A Youth group in Kerala has called in Nov 2 Sunday as ‘Kiss Day’ protesting the recent Moral Policing incidents where the Hindu groups opposed couples kissing in a Café in Calicut (My hometown)….. They have a FB group and they have called in people to join….. It is also said the real police (not moral police) is not very supportive of a kiss day….
I am not sure if Kiss Day will change things that much, but it is good to see a protest that is for the right to Love….. In my opinion the recent spree of Moral Policing incidents in India, most recently in Kerala have to be looked from two angles… one is the Culture angle and other is the Nature angle… The Culture angle is more an Indian thing and the Nature angle could be more a Kerala thing…… though people can comment if their states also have a similar nature issue
The Culture Angle of Moral Policing
Cultural groups and advocates with strong political support initiating moral policing can easily grip the entire society on a moral policing effort that will be very suffocating ….. When this happens the line between law and moral policing blurs…. Moral policing has no limits, new restrictions can be added anytime and it won’t be long before every Indian starts feeling their rights violated….. The “against Hindu culture” slogan is a big threat for our society….
Now don’t think it is only the “against Hindu Culture” slogan…. Even religious groups and other organizations are not behind in their contributions to Moral policing in India…. The Muslim community and its parallel religious law systems imposing what an Indian Muslim citizen can or cannot do is equally a threat….. In India people should be free to eat Beef or Pork if they want… period…….. When we say that India should not be a Hindu Rashtra, It is also important that we say that no religious group can impose their religious law on an Indian citizen (even if he/she belongs to their religion)…..
The Nature Angle of Moral Policing
I think the Nature angle is a very Kerala issue… may be other parts have it, but being a Keralite I know the Nature angle that prevails in Kerala….. In Kerala Moral policing has never been the issue of just the Hindu groups… the left, the right and center, all political, religious and cultural groups have put forward their Moral policing initiatives in one way or other… In my opinion this has to do with the Nature of the Malayali….
Let us accept that the Kerala society is a very Male chauvinistic society… No I am not generalizing but there is an issue with the Malayali having problem with women being too open…… things are changing but still the narrow mindedness in Kerala men is prevalent… Even when Malayali families get together it is not unusual that the men and women sit separately and not together…. May be the Malayali men feel that there are topics men talk that women cannot be part of…… there is an air of discomfort somewhere….
So when a Malayali sees a man and women together in a public place; they raise eyebrows just because they cannot attach the description of a formal relationship to it so they consider it immoral….. There is also the feeling “If I can’t why should they?”…. Kerala society definitely has a sexist angle to it and so before making this a political issue we should look at why it happens… Malayalis who have grown up outside could agree more with what I say here…..
Agreed that there is an issue with these incidents in the larger scale of what the Hindu cultural groups are imposing, but for the Malayali, I think he needs to look inside and correct himself…. These are not just culture issue for the malayali, it is also a nature issue….. The Malayali needs to take his mask off go and kiss in public..…
Finally the Impact to the LGBT Community
While I mentioned that people cannot stand couples kissing, I was referring to heterosexual couples… When it comes to homosexual and lesbian couples I think the whole country needs to wake up and accept….. Thanks to the efforts by LGBT community and support groups throughout the nation that the awareness is happening ….. But there are still more hurdles for the LGBT community that needs to be addressed….
The LGBT community is already at the mercy of the narrow mindedness of the society but will be more affected with the rampage of Moral Policing and it is important that there are strict laws to address Moral Policing…. Once can assume that if Moral Policing in the name of culture and religion becomes rampant in India the biggest Causality will be the LGBT Movement…..