India Uncut

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The moral gestapo strikes again

The Times of India reports from Meerut:
Students burnt the police in effigy in protest against "humiliation" of couples studying in parks here for allegedly indulging in immoral activities and the U P Women's Rights Commission has decided to probe the incident.

The students alleged that some boys and girls studying together were beaten up and abused by the police, including women constables, yesterday on the charge that they were having "illicit affairs".
Well, this is just so commonplace now, isn't it? Not the specific crime of the police beating up couples in a park -- yes, what the cops did is a crime in my book -- but the growing trend in India of using coercion to enforce a particular view of morality. Whether it's discos in Bangalore or dance bars in Mumbai or people's views on pre-marital sex, we have way too many self-appointed guardians of public morality clamping down on people's rights in the name of culture.

As Gaurav Sabnis had once commented, Indians confuse "freedom" with the sovereignty we got in 1947. Individual freedoms, both in an economic and social context, are still routinely denied in India, and, in Gaurav's words, "[o]ur freedom struggle is yet to start."
amit varma, 10:24 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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