The use of the Hindi word “chhammakchhallo” may seem cool in a Bollywood song, but its use in real life can land you in legal trouble. A court in Thane has held that the use of the word amounts to “insulting a woman’s modesty”.
Incidentally, a hit song in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Ra.One” had used this word.
A magistrate last week sentenced a city resident to simple imprisonment “till the court rises” for the offence and imposed a fine of Rs 1 on him. One of accused’s neighbours had dragged him to the court.
According to the woman’s complaint, on January 9, 2009, while returning from a morning walk with her husband, she stumbled on a garbage bin which the accused had kept on the staircase.
The accused yelled at the couple, and, among other things, called the woman “chhammakchhallo”. Finding it very offensive, the woman approached police, but the police refused to register a complaint. So she moved the court.
Eight years later, Judicial Magistrate R T Ingale upheld her case, saying that the accused had indeed committed an offence under section 509 of IPC (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
“It is a Hindi word. There is no word for it in English. The said word is to be understood in the Indian society by its use. Generally this word is used to insult a woman. It is not a word for appreciating….it causes irritation and anger to any woman,” the magistrate said in his order.