I realised that he had pulled out his penis and was masturbating, staring intently at me. I felt sick,” wrote Hemmings.
The graduate in communication and media studies shared her earlier experience too.
“The first time this happened to me was back in 2012; I was 23 and it was my first trip to a developing country…At the time, we were wandering through Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram (or ‘The Beatles Ashram’ to you and I) in the northern town of Rishikesh, when I spotted a man, hiding in the bushes watching us and wanking.”
The incident that took place years ago had not affected the way the current one did.
Hemmings wrote: “For days afterwards, I was nervous walking anywhere on my own, I stopped making eye contact at anyone in the street and I started carrying a pocket knife.”
She also mentioned that she met a number of travellers to India who reported similar incidences. “I’ve spent countless hours with other travellers picking apart why men do it; why they seem to think it’s okay, why dignity seems to disappear when there’s foreign female flesh on show.”
Despite the fact that she had such harrowing experiences twice in India, she is all praises for the Indian hospitality, which she described as “one of the warmest and most genuine” in the world.
Also, the British tourist has received numerous apologies among 600 replies to her viral blog post.
“If I’m honest, I was nervous to publish something that shows India in a negative light — in no way did I want to suggest that India as a whole is like this. But I think that all of these messages just go to show what wonderful, humble and incredible people India has to be proud of,” The Telegraph quoted her as saying.
Dozens of innocent Indian men have apologised for the behaviour of “scumbags” and others defended their country.
At the time, she wrote: “I felt sick. As much as I hate to admit it, this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. In fact, chances are, if you’ve ever been to India, you’ll have bumped into at least one traveller who has experienced this sort of behaviour, or heard of someone else who it has happened to.”
An Indian male, Roy, wrote: “I am an Indian and I am sorry for the behaviour of my countrymen. But I believe what has happened can happen anywhere in this world. I am not favouring the idiot who did it.”
A number of other female travellers and Indian women also took to the blog to share their own experiences of sexual harassment.
“I’m an Indian and I had a similar experience when I was 13, and too young to understand what the man following me was doing,” wrote one woman, Akanksha.
She also thanked people who had messaged her, writing on Facebook: “I want to express that I know that it is a tiny minority who behave this way – I promise I am absolutely in love with India and know that there is so much more to see!”
“Good and bad people most certainly exist in every country, and India has an absolutely astonishing amount of good people. You are wonderful, India! Xxxx”