February 05, 2009

Nothing Moral About It

By Anuradha Prasad

When I first heard about the Mangalore pub incident, I was not surprised. Ever since the BJP came into power, as glad as I was to see the Gowdas go, I felt some apprehension. ‘Moral policing’ and communal conflicts always seem to ride on BJP power.

However, it was later, when I watched the videos that captured this disgusting act, that I was horrified, angry and sickened. The government’s lack of immediate action, the speeches against ‘pub culture’, the lack of remorse about what they are doing in the name of ‘morals’ left me indignant.

I feel it’s time we stopped using the term ‘moral policing’ when these acts occur. There is no moral involved in it. It is just a bunch of wimps masquerading as goons who attack unsuspecting women (or couples) with muscles rather than brains or logic. “The Idiots Strike Again” would make for better headlines.

We need to redefine Indian culture or rather stop it from being butchered and misused. We need to educate these idiots.

Maybe it’s time we brought on a Durga Sena to combat a Ram Sena. Maybe it’s time we armed ourselves with hockey sticks and jumped on these unsuspecting morons and beat them black and blue.

Gandhiji was a teetotaler but no one told him to be one. It was his choice. He spoke against the British as they were forcing their authority on us. That should tell us something. With these incidents, these groups are inflicting their unwanted authority and their personal choices on us.

I feel so frustrated as I write this, moving back in time, walking a path already walked again and again and again, instead of moving forward and meeting new challenges. We need to focus on illiteracy, poverty, exploitation and corruption. We have our work cut out for us. Instead they ban music, pubs, clothes and human rights -– not just women’s rights but basic human rights.

Anuradha Prasad works as a content writer for a movie-based website. She likes words and music and is deeply interested in people, and the boundaries between individuality and society.

21 comments to Nothing Moral About It

  • Kalyani

    What struck me was the similarity in the attitudes as reflected in the statements of both the Government and Sri Ram Sene leaders.

    On the one hand, the Government says that they have a ‘history’ and ‘culture’ of having ‘protected’ its women and it will continue to do so in the face of challenges – one of which is the Mangalore pub incident.

    On the other, the Sri Ram Sene wonders why such a big deal is being made out of the attacks. After all, they were merely trying to ‘protect’ the ‘culture’ and punishing those who stepped outside these bounds of decency.

  • daniel sv

    people speak abt the morality but stay back when it comes to action of morality .
    Ram sena speaks abt culture but does tht culture gives right to act like inhumanly (betting women) ? let me knw where it means to them such acts are moral ?
    well on other face as Anuradha prasad says in last paragraph We need to focus on illiteracy, poverty, exploitation and corruption.
    But but MOVING FORWARD doesn’t mean we shud pretend like westerner as pub culture which ruins our rich culture. Do we need to leave any of our sis in nude or in semi nude in pud and trying attract other sex? Is this the right use of freedom? (threatening against them is also immoral ). Womens have right to Drink,smoke and enjoy as they wish, within border of morality.
    so i think we need to resist such activities in pub or bar but not with way Ram sena did.

  • Anonymous

    Part of removing illiteracy and curbing exploitation must be that irrelevant moral considerations are not part of a decision on what a woman’s freedom is. No matter who is making that decision.

    If any of our sisters – or brothers – wish to portray themselves in the nude (or drink in a pub) then I guess we should respect their choice.

  • Love the idea of a Durga Sena….as reprehensible as violence is, sometimes the threat of violence is the only response to atrocity. Right now, there are NO repercussions that people like this face, and no motivation for them to stop.

  • apu

    “Do we need to leave any of our sis in nude or in semi nude in pub and trying attract other sex?”

    Daniel SV – you don’t need to “leave” your sisters to do or not do anything. Why do you think it is your responsibility? Don’t they have minds of their own? If they are over 18, they can think for themselves whether or not they would like to drink or visit a pub. it is people like you who are tacitly supporting such hooligans; while you say threatening is immoral, you still offer justifications by saying that the victims’ behaviour was wrong.

  • I’m guessing people like daniel sv feel that they own their Mothers/Sisters/Wives. Or at the very least cannot look beyond the tag of Mother/Sister/wife, believing that this is all there is to a woman. I think everyone needs to accept that a woman can be jut another person with her own feelings, emotions, aspirations and achievements. I’m not being feminist here. Merely stating a point. A woman is not just someone’s sister or mother; while these roles may be a part of who she is, they aren’t ALL she is.

