The commuters watched silently

Via Taslima on Twitter – The Times of India reports

A lady conductor of an ST bus was kicked and thrashed till she fell unconscious after she reprimanded a 30-year-old man for trying to board the vehicle from the front, which is meant for exit.

The accused, a 30-year-old factory worker from Navi Mumbai, also beat up the driver and another woman conductor when they came to the victim’s rescue. The incident took place in Dombivli on Wednesday morning and the accused has been arrested.

The drama lasted nearly half an hour but, according to the victim, the commuters watched silently as she and the bus driver Vinayak Nayakwade (59) were being roughed up.

Singh, who tried to board the bus from Dombivli, was on his way to his home in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai. When Nayakwade asked Singh to get in from the rear door, he began abusing him. On hearing the commotion, the conductor reportedly reprimanded Singh, leading to him turning on her. She was slapped and pushed before being kicked mercilessly. “He kept kicking me like a football,” said the 34-year-old woman.

When Nayakwade stopped the bus and rushed to her rescue, Singh got aggressive with him too. He then pulled the victim out of the bus by her legs, tore up her uniform shirt and beat her till she fell unconscious on the road. According to the victim, the beating lasted almost 30 minutes.

Everyday sexism.


  1. Seth says

    I’m not sure “The commuters watched silently” is an indictment of sexism, necessarily. Fear of proximate harm is a powerful motivator in non-intervention, after all. It looks like the buses passengers witness the perpetrator fighting off/abusing three individuals at once and prevailing, which must have been very intimidating for anyone, whether or not they thought the abuse should have been stopped.

  2. says

    I have doubts about that, actually, because I’ve been on a bus where a passenger attacked the driver, and after a frozen pause everyone (more or less) jumped up to intervene.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    I’m not sure “The commuters watched silently” is an indictment of sexism, necessarily. Fear of proximate harm is a powerful motivator in non-intervention

    Fuck that noise. If that is really the reason, then I declare that India is full of stinking cowards! If I see a woman being physically attacked by a man, I’m gonna do something about it. If necessary, I’d sucker punch him from behind, but I’m not going to just stand by and gawp for thirty minutes.

  4. Spooky Tran says

    We don’t have any idea what kinds of people were on that bus, or what kind of man that was, obviously someone extremely violent, perhaps very strong. The lack of response is obviously disappointing but sexist? Like Seth, hard for me to make that connection. I’m glad Ophelia was on a “good bus” but the bystander effect is a known phenomenon.

  5. mildlymagnificent says

    For me, that kind of behaviour is an indicator that a society really isn’t organised around the “rule of law”. If I’d been in that bus, I might not have done anything directly unless I got a rush of adrenaline or righteous anger, but I would have called the police – or shouted at other people to call the police – regardless of whether I did anything personally.

    This behaviour is a strong indication that people don’t trust the police or other authorities to act promptly or appropriately. And they don’t even trust each other. Most of us who feel unable to do anything directly would be urging others, anyone, everyone, to help out if they could. I know the bystander effect is powerful – but it’s brittle. Once someone initiates any action at all, it just disappears.

  6. Seth says

    All I’m saying is that the refusal to meet violence with violence is not necessarily indicative of agreement with the perpetration of violence or of approval of the perpetrator. I agree that this incident was despicable, that India has a long and proven problem with widespread misogyny and sexualised violence, and that it would have been better for someone to intervene (that someone ideally being a trained member of a professional, public security service).

    @4, moarscienceplz: Nearly every man in North America would likely say that they would try to intervene to save a woman being attacked by a man, even though very few do in practice. This ideal is driven largely by a kind of toxic sexism and misogyny which says that women are weak and men must use their strength to defend women. So I do not think your chest-pounding, guns-blazing attitude is as enlightened or as equitable as you may think it is.

  7. ema says


    The attack lasted for 30 minutes! I don’t care who you are, that’s enough time to regain your composure, devise a plan, and act. Hurl a rock at him, use pepper spray, commandeer a car and run him over protect the victim, whatever.

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