Yet another case of moral policing: all-girl rock band of Jammu and Kashmir Praagaash forced not to perform in the valleys by the so called guardians of the society. Fatwa to this affect was issued by grand mufti and endorsed by Jamaat-e-Islami. To view this as an isolated event is to forget the grim Indian history where moral policing is the order of the day. Just in November last year, members of Karnataka Forum for Dignity(KFD) allegedly assaulted a Muslim women for being in relationship with a Hindu boy. Can one ever forget the incident of Mangalore in 2009, when a group of Ram Sene activists barged into a bar and harassed women. For years, parties and organizations have used moral policing as cheap stunt to grab limelight. Especially on Valentine's Day, hooligans beat up couples in the park, forcefully marry them, vandalize bars and pubs in the name of restoring cultural values. Adding insult to injury, police administration also joins the moral police brigade. Just last year, the news of a lady constable punishing a couple in Dhanbad came to limelight.
The problem with moral police is that they are morally bankrupt so much so that they can hardly police themselves. Most of the proponents opine that Valentine's Day/ Week is imported from western culture and deteriorates our culture and ethics. Valentine's week culminates into valentine's day and a protest against it is projected as a fight against western ethos. Paradoxically, Valentine's Day is as western as Christmas and every thing western is not bad. Moreover, Valentine's Day is celebration of love in purest form and is not immoral at all.
If I don't like celebrating Eid, does that give me the right to violently protest against it or intimidate those who celebrate it? Ofcourse not!! Same is true for valentine's Day. The bottom-line is, everybody has the right to live peacefully and anyone who disrupts the tranquility is a criminal and to mask off ones crime in the garb of moral policing makes the offense still severe.
There are organizations, which wait for such occasions to jump onto bandwagon and be in news. There are few who endorse such acts but majority of us criticize their deeds. But the real problem is; though such cases are aggressively reported and debated; they are swiftly forgotten and pushed into dusty pigeonhole meant for insoluble problems like corruption and inflation. Hence we let go the culprits. They roam scott-free with their objective of media glare fulfilled and hence paving way for a new kid to jump to the floor next year. How many of us actually know that Ram Sene activists involved in Mangalore incident were let-off by police very soon after. And this is what encourages them and their brethren to repeat such act.
For a change lets reverse the story, this valentine's day if any moral brigade crops up, media should not glorify it. It should be treated as any other criminal case and followed up till the justice is delivered. If any organization sponsors or powers such act, it should be derecognized with immediate affect. We the public must ensure that we don't lose the track of the case this time. We must send a strong message and discourage the self proclaimed guardians of our society. This culture of moral policing must end, sooner the better!!!