The Moral policing and the Morale within us

Posted by Chandramaulika Ramakuri
November 16, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Scandals are in the air now-a-days. The disturbing videos of breached privacy; sometimes of consensual sex and at others that of self-proclaimed moral policing are becoming a common sight. It is even more disturbing if those videos are of your city, your locality, or of places through which you regularly pass by. In the last 1 month, many such MMS are doing rounds in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. The most recent one is that of a girl being stripped naked and whole incident was filmed by the miscreants.

The incident in point happened at a famous park (not disclosing the name as I am against advertising the issue and in turn the video). A B. tech student was sitting with her boy-friend (as it was reported) at the park when few local boys gheraoed them. They literally made them kneel down, stripped the girl and filmed the whole incident. The video went viral to the extent that 3 out of my 5 friends received that from different sources within 24 hours. This is the alarming level of moral policing and (mis)use of technology. The police commissionerate has decided to act suo-motto as no complaint was lodged by the victim. Now, this is the level of victim shaming that she dared not to lodge a complaint and identify the miscreants. Don’t you think this the collective failure of us as a society? The frightening part is not only the incident but also the rate at which we share such videos. At a level, it also points finger at the underneath propeller of demand and supply.

There are many dimensions of this case. But here I am concerned with only two. First, both of them had every right to have their “we” time irrespective of the fact that they were a couple or not. No one has the right to humiliate them upto this extent for that fact. Second and the most important, we need to discourage ourselves first from sharing (and thus advertising in turn) such videos. By forwarding such videos for fun, we are exposing the potent moral police within us and thus diminishing the morale we claim to possess. Sharing the news is good, but videos lead to another level of trauma for the girl and her family. I think this is the least we can do. And it would be more effective than taking out candle march in solidarity with the victim, tweeting with the hashtag “metoo”, penning down numerous articles on how girls are treated, how ineffective the administration has become, and so on and so forth. At a time when we are debating about right to speak and dissent, we are yet to provide our people with right to live life of their choice.

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