We met the police last evening. Gave them the update of what had transpired between my wife and the KMF officials. Also gave them the contact details of the MD of KMF and asked them to get in touch with him.
Today early in the morning (7:30am, that early for us BTW) an Assistant Marketing Manager of KMF came to meet us at our house. He also wanted to know what had happened. So we explained the whole story to him all over again. This is getting to be a bit of a drag BTW. He called up his boss then, and again we repeated the story so far to his boss. He said that they have already started taking action against this guy. They have been finding out all the details, have informed all their units and their people, etc etc. He repeatedly assured me that this would not happen again. He also said that this guy's threats were a lot of hot air, he can't and won't do anything whatsoever to harm us in any way. I'm glad to hear that.
Now here's the bouncer. He hinted that we should not proceed with the FIR and the Consumer Court complaint. Huh? Huh? Said that it will reflect badly on the company. Well, sure. I know that. Kinda late in the game to be telling us this.
I'm from IIMB. If it was a matter of overcharging and misbehaving with me (a man), I would taken the corporate approach. I would have complained to KMF, and talked about bad service, the consumer face of the company making a bad impression, why it is bad for their business, etc. But this goes beyond that. The overcharging issue is just one aspect, which may be dealt with by the Consumer Court (hopefully, because, again we don't have proof). But this is really about harassment of a women. I am quite impressed by what the Blank Noise Project is trying to achieve, as well as the many groups working for women's rights in this country. And this is an open and shut case of harassment of women. I cannot even repeat the abuses and derogatory remarks this guy made on my wife when I met him in the evening of the incident. It would redden your ears if I put them down here. Why should women have to suffer such incidents, and then go through their own personal trauma and hell, maybe even without support from menfolk around. Why is it that such things are swept under the carpet and become a woman's problem rather than society's problem? So this is the bigger issue that I hope we can address through the FIR and the subsequent court case.
And underlying the whole issue is one about fighting for ones rights. This guy gave us a challenge, hindi movie style "lets see what you can do, I know blah blah and blah". This problem I think is endemic to Indian society. Every two bit so and so threatens common people with bodily harm and gets away with it. How many times have you had an altercation with shop keepers, auto drivers, et al, who tell you confidently, on your face to do whatever you can. They will offer you their cellphone so that you can call the police, right in front of them. They tell you confidently that you can complain to anybody you want to. Do they think that they can get away with it if you really were to complain? NO. What are they counting on? They are counting on our ignorance, our negligence, our chalta-hai attitude, our who-wants-to-get-into-trouble attitude, our it's-below-my-dignity attitude and i've-got-better-things-to-do-with-my-time attitude. I've got a point to prove here. I want to show this guy that I've called his bluff.
Maybe we wont be able to indict him in court (in fact, lets be practical, we probably wont), but that will not prevent us from trying. So we WILL proceed with the FIR, we WILL try to find witnesses, we WILL go to court, we WILL engage a lawyer, we WILL file the Consumer Court complain, we WILL follow up each of these threads, we WILL spend our time, money, effort and hopefully others will follow.
Read Fight for your rights! - Update 6.