Next time you are in Kerala and a woman happens to pass by you, don’t look. Or, maybe you can look, but don’t stare at her for more than 14 seconds. Sounds absurd? Maybe for you, but not for Kerala Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh.
So, according to Singh, if a man is found staring at a woman for more than 14 seconds, a case can be filed against him. While we can only hope that Singh by now knows that no such law exists in the country, social media has been abuzz with the bizarre statement made by the bureaucrat.
Singh made the statement in good spirit and upholding the importance of safety of women in the country, just that quoting a statement as law out of thin air did not go down well with a lot of people. Singh was addressing a group of people at an event in Kochi about women’s safety when he made the statement. Further, Singh also emphasised on how important it is for women to learn martial arts as a life skill. He prompted them to report about situations which they feel outrage their modesty. He also urged women to keep small knives and pepper sprays handy.
Supreme Court lawyer K V Dhananjaya who spoke to India Today about the incident called it a “mindless” statement to make. “There is no such provision in any law of this country and there cannot be such a mindless provision of law in any other country of the world. Period.”
Although his 14-second rule is preposterous, Singh’s overall remarks are important to heed in a state which records a large number of sexual assault cases against women. Kerala might have a healthy sex ratio, but its record is very patchy.
But that hasn’t stopped people from ranting against Singh’s statement on Facebook and Twitter, too.
— Varun Nair (@varunnair) 15 August 2016
Start singing ‘Ek do teen’ and get arrested as soon as the first line ends. #14secondrule
— ????? ??????? (@skodithala) 15 August 2016
@vasudevan_k Instead of courting, everybody will be counting.
— Raj (@chennaikaran) 15 August 2016
The lady will start counting. Seeing the girl counting the boy will start counting. And everybody will be experts in counting. #14secondRule
— Vasu (@vasudevan_k) 15 August 2016
Tell us what you think about the Excise Commissioner’s bizarre statement in the comments section.