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Gender, Women's Rights

Paradise no more

For all those living in Hyderabad, India, Paradise hotel is synonymous to biryani and is one of the most visited restaurants in the city. Located in Secunderabad, the hotel was so iconic that it lent its name to the place where it is. I say ‘was iconic’ because it no longer is, for me anyways.

Last night, I was there with my family celebrating my mother’s birthday. After dinner, we came down and were waiting for our car to be brought around by the valet. There was this one woman who was selling mogra flowers, a street hawker, right near the restaurant.

Now Paradise for whatever reasons has bouncers as security personnel outside its premises. My husband, my cousins and I were just talking about what was an outright lecherous look of a bouncer towards this woman, when another bouncer walked in (at this point, the woman was surrounded by four bouncers) and asked her to move away from there. Now, I understand that the parking area is managed by these guys, but what right they have to order people off the roads? Anyways, even as she began to walk away, the bouncer pushed her to the ground–yes on a road where traffic flow is quite heavy; snatched her basket of flowers, tore them and began to hit the woman. When we along with the other customers started to scream and run towards the bouncer hitting the woman, he pushed her again to the ground, and ran inside the Paradise garage.

We were quite enraged at this point and ran inside the garage only to be stopped by other bouncers who told us to ‘get lost’ and one went to the extent of saying that the woman was beaten because she was ‘drunk’ and ‘misbehaving’. By this time, a considerably big crowd had gathered all of them demanding for the bouncer to be handed over. Not only were the other bouncers and security guard protecting the culprit but they went a step ahead and threatened customers to leave or forfeit their cars which were in the garage.

In a matter of seconds, the bouncers also began closing the garage doors and had barricaded one of the entrances to the hotel. A so-called Manager appeared on the scene, behind the barricades and told us to leave, saying “You are making a scene out of nothing”.

At this point, I called 108 and had also informed a couple of media houses about the incident. Soon, i saw a Rakshak vehicle (police patrol jeep) and stopped the vehicle and informed them of the incident. When the SI, one Shiva Prasad, asked the security guard what happened he said “nothing happened these guys are just making a big deal out of nothing”. When the police went inside to get the guy, they could not find the guy either. But what was heartening, at this point to see were the many people who had witnessed the incident, coming forward and informing the police. Many had waited for the police to come to complaint.

When i spoke to the other women hawkers there they told me that they are bullied on a daily basis by the Paradise security men. “They push us around, spoil our flowers and sometimes even grope us. We put up with it because we have no choice and have to do this for a living,” said one of the hawkers Lakshmi.

This is the appalling state of affairs in our city and country. What did the guy who pushed that woman and beat her think? That no one would react or that he would get away with it? I guess he thought both. And for all that i know, he might actually get away with it. While i did file a complaint with the SI, am yet to hear about the actual details and realistically speaking, i know that Paradise can ‘afford’ to bribe their way out of this incident. Their reputation will be hardly hit if the media does not take up the issue. Despite, working with the media i feel thoroughly helpless and frustrated that this matter has not been brought to light (as yet atleast) And so decided to go ahead and blog about it.

The manager who  was apprehended by the police last night was almost nonchalant and seemed assured that nothing would come out of this.

But what caught my attention was this- even as i was ashamed that something like this happened in my city, the number of my fellow Hyderabadis who rose to the occassion and fought for this woman who believe me was quite shaken and scared.

There are a lot of underlying issues here. One of class and gender. The inequality of it all. This security guard aka bouncer was assured of his management’s support and hence took the step of assaulting a hapless woman. A woman he knew, would not be able to fight back on her own. By calling her a drunk, the other bouncers somehow felt they had the moral authority to hit a woman. What was disgusting was the complete lack of responsibility on the part of the management.This attitude that she is no body so we can do whatever needs to be cracked down on not to mention  these so called security guards need to be sensitised.

