So You Think You Can Dance!

If you are fond of fashion and dancing, Mumbai, described as India’s Manhattan, is the place to be in.

On the eve of Sunday, the 2nd of July, the Mumbai police department carried out a raid on a suburban restaurant and detained 71 people. Out of these 31 were fined a total of Rs.38000 for their dance moves and the clothes they wore. Most of those detained were call centre employees who were enjoying their time off. The eyewitnesses clearly mentioned that they noticed a few couples holding hands but there seemed nothing obscene or indecent about that. Nor have the police found any evidence of drugs or underage drinking.

In my opinion, this just seems like a past time activity for the cops who want to create controversial news before they go to sleep at 1 a.m. Evidently, the youth is being targeted for no rhyme or reason. Such a raid, detention and fining by the Mumbai Police Department is unjustified. Who exactly decides which dance steps are “indecent”? Well of course, that’s not feasible. So basically, if you think you can dance, the police think they can fine you!

The recent headlines would read something like: The 2G scam expos̩ grows; Renowned journalist J. Dey shot dead in a busy market area; Women molested in trains РA regular phenomenon; People killed at metro construction sites; Malaria grows beyond control. Besides these, there are thousands of cases of encroachment, theft, women harassment issues, child robberies, signal breaking, amongst others, every single day in Mumbai. Then why is the Mumbai Police so whimsical about moral policing?

I agree that moral policing forms an important part of the society and shares a direct link with the crime rates. And hence, moral policing should not be stopped as suggested by DJ Jenny as a protest to being fined on Sunday, on a social networking site. Instead the police should concentrate on crime policing, also showing efforts to curb moral disorders which if not curbed, could lead to greater criminal disorders in the future but, in a non-controversial manner. It is also important that moral policing be done in the right way. Just raiding one random suburban restaurant would be a futile waste of effort and resources.

Planned moral policing could be productive. Like what happens when a “Munni” or a “Sheila” dance to tunes with indecent lyrics and unimaginable dance moves? What happens when a famous actor releases an “A” rated movie with obscene dialogues and role play and publicizes the “A” tag? What happens when on “Holi” or “New Years Eve” or rather each single day, when men ogle at women of any age group? What happens to the moral policing then?

So when DJ Jenny and her followers say, “STOP MORAL POLICING”, I beg to differ.

Moral policing should be continued in a way to impact the society positively.

Ketki Barfiwala