Thursday, 3 November 2011

Support for the Right cause


 On 20th October, six young people in Bombay, Andheri had dinner and stepped out for paan at 11 pm. A drunk man, Jitendra Rana, attempted to ‘eve tease’ (sexually harass) one of the women in the group, her boyfriend pushed this ‘eve teaser’ away. Rana left threatening to return. He returned with a violent mob of 13 men and stabbed Keenan Santos (24), Reuben Fernandez (29)

The youngster who was killed in a Mumbai scuffle over eve-teasing. Within hours, he turned into an icon against sexual harassment. Keenan Santos’ story now floods the internet with bloggers citing this case as a weapon against the harassment that women are subjected to on the streets. Pages and open groups have cropped up with his name on Facebook. The movement now echoes phrases like “I stand for the bravery of people in Mumbai, across India and around the world taking a stand against street harassment — whether it’s to the perpetrators face, in a conversation with friends or in a story to a Hollaback site. I stand for Keenan Santos.” An AamJanta blog post also reminds everyone, “Keenan Santos could be you.” Keenan was attacked by the accused Rana, a barber, who allegedly made sexual advances towards Keenan’s girlfriend
Mumbai:  19-year-old Priyanka Fernandes speaks about her horrifying ordeal on October 20, when she lost her boyfriend Keenan Santos and friend Reuben Fernandes, who stood up to some local goons who were harassing the girls in their group.

It was one of our regular evenings out, with our regular group of inseparable friends, at our regular rendezvous, just a short walk away from our homes. How could the most commonplace evening out end in such a tragedy, costing me two of my most loved friends? The fateful night of October 20 is branded in my memory, as it was then that I learnt of the ruthless ways of this world, where those who raise their voice against injustice and depravity have to pay for their creed with their lives.

Like most other city girls my age, I was enjoying the company of my friends, blissfully oblivious to the horrors that awaited us. I remember that it was about 10:30 pm, and the stretch outside Amboli Bar and Kitchen, where we had dined, was bustling with life. The nearby cafe, a regular haunt for local youth, was doing brisk business, and the doors to a political party's office, to our right, were wide open.

After dinner, we were taking a leisurely stroll, and had stopped for paan, when disaster struck. The goons who had harassed us a while ago returned with their cronies, who brandished weapons. They started brutally assaulting the guys in our group.

Screamed for help

When my friends Keenan and Reuben were being stabbed repeatedly, mercilessly, I could see at least 50 eyewitnesses, who stood like stone, unmoving and unmoved, as we screamed for help. Not one came forward to join the fray, to help us fight against a reprehensible crime.

I am proud of my friends. They did not stand by and tolerate the brazen disrespect that our assailants displayed for women. They took the blows, uncomplainingly. I am equally disappointed with God's own people, who turned away, afraid that they would have to bear the brunt of a fight that was not theirs. They knew that we were fighting injustice.

Unearthly hour
10:30 pm is not an unearthly hour. There are girls in this city who work in BPOs, and return to their homes in the wee hours of the morning, when the streets are deserted. What will happen to them? Who will fight for them? Will they be slaughtered too, for offering to help? Should no one stand up to protest what is wrong?

I am grateful to the many people who have shown solidarity and support in our hours of grief. But I fail to comprehend certain things. We dined at the restaurant every week, we walked those very streets every day. But none of the restaurant employees, and not one of the local security guards came forward to help us, even though they knew us well.

When the goons came back for us, Keenan pushed me into the restaurant, and fought for my honour. He took the blows till he dropped. All the while, I kept dialing 100 on my phone, to seek help from the cops. Even when Keenan collapsed, I was still on hold. No one answered my call.

I rushed to his side. He tried to speak, but lost consciousness. His abdomen had been torn apart. We had planned our entire future together. He was building the foundations of our life together, and was about to embark to Dubai to work as a bartender. But those hopes and dreams have lost all meaning, just because some men insisted on having their way with us, and couldn't stomach the slap that they received in return. The only response they knew was of violence, so they came back with 17 other men, who brandished knives, bamboos and daggers to avenge their leaders.

The other two girls who accompanied me that night are too afraid to speak about their harrowing experience. Our lives have come to a screeching halt, and our families are still reeling from the shock. Initially, I was afraid as well. But now I have decided not to surrender to fear. I'll be strong and fearless, as that is the legacy left behind by Keenan. In all our four years together, I saw him spread joy, help the elderly and respect women.

I would always go about saying boldly that a few untoward incidents should not prevent girls from enjoying themselves. Even today, I stand by what I said. But I hope that men in the city will learn from Keenan's fearlessness, and not turn a blind eye to such situations. These goons think that they always have it their way. We should change their ideas. 

Please  like the campaign for reuben fernandes and Keenan Santos in Facebook

To all in reading,

This communication is in solidarity to Keenan Santos & Reuben Fernandes ; the two victims who were murdered when they protested and tried to secure their friends against eve teasing.

It amounts to misbehaving with girls and outraging their modesty; in many instances has lead to rape and also permanent mental distortion in girls and their families.

Definitely not Sheila Dixit (CM of Delhi, our rape capital), Definitely not Sonia Gandhi with Z+ Security, Definitely not any one who attained stardom and are always involved in spectrum scams and other corrupt activities.
(God forbid; nothing bad should happen even to these ladies)

These girls were, are and always would be from our families, very much amongst us and in most cases from the lower income group of the society who cannot afford to fight a court case.

Keenan Santos & Reuben Fernandes were two brave boys who held their ground until their last to save their friends and were murdered brutally for their good act.


Once you login on your home PC, or visit a Cyber Cafe you all can login through the below link and register your comments in support of the victims.


Disclaimer:-This is not self written article,this is just a support for the right cause


  1. t is such a devastating news. We feel so helpless. Why cant our system work on fast track and give justice to ppl immediately.

  2. I think we all should support this cause. Great post!

  3. give them nobody even can tease any girl

  4. Reports incidents of eve teasing and molestation-save these numbers 103 or sms on 7738133133 or 7738144144 or mumbai

  5. They have received an award yesterday and they have a lot of media support (Thankfully!) - I hope their families and friends find justice.

  6. yes heard of....
    i hope the law rights also change for eve teasers