The story and the act are certainly infuriating as once again the moral brigade has come into play. The only fault of those women was that they were in a park with a male. For all you know he could have been the woman’s brother, father, cousin ……… whatever. Infact one of the assaulted woman told reporters that she was sitting in the park with her brother after having met with her advocate for a case against her husband for cruelty! Can the woman expect justice for cruelty by her husband if the law enforcers are themselves so brutal? Now even if it were a couple of lovers, how does it give the police any right to physically assault them? Since when has ‘visiting a park with a male counterpart’ become synonymous with ‘indulging in obscenity’? Does being police give the cops the right to decide and accordingly impose restrictions and punishments for ‘obscenity’? And basically how do you define ‘obscenity’? Taking a stroll, sitting on a bench, chatting, laughing, holding hands, kissing, making out…. how and where do you draw the defining line?
I remember the time in college when the Shiva Sena- VHP moral brigade had come down with full force on the Valentine’s Day celebrations. A friend of mine had the misfortune to be born on the day and he entered college carrying a bouquet of flowers that his friends had given him. But the ‘moral police’ thought he was out to gift it to a girl and celebrate and ‘abuse Indian culture’ and so they tore the flowers away from him and abused and insulted him! Poor guy was almost in tears- his last birthday in college had been brutally ruined!
I am no great supporter of ‘public display of love and affection’ but neither does it mean that it gives me the right to go around physically assaulting a boy and a girl just because they are together. It is for the couple to impose self restrictions and what others can possibly do is advise them to keep their hands off each other in public. Whether they do it or not is their concern. I do get pissed off by seeing couples kissing on road sides and parks, where hundreds of passersby gape at them and pass indecent remarks, where impressionable children stare and wonder. More so because I think the reactions of the onlookers insult the very pristine emotion of love.
I agree that it is necessary to keep a check, for eve-teasing and rapes are not a novelty. The police should however keep their senses intact and check and verify before lashing out at the persons involved. For all they know the couple might be just breaking up forever, fighting emotions and not about to make out. It is a truth that couples need their privacy and special moments and we need to trust the sanity and sense of responsibility of couples before taking any drastic actions.
What happened in Merrut was a disgrace to the country that dreams of being a significant international player and boosts of a rich culture, thousands of years old. It shows our narrow mindedness which can see nothing beyond ‘obscenity’ in the interaction of individuals of opposite sexes. We need to grow up as a society and come to appreciate the complexity and beauty of relationships of the two sexes that is also necessary for overall harmony.