This article is infact a topic that was given to the writer to prepare a speech on and hence the topic is not an original thought by the writer. The exact topic was : Moral Policing- pure right wing politics.
” Did Nirbhaya really have to go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend? ” asked Asha Mirje, a Nationalist Congress Party leader referring to the December gang rape victim who was given the name ‘Nirbhaya’- a Hindi word meaning fearless by the media.
The two pertinent questions that come to my mind are: this comes from a woman? And more importantly, that she belongs to the political system?! More often than not moral policing is used as a pawn by political parties and their saffron brigades to gain political mileage. And sadly, a so-called enlightened mind of our political system, being a woman herself isn’t any better.
They demand that women dress and behave in culturally ‘correct’ ways: that they must not wear revealing clothes, stay out late, drink or associate with men who are not their relatives; that they should be careful and think whether they are inviting assault?! but frankly, this just leaves me befuddled. How is a group of youngsters celebrating a birthday in a private resort in Mangalore morally incorrect? How does a couple holding hands and walking or even kissing in the park incite rape?
Statistics clearly show that the incidence of rape does not depend on how many layers of clothes a girl wears or does not wear.
These politicians sometimes might even sound convincing as they baffle you with their skills as orators. But make no mistake. Moral policing is an affront to women, art, speech and expression in every form. It implies that we as a people are somehow incapable of controlling our opinions or violent nature and it is up to these ‘guardians of morality’ to ensure that potential rapists are duly protected from their worst instincts by creating an environment that secures them from all temptations. Though these moral guardians themselves will never hesitate to assault, molest or hurt people, vandalize property and destroy artistic expression.
Right wing or not, if we learn to accept the differences in a society nd allow these differences to flourish independent of each other we will also make for better politics, fairer choices and a fearless nation!
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