Another Horrifying Incident

January 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Posted in autos, Society | 27 Comments

Husband told me about this yesterday and its on my mind since then.

when she alighted from the auto, the driver demanded excess fare. As the woman refused to pay excess fare and started walking away, the auto driver held her hand and started pulling her towards the auto. She said that though there were many onlookers, none came forward to help her. She had to return home with bruises and torn clothes and a case was registered with the Byappanahalli police on Sunday.

I have never been “keep the change” kind of person. I can be seen as a miser by some , but its just that I value the hard earned money and I am not a overspending person. I will pay whats deserved but I dont believe in giving huge tips. I also believe that any tip should be by choice of the giver and not by demand.

I have also walked off so many autowallas who have demanded excess money several times . I rarely argue but just walk off telling that I have already paid correct amount. The husband has always adviced me to not to argue for change and disturb my peace. My logic had been that if we keep giving extra , this will never end , they will keep demanding. And I have always hated the argument (by some friends) of them being poor and so we should be generous. Being poor should not give you that right to being corrupt and tamper meters. I wonder why the cops don’t do a surprise check for their meters. They put challan if someone drives car at 62 when speed limit is 60 , but they never say a word to auto wallas who break all traffic rules all the time and plus ask excess money.

But I have mellowed down a bit and do leave the change sometimes , for the peace of my mind and my huband’s mind. I also need to confess here that I have mellowed down after THAT incident.

That day , it was dusk and the meter was showing triple the money. As usual I paid the due amount , told him that its triple and walked off. The auto driver followed me and started abusing. That was at a major junction of the city. There were atleast 100 people around and no one said a word. I just did not say a word and stood in the crowd.

Today when I recall that , I feel I could have ended like the lady in the above news had it not been such a crowded place.

One of the husband’s colleague justified the auto fellow , saying that he is illitrate and so he can do anything. The lady should not have done anything provocative. Horrible justification I told him. If you are illeterate you can kill anyone , rape anyone , molest anyone , is it ?? And we should be afraid of you ?

I do not know how to react at this incident. I just feel sad. Sad about the society , the people around us , who watched the incident like a drama. Sad about the mentality of people. Sad about the system in general.



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  1. The mentaility of people, especially men, shows in the words of your husbands colleague. You should ask him what would he do if soemthing like this happend to his sister or daughter. Will he give the same excuse and let hte incident go?

    Till the time we don’t chagne our attitude nothing will change. It will only get worse.

    Really upsetting to read this.

    • I wanted to ask whats provocative, till now it was only about provocative clothes , now not paying extra is also provocative

  2. This post looks straight out of my life….i totally agree with you on all that you have said.

    • Thanks

  3. Thats a very sad state of affairs.

    • Yeh 😦

  4. Horrifying indeed…
    For a person who used to travel daily from Frazer Town to Koramangala, this was more like an accepted fact of life – arguing with autowallahs.. I am not a miser either but like you, i too value my (and my family’s) hard earned money.
    Now that you have told this incident, yes, it could have been me too on one of those instances…


    • Yes Puja , left me in shivers

  5. Really scary.. I travel by auto every single day.. n i’ve had to deal with bad meters, 1.5 charges.. unreasonable demands. some tips circulated in our previous company,
    1. Negotiate the price before u board. If u r not ok with an auto who asks for extra.. don’t get on board.
    2. Take autos which have digital meters only.
    3. As soon as u sit in the auto, take a pic of the driver’s card with your mobile (discreetly)
    4. If you notice that the charge is more than what u usually pay, Do not mention to the auto fellow or get down at ur stop (crowded or otherwise) and argue. Instead ask the auto to take u to the nearest police station. Get down n then pay him the base charge.
    5. Whenever possible, don’t travel alone.

    • 2 – Digital meters r nt always rt too .. most of them here r digital but end up running faster than P.T.Usha πŸ˜›

      4 – I sometimes stop nr a Police Station, but the horror stories we hv heard abt a few policemen stops me from getting inside too 😦 … what if we r caught b/w more monsters?

      • Ya Shruthi , we are all in same boat.

