When it comes to women’s safety, India doesn’t have the best track record. Mostly, when a woman comes forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault, there are always bystanders in the story who did nothing. People see what’s happening and choose to ignore it. Sometimes, they watch from a distance as a twisted form of entertainment. However, just as we begin to lose faith in humanity, a person comes along who actually fights for justice and takes on these criminals. Nishant Shah, a Dean of a university in The Netherlands, did just that on a recent flight.
While he was travelling from India to Amsterdam, he witnessed a horrific case of molestation right next to him. By his own admission, he didn’t immediately realise what was happening.
“I notice that since I last talked to her, she seemed to have grown extra appendages,” Nishant wrote. “Or rather, there is a hand on her body, grazing the under-thigh. She squirms to get away from this mutant formation but it is right there. Insistent. Probing. Squiggling.”
When he saw his female co-passenger’s obvious distress, he leaned over to see the man sitting next to her. This man had been groping and pinching the woman. When he saw Nishant looking at him, instead of taking his hand away, he grinned at him shamelessly.
“Instead of hastily correcting himself, he gives me a grin – the kind that belongs to the bottom of a pond – and winks at me as he very obviously pinches her,” Nishant wrote in his Facebook post. “I lean across the person next to me, and with a wrist action that makes me consider a future career in professional golfing, I slap the bro hard on his smug face. It was a slap so hard, it hurt my hand.”
Nishant risked police action for doing the right thing
According to the same Facebook post, the cabin crew intervened and took the molester away. A few minutes later, the head of the crew told Nishant that he may have to talk to the police in Amsterdam since the molester was threatening to press charges of assault. Although that didn’t worry Nishant too much, five other co-passengers raised their hands at that moment and said that they would go with him to the police. They supported his actions and were willing to be witnesses in his favour.
The passengers were so angry about the thought of police action against Nishant that they had to be pacified by the crew. “I am not threatening him. I just want him to know that this is the protocol,” the head purser said, according to Nishant’s Facebook post. “But if it happens, I am going to tell you, sir, that the entire crew is going to come with you, and this young lady, if she wants, can also join us. I want to thank you for doing this, and I am glad that you did. My hands are tied, but yours aren’t, and we are very proud of this. I don’t want you to worry but I want you to be prepared.”
An hour before they landed in Amsterdam, the head of the crew informed Nishant that the molester had decided not to press any charges.
Read the entire, heartwarming Facebook post below:
This is how you set an example for the world. Don’t be bystanders when you see something like this happening. Do something about it. Stand up for what’s right, just like Nishant Shah did.