This is India! 133

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal of my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • I have an announcement…. I’m going to Finland! Next Friday! I will be attending the Nordic Bloggers’ Experience which is a tourism conference and will be exploring Helsinki and some surrounding areas while there.
  • I just finished two books. One was called The Missing and was a easy read but interesting and suspenseful. Then I read My Brilliant Friend I wasn’t sure at first because there were so many characters I couldn’t keep straight – but then I started to like how you got to know the main character’s thoughts so well. The ending was boring but I think that’s because there are 3 more books in the series. I haven’t read a series since Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
  • I have another announcement coming soon which will involve you guys… so stay tuned!

Now your story,

update: this story has been updated and shortened to include just quotes and news links so you can read about it yourself. As a foreigner living in India, I suppose I should be careful to say things about anything political… therefore erased all my opinions on this matter :)

I hope everyone had a great NYE. We went out here in Goa and had a pretty average night. I always feel like NYE can be overrated.

Well, a lot of women in Bangalore (Bangaluru) had a horrible time being molested in the streets. Reports started coming out the day after, about 20 at first. It was called a “Mass Molestation”. (Look at the photos in that link of the crowds)

60,000 people gathered to celebrate the New Year on the streets, which is where this happened, even with over 1,500 police stationed there.

A government statement was made:

“A large number of youngsters gathered — youngsters who are almost like westerners… they try to copy westerners not only in mindset but even the dressing, so some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen.”

It was mentioned in one article that it was said very casually, that these things do happen on NYE and Christmas, of course…

Then, a prominent political party leader said on the issue…

“In these modern times, the more women are naked, the more fashionable, modern and educated they are considered, and this is increasing in the country. This is a blot on our culture.”

“It’s regrettable, a case should be registered. But if we say anything against girls and boys going out together, we are called old fashioned. In Indian culture there should be propriety in how men and women meet.”

He clarified:

“It’s not like that can be a reason for it. But I said, we have to take care of our own security… I believe if my daughter or sister is celebrating 31st night after sundown and she doesn’t have her father or husband with her and is with other men, it is wrong to expect them to treat her with respect…..if there is sugar somewhere, ants will come.”

He later said the comments were taken out of context and that he loves his wife and daughters and so then, of course, could not hate women or have bad thoughts to them, that he just wants to keep his daughters safe.

In the past, this same person said, “Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam. But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty.” He went on to say the only solution is to hang both man and woman.

If you want to read a woman’s reply, you can see this interesting article which attacked the hashtag which was created after the news went viral “#NotAllMen”.

articles I mentioned but now am only linking to:

  • this article from 2012
  • this article from 2014

(here is where lots of opinions of mine have been erased… :))

When I write tips about how to travel India as a solo female, I get comments from Indian men that I deserve to be raped, or more specifically gang-raped, just for hinting women need to take precautions while traveling here.

I am not trying to say Indians or India is bad, I am just giving this news light because it needs to be seen not just here in India.

This is India!


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Sher January 6, 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Yikes! It’s kind of scary to hear what these politicians really think. If a country’s leadership has that mindset.. imagine how much more difficult it will be to see improvements. I have been thinking of visiting India this year but those kinds of comments definitely make me very nervous to actually go. Anyway, love this series and stay safe!

    • Rachel Jones January 7, 2017 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      Yeah it really is crazy. I hope it doesn’t put you off from coming here though! :)

  2. Sarah January 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, Rachel, and this is why I love it: honesty and expertise after almost four years in India!

    I’m off on my first trip to India in about two weeks’ time and I’ll have to keep all this in mind. It’s a sad fact, but I suppose that’s the reality right now.

    • Rachel Jones January 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      Yeah it is sad – it’s good to know a little bit about the politics and the people who are in charge of a place you’re going to for sure. I’m sure my dad will yell at me for this post though :p saying I shouldn’t get involved in these things!

      PS thanks for reading my blog for so long, that’s awesome!!! You’re the best.

  3. Pradipta January 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    This is really unfortunate, even shocking when some people are trying to justify molestation. It is more shocking when we hear such words from some people who are in power or who are responsible for women safety.
    Actually it happens as they shamelessly trying to hide their inabilities to be in such position. In many cases we have noticed that but thank to people who always stand for justice and raise their voice.
    In 2012 in Delhi same thing happened, it is people who raised their voice otherwise nothing won’t happen.

    • Rachel Jones January 9, 2017 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Hi Pradipta, Yep it’s a sad situation. Here in India, we know how it is and see the news about this weekly if not more often, so maybe if people outside see it too then India’s laws/police/etc will want to change even more

  4. [email protected] January 8, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    You are becoming more and more Indian now and that’s quite appreciable. It is already proven the attire and lifestyle of women has nothing to do with sexual crime against them. It is equally true that men behaviour is independent to their education level and financial status. Then what make men to prowl on women on such beastly and boorish manner. We can see parallel with 18th century and early 19th century US when US transformed from strong agricultural community to an age of industry. The 19th amendments in 1920s and strong laws thereafter really help US women to equality and thus respect.

    • Rachel Jones January 9, 2017 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Hi Kanulal, thanks for sharing your perspective. I think better laws would help and the courts enforcing them every single time

  5. Pritam Rana January 10, 2017 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Unfortunate truth in India.. And the politicians are also of the same mindset. The crux of the problem is there is no punishment. From what I read, there is only a 10% conviction rate and that is way too low to deter people with this mindset. There needs to strict laws, fast trials and severe punishment to deter this behavior. Unfortunately, when those in power abuse the system, it all goes downhill from there… sad !!!

    • Rachel Jones January 10, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Mine are very very similar.

  6. Betsy January 11, 2017 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Thanks for the thoughts. It is so sad, however, it feels like there is a global tendency towards these ideas lately. I have been coming to India since 2009 and I had never been actually touched by a man, sure people had said things to me but no one had touched me, until last year. To my surprise it was not a grown man or a teenager who thought they should physically harass me, it was the 7/8 year old boys that live in my neighborhood. One of them slapped me on the ass and then ran off. A week or so later two other boys cornered me and one of them started yelling “I love you” at me repeatedly and he tried to grab my breast, but I knocked his hand out of the air and then he ran off. Clearly this behavior is being taught and Rajasthan is pretty conservative. I yelled at several adults that were outside and now they do not bother me. Uggg….

    • Rachel Jones January 11, 2017 at 10:58 am - Reply

      That’s interesting you say that. I actually had something similar happen in Morocco with kids and as I turned around to yell at the child, an adult had seen and slapped him across the face. I don’t know how kids can learn these things. It’s scary – and also you saying that reminds me it’s not just India.

  7. Tim UrbanDuniya January 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Horrific. It beats me how so many people can live in such denial about an issue like that (and I’m not only talking about India).

  8. rebecca February 1, 2017 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    How do you deal with these comments from the men? What pigs! In a way I wish you didn’t have to delete your opinions. I always find personal opinions interesting to read (however, I understand).

    This world has a long way to go! I just finished reading about the mass sexual assults in Cologne on NYE horrifing!

    • Rachel Jones February 4, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

      Yes there is a LONG way for the world to go! So true.

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