        1. Why should we negotiate. They are supposed to take us with meter and the meter should be correct. Negotiation means we are again encouraging corruption
        2. Swaram already said that , I have experienced the same.
        3. Do you really click it every single day ? I did noted down their names in my head sometimes when I felt uncomfortable after sitting in , but its not practical every day.
        4. Fare is high every single day , thankfully I have a police station right opposite to my usual stop and I did threaten auto drivers a few times , who ran off after hearing that. But again , thats not possible if I am going elsewhere.
        5. hahahhaha…good one you agree ?

        • πŸ™‚ Those were the guidelines… i click a pic every day.. apart from that, nothing else works!

          • Nwadays, I amke a routine call to the police control room … well, almost πŸ˜›
            But I glad a few nice ppl hv attended to my calls and the auto drivers hv run away buhahaha πŸ˜€

  6. OMG! We hv talked abt this so many times already rt .. I am ditto like u .. never give them extra 😦 Just give them whatz right and run away!
    But, I totally agree that the on-lookers do just that .. look!
    One such auto driver started fighting with me in a busy place and ppl seemed to hv fun and nt come to my aid. It ws another auto driver who came fwd to help me that day! Thank God!

    This is so so scary though .. above all, as u say, our system should improve 😦 They need to punish such ppl 😦

    • yeah namesake 😦

  7. This is indeed scary!

    I don’t pay extra at all! And I never give in to their demands!!
    Now, am really scared! Bangalore auto drivers are getting worse by the day!

    This mentality is really sad… and here we thought we are moving into the 21st century with a decade of it already gone by! And day by day these regressive thoughts and conducts only seem to be increasing 😦

    • 😦

  8. And this happened in Bangalore!! Awful!!

    • awful indeed

  9. Scary…

    • it is ..but then being scared doesnot help 😦

  10. 1. Its a shame that time and again women in India are being abused in various such forms. Its a good sign that women are more outspoken about this today than ten years before.
    2. I wish for the day to dawn soon when a woman will not hesitate to slap and drag the auto guy or anyone for that matter, to the police station when any untoward moves are made. Do not mistake me. Why do womenfolk depend on others to help? Why cannot women just make life miserable for such no gooders and show that they are not pushovers?

    3. Men in India who do not indulge in such behaviour are largely ignorant of crimes against women. Menfolk normally do not understand the kind of impact encounters on the bus or the multi layered sexual abuse at workplace or worse by even family, has on a lady. I cannot speak for all menfolk, but from a few good samples I have seen so far, men do not really understand or realize the gravity of what a woman has to go through in this world and more specifically in this country. So, while am not justifying the behaviour of your husband’s friend, I believe that menfolk need to be properly educated on this topic by family or other such means. Awareness of the seriousness of the problem is the first step to solving it isn’t it?

    • 1. True
      2. Well its easier said than done.This particular scenario is not particularly about women, even men are scared to argue much with auto ppl. Once one auto wallah holded the collar of the collegue and 2-3 more auto wallas ran to support him. Poor guy had to pay double. Recently at dawn 4 auto drivers ran after a guy who was waiting for a bus to airport (BIAL) to snatch his mobile and laptop.
      3. Absolutely agreed. Men do not understand what a women feels harrased in the first place πŸ˜›

  11. Omigod! That is scary! As for tips – it should be the decision of the giver, shouldn’t it? How dare the auto-drivers demand like this?

    And this happened in Bangalore? I remember when I was there- if some driver behaved badly, I would just take down his license number and threaten to register a complaint – and that normally used to work. From your experience and that womans – it is no longer the case 😦 Very scary indeed!

  12. its horrible!! my blood boils everytime i sit in an auto actually! and them being poor is no excuse to rig meters and then harass us about it!

    and you know a lot of us get away by paying the amount we know ONLY because we are owmen. yes, that is the other side!

    Men who deny to pay excess are threatened too and motsly that threat is carried out too. i have seen that the auto guy would usually give up when i walked away, but if i was traveling with M it would turn into a full fledged fight where the auto guy just wouldnt let go.

    the auto guys attitude is terrible irrespective of gender and should not to be tolerated! and the police in bangalore is the MOST spineless i have EVER seen!!

    we have had policeman telling us to pay whatever and go. when we threatened we will complain about him as well, he didnt care!!

    ooh! i must stop! i am hitting my keyboard in gussa now!!! gaahhh!

  13. Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me. I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

  14. […] They have started a bus from near my house(1.5 kms) to my office Yay! I have reduced the use of autos further down , yeah you know how I have been hating […]

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