In a revolting incident, a physically challenged woman was mercilessly thrashed with a stick by an executive at the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) office in Nellore a few days ago. Her fault? She reportedly asked him to wear a mask in the office premises amid a global pandemic!
The woman is a senior executive in a hotel in Nellore under the state's tourism department and the accused happens to be the deputy manager in the same department. The outrageous incident has been caught on a camera. In the video, the man can be seen attacking the woman, dragging her by the hair, and violently beating her. The man continues his attack even after he is interrupted by a man and it is only after a couple of other staff members intervene that he finally stops.
Shocking video! Only because she asked him to wear a mask, #AndhraPradesh tourism dept dy mgr Bhaskar beats up contract worker Usha with an iron rod in the office. Incident in #Nellore district on Saturday. The woman, a differently-abled, filed a police complaint. @Tourism_APpic.twitter.com/mOgduF0naC
The man has been arrested by the police and has also been suspended from his official position. An assault case has also been registered against the accused. He was apparently triggered because a junior staff member had asked him to wear a mask. And while the media reports are conflicted about whether the stick used for thrashing was made of wood or iron, the woman is safe and it is the violent display of toxic masculinity that has us shocked.
The incident throws light on the deep-rooted misogyny in our society, that often spills over into the workplace. Imagine being so conceitedly clung to them that you cannot even listen to those junior to you even if they ask you for something absolutely reasonable. Would he have done the same to someone senior? Would he have dared to do it if that junior was a man? These are the kind of questions that need to be asked to call out toxic masculinity and hegemonic divides in our country every time we come across them.
Meanwhile, Indian Twitterati is enraged at the incident as they call out the "sickness" of the society and how the man found an easy target in a physically challenged woman. Here's what they had to say:
Lastly, I don't understand the deal with refusal to wear face masks? For a country that is already looking at the 6 lakh mark in terms of its COVID-19 cases, shouldn't we all be wearing a face mask without being asked to?