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Confessions of Autowallas

This series was started about a year and a half back, post the horrific December 2012 incident. However, due to the lack of credibility issues and also because of my foolishness of not recording the details of the interviewed Auto drivers led to the rejection of the piece by some major media organizations. I actually asked the auto wallas what they think of rape, public obscenity and sex. 

The whole crux of interviewing the Auto drivers of the city happens to be the fact that they travel though out the city and deal with the maximum number of people. Our window into the unknown nightlife of Delhi can only be these auto drivers because they happen to be the only one travelling around the city. Each day they carry passengers and on a personal basis, interact with the vivid experiences.

The opinions expressed below are not mine. I just recorded them. At some point they would seem very conservative and stereotyped. But even though I could not establish credibility, none of it should be taken as my personal opinion. It’s up to the readers to trust me, and think of the fact that these drivers deal with every kind of people, hence if they have strong opinion about something, then it must be driven by their experiences.

I am using fictional names for the drivers which somehow indicate the region or background they belong to. This is done because we all understand how much a surrounding dictates the thinking of an individual, including me and you. However the routes I will mentioning are true and the conversation did take place in my journey in the mentioned route.

Jitender Yadav (Route: Ashram to Dwarka): I usually drive in the airport route. As I pass by these big hotel I see these rich brats coming out of the hotel, partying. They are usually high and drive around crazy. Sometimes some girls to call for an auto, drunk and short dress I can’t describe how they behave. They boys who accompany they are often seen taking advantage of the situation, groping them at in appropriate places. But you won’t believe I have even seen girls sticking to boys. They are drunk and they just cling on to the boys. Ab sir aaise haalat mai agar launda kuch kar de and subah ladki hungama karre toh hum kya bol sakte hai? Girls should also make sure right that they don’t behave such way that things happen. I have seen them getting drunk and clinging on to their male friends.

Rajender Singh (Green Park to Lajpat Nagar): Ladkiyo ko sir _______ diye hai baccho ko khilane ke liye jab wo maa bane, uchalne ke liye thodi? (Women have breasts so that they can feed their child when they get married not to show them around.) I have seen couples sitting and not just kissing about you can’t imagine doing what. Sarji, where is public decency? It’s hard to point out whose mistake it is? Sir, there is sex all around and if such things happens in public, you see obscenity in public, naturally you get instigated. Decency should be there. It’s difficult for me to see a girl sitting on top of a boy when I drive.  

J Akhtar (AIIMS to GK): I see school girls changing in my auto, smoking and going to parks instead of school. How can we take responsibility of girls if they do such things? Log kethte hai ki hum khule bichar ke banne, par shahab ek aur pe ye bacche, 17-18 saal ke ghar wallo ko dhoka deke aaise jaate hai, hum aaise karnamo ke bare ke kya keh sakte hai? (People say that we should be open minded, but if these kids, 17-18 years of age, fool their parents and indulge in such acts, what can we say about it?)

Ravi Kishan (AIIMS to Lajpat): There should be public decency. If you are travelling with your parents in a car, you won’t like to see someone kissing in the auto as you pass by. This is just not your culture. I am not talking about whose fault it is, all I am saying is that you should respect the presence of a third person. Such things instigate a lot of things. People should be careful.

The views expressed below might sound really cheap, stereotyped and rude. Yes it’s a little surprising that every auto driver I talked to expressed similar thoughts. It might just be luck or a common belief amongst a section of these drivers. I have omitted a few thoughts because they had similar views.

PS: None of the views expressed are my personal.  


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