At a time when there is so much public anger on the lack of safety for women, this incident just goes to show how much work’s to be done when it comes to this issue. But, I have hope now. Hope, that people will no longer stay quiet when incidents like this happen. Often, it takes one person to react-(in this case it was my family which reacted in unison)- to encourage other bystanders to stop being spectators. If the police takes action against these guys, they will be setting a wonderful precedent in the city. The incident also brought to the fore the concept of safety for thousands of women employed like this. Who are they to approach when such things take place and to what extent is justice actually delivered? Apart from strengthening laws, its time we even think of how to make women aware of their rights so that they can fight back.

And yes i know for a fact that I will NEVER step foot into that restaurant or any of its branches again  or even order from there. The only way these big establishments will understand the gravity of what happened last night is when people begin to boycott them.

I generally don’t ask for my blog posts to be shared, but this one i will. Please read and share this as widely as possible. We need to come together to teach a lesson to these guys and cut their arrogance. This might be a long shot, but i believe in the power of social media.

May 5 Update: The issue has been picked up by almost all mainstream papers in Hyderabad – The Hindu, The Hans India, New Indian Express and Times of India. Paradise has informed all these media houses that they have terminated the services of the security agency and the bouncer Prakash yadav has been arrested and was sent to the magistrate yesterday morning ie May 4 morning. The blog post has also gone viral on FB and Twitter. I want to thank all those who read, shared, tweeted and reblogged this post for spreading the message. 

Discussion

645 thoughts on “Paradise no more

  1. Reblogged this on Faring through.

    Posted by mbheri | November 16, 2014, 3:14 pm
  2. Reblogged this on Open World and commented:
    Its really sad to see women getting treated in this manner. I too have witnessed the high handedness of their goons. Its high time that we boycott such organizations.

    Posted by kkrishnendu | November 16, 2014, 6:22 pm
  3. You did a good job but nothing will happen. If I was there, I would take few of my friend and hit the daylights out of that security guard, or anyone coming to his rescue so that he remembers how it feels. That’s the only justice you can do. Other than that you need to wake up and realize if Police can do anything for that matter or even Paradise would. People will forget this blog, incident and just go back in after few days and still eat. But teaching the security guard will make him think twice before doing something again. Believe it or not that’s the only real justice left now days.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2014, 7:06 pm
    • Hi thanks for reading the blog. Also I don’t believe in taking law into my own hands and respect law of land.

      Posted by freespiritonmove | November 18, 2014, 2:56 pm
    • I can understand your anguish but never ever take law in your hands. If you did and god forbidden you get out clean, you will become a hero but you are setting an example where your future will take law in their hands for wrong reasons. What the blog author did is right. Bringing attention to the issue. He/She could have put up a fight with help of others. That will be mob mentality. I am sayin but what if the security was innocent. You would have punished an innocent. Let law do its work.

      Posted by danny | November 21, 2014, 7:37 pm
  4. Good Job.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2014, 5:38 am
  5. Great job! You made us Hyderabadis proud. Will never ever enter Paradise again, and will also encourage friends and relatives not to.

    Posted by Alakshyendra | November 17, 2014, 6:44 am
  6. I’am boycotting Paradise Hotel and their Food.. Lets all start to do this… :D

    Posted by Sathish Kumar | November 17, 2014, 8:37 am
  7. Hi im so happy to read this that yes there is someone who really have taken the courage and a step ahead…well appreciate you from botton of my heart, i really would like to join hands with u to make HYDERABAD a better place to live for a common MANKIND.

    Posted by honey | November 18, 2014, 12:47 pm
  8. As someone pointed in the comments most of the time the security guards gets this attitude from their employer. They should educate their staff to be responsible and understand the value of humane treatment. The woman could be a mother to one of us. She could be selling the flowers to send her kids to school. After all it is India.

