This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Azra Qaisar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Attacked In Ice Cream Parlours, Pubs, ATMs: Are The Youth Of Mangalore Really Free?

More from Azra Qaisar

By Azra Qaisar

Six years ago, this city was in news for assaulting women going to pubs. Time has passed by, but not much has changed for Mangalore. From attacking homestays to targeting ice cream parlours, fundamental outfits are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the “Indian-ness” of our culture is restored and retained. In February earlier this year, a Muslim youth was beaten up by fundamentalists for posing with his classmates in a picture they did not see in “good taste“. Just this month, two girls were suspended from their college because their pictures with alcohol by their side went viral. In another incident on 25th of August, a man was beaten up for talking to a co-worker from another community. Why is the youth of Mangalore being told what to do? And why is their basic right to freedom being taken away by the moral police?

moral policing
Image source: com4tablydumb/Flickr

As per data collected by the Mangalore unit of the Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum, there have been 45 moral policing incidents in Mangalore in 2013. In 2014, the number of incidents was 39. This year, 10 incidents have been reported till now. Vigilante organisations, both Hindu and Muslim, in the area are doing their best to make sure that there is no interaction between the Hindu and Muslim youth in the area. They are against any form of communication – friendly, official or romantic – between men and women belonging to different religions. They are also trying to ensure that women don’t cross the boundaries that have been set by the society and patriarchal norms for them. The ideology at play here is age old – using women as the site of struggle between religious factions and also as a means to maintain the “cultural integrity” of the area. The freedom of movement and the choice of women (and men) is being questioned time and again. Majoritarianism seems to be gripping the city and dividing it on communal lines. This may just be the foundation of a very dangerous and intolerant situation between the two communities, with political parties to benefit.

Why are the attackers so unabashed and how do they have the audacity to do what they do? As per the local police, the attackers are affiliated to various organisation – Bajrang Dal, Popular Front of India, Sri Ram Sena to name a few. These groups are politically backed and taking action against them becomes hard. Cases registered in 2009 are yet to see a trial so the judicial stand on the issue remains a question unanswered still. It is important to take serious action in these cases rather than letting them lapse. The basic question here is that who are moral outfit to tell people how to live their lives? The fundamental right of every citizen – freedom – is being taken away and goonda raj is letting it happen. These unnecessary interventions are undermining the thinking capabilities of the youth and also fly in the face of the freedom granted by the Constitution of India.

You must be to comment.
  1. Avinesh Saini

    Mangalore seemed a peaceful and liberal place back in the day.

  2. Christopher

    Great article Azra!
    Being a Mangalorean, I’ve got this to say:
    Politicians use religion to exploit the people’s emotions. Moral policing is done by youth who are impressionable, restless and easily agitated. Political leaders tell communities how they are being victimized and how members of other communities have nothing better to do other than seduce girls from their own community to try and increase their own population.
    When the Muslim youth was thrashed in public, a lot of Muslim organizations condemned this incident and demanded swift justice. However, these organizations were nowhere to be found when Muslim youths beat up a Hindu boy for taking a Muslim girl on his bike 3 months ago. It’s an endless cycle of violence and hypocrisy.
    Another issue with these religious groups who are trying their best to “preserve” our Indian tradition of beating up people we don’t like, is their attitude towards women. They say that they do NOT want girls getting “fooled” into marriage by boys from other communities, despite the girl having no objection to the relationship at all. They treat women as second class citizens, incapable of making decisions for themselves.
    While the rest of India seems to be progressing forward, moral policing has taken Mangalore to an era of intolerance, arrogance and just plain stupidity.

    1. azra

      Thank you Christopher. Its about time something is done to stop this crackdown on youth.

More from Azra Qaisar

Similar Posts

By Parul Sharma

By Ashwani Soni

By Ankita Marwaha

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below