“It doesn’t go with our culture. It is vulgar.” (rhymes well, doesn’t it?)
The youth of the digital age have probably heard these phrases quite often. Well, this is the leech of moral policing that India is still entangled with. From neighbours to relatives, police and the public — we are tired of justifying every little thing, every single time – for wearing shorts, for colouring our hair, for holding the hand of someone of the opposite gender. We have been subjected to complaints, threats, hatred, beatings, shaming or at least unwanted counselling for our acts.
This couple in Kerala gave a befitting reply to the police personnel who had approached the couple to enforce their idea of morality. This conversation and unconvincing arguments were published on Facebook.
On Tuesday morning, a couple sitting in a garden were accosted by two police officers from Museum station in Thiruvananthapuram. The officers asked the couple whether they were married, to which the couple replied that they were not.
Once they found out that they are not married, the officers told them that their behaviour is ‘vulgar’. That is when they came to know that holding hands is ‘vulgar’. Wanting to make them accountable for their actions, the man, Vishnu, started streaming the incident Live on his Facebook account. He kept asking the police to explain how they categorised the couple’s act of holding hands as ‘vulgar’.
In the three-minute Facebook Live video, one of the officers can be heard saying: “We’ll inform your parents and see what needs to be done, whether to marry you off or not. Otherwise, all this is not permitted here.”
The couple was taken into police custody and the parents were called. When the parents stated that they did not want to intervene in the case, the couple were let off. No cases were filed against them. Clearly the threat to ‘tell the parents’ didn’t hold up.
Fortunately, nothing serious happened to them, but such acts of moral policing are getting out of hand in Kerala. A few days ago another Facebook user posted a live video of the police harassing young couples in the museum area.
Recently, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had lashed out at the increasing instances of moral policing in the state. The CM wanted action against such people. However, it seems some police personnel in the state are yet to get the message.
The Logical Indian is appalled how moral policing is spreading like a deadly virus in the country whether it is in Kerala or other states. Moral policing has resulted in torture and even several deaths in the country. We urge the government to take stringent measures against such moral policing. We urge the youngsters also to stand against such ill practices and say No to moral policing.