Sikh Driver in Australia Sexually Assaults an 18-Year- Old and Blames It on His Indian Upbringing

 Sikh Driver in Australia Sexually Assaults an 18-Year- Old and Blames It on His Indian Upbringing

31-year-old Sikh cab driver, Simardeep Singh, has defended himself in a sexual assault charge by blaming it on his Indian upbringing. Singh and his lawyer claimed that in Punjab, where he grew up, women wearing short clothing were considered to be prostitutes, and he committed the sexual assault after receiving this culture shock. He was sentenced to five and half years in jail in early August.

Singh migrated to Australia in 2008 and was employed as a cab driver for Swan Taxis in Perth. Raised in a conservative environment in Punjab, Singh received no sex education from school, family or television. There weren’t even any discussion regarding sex that he participated in, which he claimed was the trigger for the supposed culture shock that drove him to his crime.

The incident took place in 2011, when he had a 20-year old female passenger from Northbridge and he enquired about her sex life that obviously made her uncomfortable and then went ahead to touch her in an inappropriate way. After he dropped her off, she reported this to Swan Taxis. Immediately afterwards, Singh picked up an 18-year-old girl, whom he took to a park and then assaulted sexually. The victim reported him to the police, but Singh was released without a charge and he fled back to India the very next day. However, the matter was brought to court and Singh was summoned to appear before the court in 2015.

His lawyer, Shane Adam, informed the court about his conservative upbringing and how the man experienced culture shock. The court announced that while Singh’s upbringing could have possibly played a role, it does not take away the blame of his actions and sentenced him to 5 and half years in jail. Many people protested against this argument, claiming that since he did the crime in Australia, his Indian upbringing should not matter, and should be sentenced full time.

The case shows quite an alarming view of India where sex education does not exist in most places and even the word “sex” itself is a taboo. Also, many Indians do not consider full consent of a female to be important in sex and taking physical advantage and assault is considered acceptable, despite many organization working hard to fix that. Incidents like this misinterprets the Indian culture and shows India in a very unflattering light to other countries.

Sunny Pathak

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