[In Part-I, various examples were presented of religious morals being forcefully imposed on the public.]
The Moral Police
The impression created by the authorities is that they are not the upholders of law and order and of the rights of individuals, but are servants of the various communal organizations. The highest police official of the district has gone on record that the moral policing is a social problem and not a law and order issue! Well Mr. Superintendent of Police, when a person’s constitutional rights are infringed it is a law and order problem. The role of the police is to uphold law and order. They are not social reformers or moral authorities. cc:Chris Daniel
This reminds me of an incident that took place a few years ago, when there was a different SP in the same seat. In the town of Puttur, a huge gathering of the local sena had assembled outside a cinema theatre to nab a couple who were inside. They waited for the show to end and when it did they took the offending couple to the police station nearby. As you may have guessed, the woman belonged to the community of the sena and the man to a minority community.
The woman admitted that she was a major (over 18 years of age). But, the crowd was not satisfied with that. They were baying for the man’s blood and wanted the police to book a case. The superintendent of police, who had by then arrived on the spot, told the members of the sena that if a case was to be booked, it was against them and not the couple. He told them that the couple was well within their rights to see a movie of their choice. He also informed the goons of the sena that it was the duty of the police to protect the couple and that it would be done at any cost. The heroes of the sena beat a hasty retreat when they were replied to in the very same language they were fond of using!
In a separate incident, the sena had a couple from their own community arrested for staying together in a hotel room. This was accompanied by media publicity. When it turned out that the couple were engaged to be married and were staying together with the consent of all concerned, the ‘bold exposure’ became a damp squib! Even if the couple were not engaged to be married, and even if they belonged to different communities, they had not committed any offence under the law of the land. There is no law that considers sexual activity between two consenting adults of the opposite sex an offense, unless the woman is married. In those cases it would be adultery. Even in such situations, the complainant should be her husband and not the sena or dal or anyone else who claims to be the guardian of our social morals.
(Part-III coming soon.)