    Posted by Srini | November 18, 2014, 11:44 pm
  9. Bravoo..!!, Thanks for sharing no more paradise I will share with all my friends

    Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2014, 5:12 am
  10. appreciate you for taking this initiative…it is people like you who make this world a better place to live…

    Posted by Harsha | November 19, 2014, 8:48 am
  11. the bloody paradise got famous only because “we” all made it famous that doesn’t mean that they got authority for brutality on any one whom they thought,bouncers are ment to be only protetced but not to be assault any one, bloody an official police has to think twice and thrice before he raises a hand on some one, who the hell are these bloody muscle balls to raise a hand to fist one?????its directly or indirectly its diong by those management, because if they dont support these bouncers they dont put themselves forward to these acts,,,, serious action should be taken for sure on this issue,,,,,,,, hell with paradise, we can cook ourselves once we google it on net, however its taste is already ruined now the name toooooooo,,,, and a thanks for raising issue, and bravery,,,, by the way one of the best biryanis is at near suchitra my friends circle restaurent

    Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2014, 2:36 pm
  12. Shabash:-) I baaned paradise as it has lost its charm way back. Although everyone now could easily make it at home and enjoy… the true biryani by simply follwing any of the utube guidance :-) :-) bcos we never know how they really make it :-) haha!

    Posted by Rajesh | November 19, 2014, 10:37 pm
  13. I tooo boycott paradise..

    Posted by abhilash | November 19, 2014, 10:39 pm
  14. Thank u dear, u have shown a really respones towards woman, jai hind.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 20, 2014, 10:36 am
  15. I hate paradise these days, the waiter too very cruel. Once I went with my large family, I asked 4 place biriyani, The waiter/manager told it is not enough for all, I told him, alright, I will order more if this does not enough, He was forcing me to get more, I was telling him again and again, if we required more we will surely order. He was not listening. THEN I SHOUTED LIKE ANYTHING AND THE HIGHER MANAGER CAME. I TOLD FIRST TAKE THIS PERSON AWAY FROM ME THAN I WILL ORDER. THEY ARE ALL STUPID PEOPLE.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 21, 2014, 2:41 am
  16. Bingo !! 1st point – Appreciate what you have done.
    2 – Paradaise bouncers are uneducated with steriod body’s…
    3- Thy cant even speak properly apart from standard lines which are taught by the management.

    Its happening almost very frequently and now i guess its high time to address this issue..

    Posted by Anonymous | November 21, 2014, 7:19 pm
  17. I don’t see flower sellers in paradise SECbad these days.. at all…

    Posted by nik | November 22, 2014, 2:09 am
  18. absolutely well done..havent been to paradise since last 7 years

    Posted by Anonymous | November 22, 2014, 2:53 pm
  19. well done..my support to you…I will pass this on..I anyways stopped going to Paradise since 8 years

    Posted by udaykk09 | November 22, 2014, 2:56 pm
  20. really bad.. bullshit paradise

    Posted by abhilash | November 25, 2014, 2:48 pm
  21. Moral policing should ne done on this kind of issues rather than on kiss of love valentines day etc …..

    Posted by Pasha | November 25, 2014, 3:59 pm
  22. I saw the exact same thing happen to a man a couple of years ago. Stricter action should be taken. Paradise is as much responsible as the security company. Shame on the management.

    Posted by Krishna Rao | November 25, 2014, 10:08 pm
  23. You have done a great job! Extremely proud of you!

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2014, 11:43 pm
  24. How come their are no pics of the incident .you said so many people witnessed it. Please provide some pics to make ur story look more genuine.

    Posted by ... | November 26, 2014, 11:24 am
  25. Even there is no need some one run for paradise biryani. so many other restaurants offer better taste and better prices also. You will be charged double to double in paradise. No need to go paradise ..

    Posted by Alapati Rajdeep | November 26, 2014, 1:03 pm
  26. This is not new. Mighty suppressing the poor. When success gets into head arrogance sets in. That is what happened here.

    Posted by selva | November 30, 2014, 6:42 am
  27. You Did the right thing. Injustice is something which is not a court/law word. Injustice is something which you keep quite in times when some one is doing wron infront of you. You did great thing. We are inspired with ur efforts against evil. U have already won.

    Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2014, 2:15 am
  28. After reading this blog my circle has decided to boycott all joints with the name Paradise in Hyderabad/Secunderabad and all around, including airport road

    Posted by vasudevan | December 3, 2014, 2:33 am
  29. Hats off to you my dear friend. Very proud of you.

    Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2014, 4:46 am

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