  • Anonymous

    The ‘violence’ that Chevalier seems to be talking about would pretty much kill any moral legitimacy that any of us have in protesting against these attacks.

    While beating people up with hockey sticks holds much appeal right now to me as well, I wonder if it will serve any purpose in the long run, unless there are changes in attitude.

    And no hockey stick will bring about a change of attitude that will last.

  • daniel sv

    to Anonymous –illiteracy and curbing exploitation are out of topic right, jst for sake general attitude i have mentioned with the support. can be ignored.
    we should respect their choice? for doing what is known to be wrong from every aspect (health{men also},social cause )?
    apu–in a family every1 is responsible for every1.
    In a society i feel every one is my bro or sis if some1 feels this is wrong, im sorry for them. Its our society we need to keep it
    kriti– i feel pitty that ur in such a thought that do our mom/sis or wives have no feelings, emotions, aspirations and achievements or who r we to restrict them from these but what is expected we need live as model principle to every1 all our acts should with this back ground
    At the start of my words I have totally opposed the act of Ram sena. And I’m not in confusion also either to support or not to.

    to Anonymous–The root cause for these all discussion is women right(fre to act ). With logic of this act and words can we support sena? (no way). Sena members are also above 18!
    The term morality comes here .
    And any1 who respect culture May agree with me i believe.

  • Amu

    The root cause for these discussions is also about what ‘our’ culture is.

    Daniel SV, what is your definition of ‘our’ culture?

  • daniel sv

    well at least someone dare to raise their voice with right question!! good. Without knowing it roaming around it is waste of words and time.

    Definition of OUR is being a citizen of India.
    meaning of citizen– legal person who is bound to state of living in PARTICULAR area AND BEHAVING IN A WAY THAT OTHER PEOPLE WHO LIVED .(CAMBRIDGE DIC. PG 211 )

    Meaning of CULTURE :
    1) CUSTOM (OXFORD DIC pg 208).
    2) Way of life, Tradition and belief of a society.(CAMBRIDGE DIC. PG 296)

    meaning of Custom– Tradition way of behavior in a specific area and society.
    meaning of tradition —
    1) way of acting which people in a particular society which has continued to follow of a long time.( (CAMBRIDGE DIC. PG 1355)
    2) traditional established custom or belief from generation to generation (OXFORD DIC pg 964) .

    I think meaning defines whatz OUR CULTURE means better than me defining it.
    Now can any one define our and culture. and what is wrong in saving the culture if at all we are citizens.

    someone who is not citizen of INDIA cant say OUR. They expected to be so.
    for any1’s kind info i have mentioned sources. let they might check it and dare to speak about it.

  • daniel sv

    Is thr any1 how can show me d right path in this thought?

  • apu

    Daniel SV – “In a society i feel every one is my bro or sis if some1 feels this is wrong, im sorry for them. Its our society we need to keep it” – Daniel, you may feel that everyone is your brother or sister, but there is no need for them to accept your views. Keeping that in mind, you may feel that drinking is wrong (and you have every right to your opinion) – but there is no way you can impose it on anyone, though you could certainly explain your views. Which is why there is no question of “leaving” anyone to do anything. I hope you agree with that?

    As for culture, yes, it is a set of accepted practices in a particular area, but it is not static. If that were the case, we would still be living in caves.

    I have a related question for all men following this discussion, esp those who are so gung-ho about “saving” culture – have you ever wondered how Indian male traditional outfits are completely dying out? Why isn’t this ever a focus? Why is only women’s behaviour always the barometer of culture? Would you dare to go to work in a dhoti to “protect” our culture?

  • daniel sv

    yes apu, their no single reason i have said or i have in my mind, to make others accept my views.
    No i have never felt that drinking is wrong. If my words says so that im sorry i never mean it.
    My all time view is projecting women used as object or subject of only sexual pleasure.
    It might be man or women who may project other women or them self in this regard i will be in opposition.
    Our culture have opposed this. ( projecting women as the only object or subject of sexual pleasure ).
    “we would still be living in caves” since itz not accepted for this type of living itz out of context.
    You have raised many beautiful, most admirable questions i feel really really happy about it to discuss. But on this platform WE must confine OUR words related to pub incident. (WOMEN CULTURE on basis of which we are here in form of words).

