Monday, March 16, 2009

Im-moral policing.

This is Sankey. My favourite lake. I was suffering from Lake-sickness once I got back from IIT-B. The Powai lake there was our fav hangout. It was a wonderful mood-lifter, to go and sit there when I was feeling low. So, once at IISc, when NiNa suggested Sankey, i just jumped up at the offer. And, instantly fell in love with the lake. The vast waters, the well maintained litter-free walkways, the nice seats that allow people to rest a while - I loved everything about the place. Soon, it was our favourite walk-the-talk site. Ah! There are so many beautiful memories I have about this place!

So, when I bought new Nike running shoes, it seemed that the most obvious place to go running was Sankey :) So, got up at 6, and went to Sankey, all geared up. It looked beautiful, as usual, wisps of clouds , small ripples on the waters, a few kids playing in the sand pit. People of all sizes and ages walking, jogging and exercising. Then, I noticed something - something that had changed at Sankey.

[reads "Dhoomapana nishediside" which means "Smoking is prohibited' ]

[Means "Give preference for seating to Senior citizens and the physically challenged"]

[ Means "Do not walk on the lawns"]

They had painted slogans and directives on the back of the seats. While the ones above were sensible, the others, like these were not.

[this is self explanatory]

[ Means "Do not demonstrate your love"]

[means "Let your actions not cause embarrassment to others"]

Who sets the bar? Who decides what is "obscene"? For the moral police and Sri Ram sene, even a guy and a girl sitting on the same bench might count as 'obscene behaviour'. Or girls wearing tees and shorts for jogging might be 'obscene'. Who is the deciding authority? This was disgusting. Why couldn't they let parks and lakes to be prisitine ? Couples also need a place to sit in the city. Is it wrong to come with your loved one and enjoy a few serene moments at the lake? And, what is meant by "Do not demonstrate your love"? I do not think that demonstration of love is against Indian Culture. For Heaven's sake, we are the country that produced the Kama Sutra! All the love poems of Kalidasa also speak of love. The current moral police do not seem to have the insights the ancient people had - that Love is Divine. Love is not limited to cuddling kids. Even adults can do with a hug once in a while.

Truly, it is not the people - the common men and women - who want the moral policing. Nor are the so called "Moral police" really concerned about our "Culture" . As is obvious with Pramod Mutalik contesting the elections this time, all of this is a bid for political mileage and to hog media attention. After all, who was Mutalik before the Mangalore pub attacks? Now he's become a household name. And, if he had plans of contesting elections, it was an excellent tactic to hog media attention and become a front page personality. Sadly, the only ones who suffer in all this political drama are we common people.


jb said...

I don't think these people have an inkling of what culture or freedom means. During one of my incessant ramblings along these lines, my firend kindly pointed out that the biggest motivation for this kind of moral-policing is that a majority of Indians do actually fall for this our culture-is-in-danger tactic.

What we need is more people to talk out against such bullying. When it is becomes detrimental to their existence, political bigwigs are smart enough to change their dhothis for jeans ;)

Sreekumar Nair said...

Well said!