Non-ladies’ coupé | india | Hindustan Times
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Non-ladies’ coupé

Male commuters in Tokyo are requesting men-only compartments to avoid being charged with ‘accidentally’ groping women. They figure they’re equally entitled to a refuge of their own as insurance against the vagaries of general compartments.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2009 20:38 IST

Authorities in Tokyo seem to be fumbling in the dark in response to a strange request. Male commuters, tired of being left in the lurch by the heaving and rolling of high-speed train carriages, are requesting men-only compartments to avoid being charged with ‘accidentally’ groping women. They figure they’re equally entitled to a refuge of their own as insurance against the vagaries of general compartments.

This comes after the Tokyo High Court overturned an earlier ruling last week that had sentenced a 23-year-old man to prison for groping a high-school girl on a Tokyo train, and follows the Japanese Supreme Court’s view that ‘careful judgements’ be made in such cases. Taking the matter into their own hands are a few shareholders of Seibu Holdings, which runs trains in the Tokyo area, who have petitioned for separate carriages in response to reserved spaces for women during rush hour.

Now, this desperate clutching at straws might seem a tad too much for the brave of this land, long used to the rough and tumble of public transport. With feisty Indian aunties only too happy to reply with a well-placed hand (better known as a thappar) for a misplaced one, one might think it would send the Indian male running for cover. But our plucky commuters have repeatedly proven the age-old dictum ‘survival of the grittiest’. It seems unlikely that the Tokyo request will be granted, but we have to hand it to the men for trying to even the field a little.