  • apu

    Daniel – thanks for your clarification. The living in caves remark was meant purely to show that what is acceptable once (for millions of years) is not acceptable now. That is precisely how culture changes, which brings me back to the point that there is no one static culture that we can protect.

    And – the pub incident is one among many others directed at women – which is why the question, why only women come under the scanner. Why are men’s actions towards culture never questioned? Hence the need to examine issues such as why men feel free to wear western clothing as a default while condemning it in women. (I don’t mean you specifically). These are all related issues.

  • Anonymous

    Any person should have the right to do what she/he wants (within law) and its nobody’ business to stop a woman going to a pub or be dressed the way she wants, smoke, drink etc etc. Who are the Ram sena to teach others. Just a male view to keep an eye and govern his “property”. DSV’s view above, while sort of against the R,S also tends to tell people what they should be doing. Somehow same symptom
    Cultures evolve & people behave differently, that’s evolution. I don’t know if RS think that having cell phones, flying in planes, watching TV, operating on the stock marcket, blogging or working in call centers at odd hours of the day is our culture. Is it DSV? Apparently RS thinks that beating a girl on the street is our culture!
    Also DanielSV about OUR. I am sure that the several hundred thousand IIT graduates, some of the best Indian minds, who were obliged by circumstances to live & work in the US & no longer, because of harassment , have an Indian passport, would love to hear that they are not indian. (I am a not one of them). Not citizens yes, but still indians, who i believe are a big pro indian lobby.
    Unfortunately all this is not about to change rapidly and requires a lot of education and “growing up”. Also idiotic policies like the recent move to separate boys/girls in muslim schools will not help. Wonder when RS etc suggest that.

  • daniel sv

    I too believe that change screwed the culture. And another clarification i wont believe that all from past is good and present and future is worst.
    Yes there no static culture, if change is required we shall move on but we need to analyze is it the right way were heading.
    for example in past women never used to work outside but now they are equalizing men in every aspects this is not opposed.
    But why is this pub culture opposed can i get the answer for this ?
    i never heard anyone saying that only men can go to pub and women are restricted. both men and women are victims of incident in Mangalore why we are projecting only women are victims of it? human right commission should come into act more than women right.
    And dress culture itz a totally out of concept. well itz volume is so low now one is interested about it.
    well i dont have any issue with western dress .(nothing better than naked. just kidding sorry bit obscene)

  • daniel sv

    im really sorry to below mentioned words as to pointing a single person other than topic i dont like use the forum for such an act in future.
    To Anonymous, for all the doubts of yours, i have answered try read and understand it i have no better answer for it again.
    Ram sena have apologized for that betting, due to lack of ur ignorance you have stated it i believe please read the news paper or else watch some news channel.
    i have QUESTION FOR ALL, why cant victims give compliant to police even thought there is so much support for them?
    another such incident happened in Bangalore just next day after mangalore incident, police raided, many of them who are from sound political background arrested. no media reported it like mangalore incident.
    After this recent one, kidnapping case. previously it was thought that this is another play of ram sena even thought they disagreed it no one cared for it. after that when culprit admitted of their mistake in front of magistrate also still some of tv channels believe itz an act of ram sena. please be rational.
    Above all first be dare enough write mention ur name.

  • Alfred Edwards

    Daniel SV,

    You are seriously confused.
    Have you ever been to a pub? Have you ever seen a woman ‘in nude or in semi nude in pud and trying attract other sex?’
    These are your fantasies, most probably gained from watching too many Hindi movies.
    Women don’t need to be undressed to attract male attention. There are enough “eve teasers” who make life hell for them when they are fully clothed.

    Alfred Edwards

  • daniel sv

    To Alfred Edwards : Im not in confusion. can u prove it if im so?

    yes, without which im not pointing these things with photographs i can proves what is going on in so called pubs(actually these are dance bar but named and licensed as pubs). I can pin point the pubs just around me. with their names and location you can also cross check it.

  • daniel sv

    proves people memory is too short…

  • Trees

    Daniel SV, why don’t you just shut up and do us all a favour?

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