Kiss Of Love: Why So Stuck Up, India?


Really, what is it with us Indians? Why are we so against people expressing their opinions, voices and choices freely? For all the talk of tolerance and respect for individuals, we have at our hands a plethora of incidents that state otherwise. Why can’t we just accept people minding their own business and having a good time?

Leaving aside talks of culture, morality and other dicey terms, how about being plain logical for once? We barely go and chase guys peeing along roadside, do we? Or the guy spitting on the roads or littering around. Then what’s the big deal if we spot a couple holding hands, hugging or displaying affection towards each other. Obviously getting overtly affectionate at a public place is sure to grab the eyeballs and might lead people to feel a bit awkward; that is true for every nation in the world. But a peck on the cheek or lips; is it just too much for us to handle? And why classify love into separate genres. It is like as if there were a love manufacturing factory somewhere and different classes of love are being developed there. A mother’s love is different from a father’s love. A love for a sister is different than that for a brother. Similarly a love for a spouse is a different class altogether. Our definition of love is clichéd. When a mother kisses her boy, it is out of “love” and “affection”. It is our feelings that are described by our actions. And so, when two lovers kiss it is still “love” and “affection” at play. Why do we adjudge them immoral and the act obscene? Love is unconditional and knows no discrimination. It is our mind that makes a perfectly respectful and genuine act of love seem vulgar.

Moral policing goes beyond beating up couples in parks or streets. The sheer diversity of ventures by the moral police is enough to claim a positon in the world records book for losers; from vandalising shops on Valentine’s Day to dragging out girls by the hair from pubs— moral police has done it all. For those who say visiting pubs and consuming alcohol is against the “Indian culture”, what do you have to say of the consumption of “soma” in pre-Vedic and Vedic era? The Rig Veda frequently mentions soma and the Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns praising its energising qualities.

Honestly, we need not look back at our history for the simplest of matters. If a person irrespective of his gender can hold their drink and not cause trouble to others, it is should not be a matter of concerns for anyone. And which culture allows grabbing girl by the hair and dragging them. This shameful act by the so called “Shri Ram Sena” grabbed the headlines back in 2009. Till now only three out of the 40 culprits have been brought to justice. I mean, who gives permission to these good for nothing nincompoops to name their team “Ram” sena. Lord Rama is the epitome of love and justice; using a name as pious as his to those indulging in such lowly acts is downright maligning his name and our culture. These are exactly the kind of people we must boycott, but instead we do otherwise.

Recently a coffee shop was vandalised in Kozhikode by the members of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, a youth wing affiliated to the BJP, alleging “immoral” activities. Following the incident, a group of youth led by short filmmaker Rahul Pasupalan opened a Facebook page “kiss of love”.

Around 2,600 persons have accepted the invitation to kiss in public “as an expression of love” at Marine Drive at the shore of Kochi. The protest will be held at 5 pm on Sunday, November 2.

“Moral policing is a criminal activity. Most political parties and religious organisations try to do that. A group of young bloods join their hands together to prove to the society that kiss is the symbol of love,” says the Facebook page put up by the organisers, which has over 25,000 likes as of now. We should come forward and extend our support to these brave youngsters who dare to challenge the goonda-raj (villain-rule).

The logic is very simple. Our culture never looked down upon freedom of expression. It is because of the false claims of different conservative outfits that such incidents of moral policing occur. It is perfectly acceptable if open vulgarity and obscenity at public places is kept under check, but using culture of some-parallel-universe logic to deny people of the basic freedom of expression is something which should be stopped immediately. Only then would we be citizens of a free society and can appreciate our true “culture”.

Rizwanur Rahman

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