I don’t know if I am to laugh or sit in disappoint when I hear news reports that absolutely sound absurd.
With an aim to raise their voice against moral policing, a group of youth headed by the popular filmmaker, Rahul Pasupalan had come together and organized a public event called the Kiss of Love. The event received more than 3000 youthful support, as highlighted in the “likes” of the event’s Facebook page.
Kiss of Love was to gather the youth in the Marine Drive area of Kochi where they were to kiss in a shared voice against moral-policing.
However, this event of fight against moral-policing, as ironically expected, was faced by moral-policing. As many as 50 participants were arrested in the protest. To add to it, even the event’s Facebook page wasn’t spared; “Kiss of Love” page was blocked on Facebook extending moral-policing even to social media. However, a new page, Kiss of Love Kochi was created again.
What’s the saddest and at the same time funniest thing is that crimes like rapes, molestation, and theft are neglected even after lodging an FIR, but when it comes to moral-policing, government officials and party leaders arrive before time, ready for “lathi charge” and group arrests. Always the argument on the line of “Indian culture and tradition” is used to justify incidents in which officials from the police force beat up women and young girls; even men are beaten to the extent that some need to be hospitalized for days.
My question is where in “Indian culture” is it written that expression of love is against our tradition? If anything at all, India has many temples that highlight erotic art. For that matter, Kama Sutra, an erotica that is widely popular across the globe, originated in India. And anyway, the question here is not being raised on erotic scenes, but on the freedom to express one’s love. When a mother can show her love to the son by kissing him while at a park, so why can’t a boy give a peck in public to the girl he loves? But in India, forget a peck or two on the cheeks, even holding of hands is met with “obscene” moral-policing.
Now this has extended even to social media as our Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts are being closely monitored. Today “Kiss of Love” was removed from Facebook, tomorrow any profile containing pictures with boys and girls holding hands could be removed from Facebook.
It is love which is an integral part of the Indian, and of humanity at large. To put a restriction on expressing it is a graver concern here, not kissing in public. We need to be more open towards accommodating feelings of emotions as natural as love.
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