A Lesson to Roadside Romeos! Why Item Is A Derogatory Term!

Such offences need to be dealt with a heavy hand as a lesson needs to be meted out to such road side romeos, in order to protect the women from their uncalled for behaviour.

Ayushi Raghuwanshi
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How often do we as women come across the word ‘item’ in our daily lives? Maybe while walking down the lane or in a public transport or at any social gathering or public place. So often that it’s not an anomaly anymore and our response to such remarks is that we just turn a deaf ear to it. Such silent reaction fuels such unwarranted behaviour and further grave offences.

In a recent judgement delivered by a Court of special judge at Borivali division in Mumbai the Court while holding the accused guilty under Section 354 of the IPC and Section 12 of the POCSO Act laid down that calling a woman ‘item’ certainly outrages the modesty of a woman.

Special judge S J Ansari observed, "Item is a term used generally by boys to address girls in a derogatory fashion as it objectifies them in a sexual manner, the same will clearly indicate his intention of outraging her modesty.”

In the matter, the accused a 25-year-old businessman along with his friends had been harassing the survivor, a 16-year-old school going girl, the accused would follow her and address her as ‘item’. On one occasion, when the survivor was returning from her school the accused reportedly caught hold of her hair and remarked,  “kya item kidhar ja rahi ho ?"

 "ae item sun na."

This followed abuses and the survivor called the police after which an FIR was registered.

Why Item Is A Derogatory Term


Though no other offence was proved to be committed the Court observed, “It is true that there is nothing to show the fact of any other crime having been registered against the accused. The fact, however, remains that the prosecution has proved the fact of he having outraged the modesty of a minor girl while she was walking in a lane and of having sexually harassed the said child. Such offences need to be dealt with a heavy hand as a lesson needs to be meted out to such road side romeos, in order to protect the women from their uncalled for behaviour. Consequently, there does not arise any question of granting the benefit of probation to the accused or showing unwarranted leniency to him.”

 It is high time that such unwarranted behaviour is dealt strictly with as such minor criminal offences take the form of grave and heinous offences in no time. The Court’s judgement is laudatory and a step in this direction. What is required from our end is that we show no tolerance to such behaviour. It is totally non acceptable to be referred to as an ‘item’ or by any other sexually coloured remark. Mere comments and remarks if outrage the modesty of a woman must be dealt with a heavy hand as has been done by the Court of special judge at Borivali division in Mumbai.

The views expressed are the author's own. 

Suggested Reading:

Calling Girl “Item” Is Derogatory And Objectifies Her In Sexual Manner: Mumbai Court


derogatory remarks item borivali