Moral Policing – Yeah Right!

It seems like some local Indian news has finally made its way to the front page of the International Herald Tribune this week. The Mangalore Pub attacks issue has been in the news for quite a while now and the debate of “moral policing” seems to be in the air again. Morality has been one of the most controversial concepts of all time and also one of the most politically influenced and thus we come to the question: “who defines morality?”, which is also another long debated social question.


The advantage in this debate is to streamline it to the status quo present in society and law today in the Indian context. India is in principle a secular nation, a nation respecting all religions, a nation respecting diversity and in this divinity of colors, there are always bound to be problems, but there comes a point where you simply ask yourself – where is the line? How can groups randomly barge into a bar and terrorize people and lecture them on the issue of morality? This is the imposition of perspective and the propagation of extremist ideas. They are not Hindu or Muslim in nature as a fundamental, but are purely and extremely in a dirty and shameless way, political.


The Ram Sena claimed itself as a defender of Indian Culture and members also made public statements and threats to young people on going out on Valentines Day. They have absolutely no right to curb the freedoms and choices of other citizens of a free country. Even if a person is breaking the law – there is a way it is to be addressed and to a situation where no law is being broken and everybody is having a good time, it is none of their business to create problems and scream “save culture”. I believe such people create a negative idea of Indian Culture and in no way learn to cherish it, but simply create more problems to the already long list.


The disgusting part of the whole situation is to look at our esteemed politicians and authorities actually doing nothing much about it. What do you do when the law does nothing about it? You are clueless and you start questioning the very existence of the law if it is not implemented. I had a friend visiting India recently ask me if it was legality for women to wear certain types of traditional clothes here in India and I was surprised and amused on hearing such an absurd question! What did she mean? Who gave her that idea? She of course needed to greatly expand her perspective on Asia and remodel it!


I told her we are a free country; secular and democratic! Such events create a wrong image of our country and I would personally not blame the media because it is true and it did happen and the media has a right to speculate issues and have its word for the day, but what was wrong and what is wrong is the issue in the flow and our esteemed politicians playing a game of poker over the table.

Harshvardhan Bhat

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