“Operation Majnu” In Uttar Pradesh Violates Human Rights

Posted on January 4, 2012

By Anubhav Verma:

(Operation Majnu– Resumed by the Ghaziabad police with the aim of ‘stopping innocent girls from being trapped by boys with evil motives’. To protect the girls, they hound and humiliate couples sitting in parks and public places.)

We live in a democracy, and everybody is accountable in a democracy since no freedom is total or absolute. All freedom is subject to reasonable restrictions. But is an “Operation Majnu” a reasonable restriction?

Section 294 of IPC reads- Whoever, to the annoyance of others-

  • Does any obscene act in any public place, or
  • Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.

One fails to understand since when has holding hands or just sitting in public parks or malls started causing annoyance to other people. Under which section of the IPC have the police been targeting the couples? One also fails to understand why an SHO (Station House Officer) like Alka Pandey is not going after eve-teasers but targeting innocent couples who by no means are jeopardizing public morality. Is such an operation in the name of public morality justified? One needs to understand that the country is moving ahead and India is not what it was 60 years ago. Isn’t it ironical that an operation like this in U.P. has resumed at a time when its Chief Minister talks of moving towards development by dividing the state into four parts? Does development take place only when a state is split into four parts for good governance? Is the definition of development so narrow-minded in Uttar Pradesh?

What happened to the saying- “Even if 99 criminals go scot free, it does not matter much, but a single innocent person should not be convicted.”? An operation which hassles innocent couples who are together by mutual consent is seriously detrimental to the upliftment of the state. It is also a serious violation of human rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The cops seem to have no respect for the dignity of the citizens. Isn’t catching the girl by her ears and abusing her and making a boy do sit-ups or slapping him in public, in front of stupid TV cameras, a kind of humiliation which the couple will never forget?

One may ask- How is this part of the country different from Taliban? Under Taliban, girls are whipped if they are seen with a married man; boys who refuse to keep a beard are lashed without any mercy; people are stoned if they break Islamic laws. Hope U.P. is not following the same laws.

If immorality in India means ‘a girl meeting a boy, or a couple hanging out together’, then so should bribery, dowry and casteism. But we never see an ‘Alka Pandey’ take such strict action against people involved in those things. People have reacted by calling her the mother of ‘Poonam Pandey’ (the Kingfisher Calendar girl who offered to strip naked in front of the stadium crowd if India won the 2011 World Cup ), who appalled by her daughter’s situation has decided to improve things.

(Let’s see who wins the battle…!)

Because of this operation, even couples are scared to go to parks now as they may unnecessarily be embarrassed by cops infront of others. There is a huge difference between eve-teasing and love affair I suppose. And how exactly are the cops deciding that the boy has an ‘evil motive’ towards the girl and thus they should not be allowed to meet? I believe this is more of a girl’s personal decision. She should be free to do whatever she likes.

At one place we are seeing societal openness in the form of U.S. porn star Sunny Leone being applauded in Bigg Boss 5 and at the other place innocent couples given a lifetime of embarrassment. Behenji Mayawati’s government should make sure that an operation like this which jeopardizes the state’s image is never carried out again. If this moral policing is not stopped, a day will soon come when educated fools would justify Honour Killing in the name of fake pride (it has already begun).

“Ye ishq nahin aasan, bas itna samajh lijiye
Ki aag ka dariya toh doob ke paar ho jata
Lekin maar khane ke baad Majnu apni Laila ko bhul jata.”


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