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Stalking -K Sumanth Gowda

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Boys! The next time you stalk the profile of a girl on social media, remember you are liable to a 5 years imprisonment.

Yes, you heard it right. All this while men out there who thought scrolling over the feed or timeline of a female’s social media profile was absolutely fine, but it isn’t. Because S.354D (ii) of the Indian Penal Code provides that “Any man who monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication commits the offense of stalking”.

Most of the women out there would waive their responsibility of stopping a person annoying, threatening, suppressing, forcing, or infringing their rights on social media by merely blocking such a person, but then does it end there? That person would now move on to another female profile and continue to do the same unless and until he’s made to understand the consequences of his conduct and such a person would be behind the bars if you take the initiative of reporting him. And let’s not forget the kind of impact that such an act can cause the mental health of a person who is subjected to stalking on social media and which would further lead to cyberbullying.

For the guys out there, the next time you start your conversation with a woman discomforting or disturbing them, stating that you were checking on their social media, be aware of the fact that you are prone to imprisonment for almost a period of 5 long years if the women feel infringed by your conduct and decide to bring charges against you. And to the women of the nation, know your rights when a guy tries to demean you on social media based on your profile or otherwise, you have the authority to prohibit him from doing it.

But then are only women subjected to stalking? Being frank, the answer is a big “No”. With the development of society, the roles of predators and victims have highly become a variable, where both men and women are subjected to stalking. But do men have protection against the same? Well, there is nothing provided as of now in the Indian Penal Code that protects men from being victims of stalking.

And are only men and women prone to such stalking? If the answer is a “yes” then we surely have forgotten the struggles of the LGBT community in including them for protection against stalking, which equally deserves it and is also entitled to it.

Therefore it would be feasible to say that the protection against Stalking would be efficient if it were gender-neutral. We are in a society where we need to respect the rights of others and at the same time making sure our own right is not infringed.

Let’s not forget the fact that “actions have consequences”.

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