Most of you may be aware of this by now. A couple was beaten up at a Kolkata Metro station for hugging. I just want to ask one simple question – are we moving forward or going backwards?
Back in the day, young widows used to be burned with their husbands in a ritual popularly known as Sati. Women had to endure a lot of discrimination. In fact, women still have to struggle for their rights in some parts of the world even in today’s day and age. But our country used to be one of those Asian countries that never had any major issues. We were never ruled by the Taliban or ISIS. No bomb was ever dropped on us. But what are we doing to ourselves?
The young generations used their common sense to figure out that most of the rules and regulations in our culture don’t make sense. They adopted ‘western’ lifestyles because such lifestyles were far more sensible. Some people have accepted that our social norms have flaws and that people can choose to be different if they desire so.
But there are also some people with a god complex who decided to become self-proclaimed protectors of our culture and traditions. From their perspective, western trends are drastically spoiling young minds and heinous measures should be taken in order to punish the ones who don’t follow their idea of Indian culture.
One such example of this is what happened in Kolkata. A couple was hugging in the Kolkata metro. Some senior members around them started making crude remarks in regards to their display of affection. While they tried to justify their reason for hugging, the crowd seemed to grow more agitated and they were threatened. When the metro halted at Dum Dum station, the couple was kicked out and beaten up.
They were helped out by some young people in the station who made sure they could get away without any major harm. It took social media by storm, and instant protests were held at the station itself, in order to prove that we have rights too.
Later, a reputed radio jockey uploaded a video claiming what the couple did was wrong and justifying the events that followed.
This isn’t even the only example of moral policing being shoved down our throat. Very recently, two teenage girls were assaulted for interacting with Muslims youths in Mangalore. Another example would be the Mumbai Police deciding to raid hotels and round up 13 couples and 35 others. These consenting adults were shocked to find the Mumbai police knocking on their doors. However, the police admitted that it was a mistake on their part.
These events keep happening in all parts of India. Acts of affection are looked down upon because according to these groups of people, they pose a threat to our values and culture. Yet rapes, assaults on women and sexual molestation keep happening all over the country. The same people who beat up couples for hugging would suddenly turn blind if they saw a woman being sexually assaulted in broad daylight.
Are we living in the middle ages? Are we ruled by the Taliban? Do you think our freedom fighters would be happy if they realised that they fought and sacrificed their lives but India never actually got independence?
It’s time to change that. It’s about time we say fuck you to the moral police and focus on recognizing the fact that we have the freedom of free speech and expression. Our Constitution does not prohibit public display of affection. Let’s move on from our everyday entertainment news about celebrities and talk about the fact that we don’t have to adhere to a particular set of rules placed by the Taliban-like ‘protectors of culture’ who do this to feed their own inner inferiority complex and fetish for domination.
Every time events like this occur, we forget about them after a couple of days and things go back to being the same. We have to keep this up – continue protesting against these people, continue to at least try to change our own mindset and theirs. Let’s not be afraid and shrug off real issues. Let’s give India the real independence that it deserves.