First the culture police in mufti, now in uniform

KPN photo

KPN photo KPN photoKPN photo

Editorial in Deccan Herald, Bangalore:

“If women have been at the receiving end of moral policing by Hindutva elements till now, it is now the turn of the Karnataka police to join the party by busting birthday celebrations…. The action has scant defence in law and is an intrusion into the private lives of people.

“Rave parties have been targets of self-proclaimed custodians of morality for long. A few months ago, Rakshana Vedike activists attacked a party and manhandled the participants and even stole some of their belongings. But Sunday’s busted party had nothing rave about it….

Police should respect people’s rights, but what the police love to do is to use a sledgehammer to persecute people. The revellers of Sunday are said to have been scantily dressed. Is it the business of the police or anybody to pass judgment on how people dress at a private party and punish them for it?

“Karnataka’s social life is already under threat from the senseless acts of a cultural mafia which bash up women in pubs, punish girls for talking to boys and do not believe in equal rights for all people. The police have been soft on these retrograde elements, probably because the political environment is conducive to these backward ideas and encourages such elements.

“Now the cops have gone a step forward, and are themselves trying to act as protectors of the false tradition these elements lay claim to. Law and order and culture should not be mixed up wrongly. The police in Bangalore have a lot of other things to worry about. Rather than misspend their energy on youngsters’ parties, they should try to make life safe for the City’s citizens.”

Read the full editorial: Morality play

Photographs: “Scantily dressed” girls arrested by the police during a “rave party” at a farm house near Dodda Aladamara in Bangalore on Sunday (Karnataka Photo News)

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