Friday, June 29, 2012

The Moral Police Manifesto: Dhoble, Morality & Reality



Moral Police's Manifesto:
1. Drinking alcohol is a heinous crime.
2. Women who drink are evil whores.
3. Any female who goes out after dark is a prostitute.
4. Women who smoke are cheap.
5. Men shouldn't smoke, it's bad for their health.
6. Partying is punishable by morality.
7. Women who dare to wear flimsy clothes should be accused of being a prostitute, they might not be, but they are sleeping with men who they are not married to and that's like prostitution anyway.
8. Men and women found together in a dark club are up to something fishy, interrogate to find out what those middle-class and rich people find enjoyable in such parties.
9. All the above is un-godly, un-Ghandhian, and un-Indian (as understood by each).
10. Drugs? What?!

Dhoble is merely an implementer. He only memorizes the manifesto and tries to be a good citizen. He targets the popular joints, harasses women, threatens them with hockey sticks, accuses them of being prostitutes to check if they have any feelings (do they cry? Then they might be from good families, just going in the wrong path), finally push them into the van and take them to the police station. Talk a bit to the press. That should teach the non-God-fearing, branded clothes wearing, stupid, un-patriotic people a lesson.

One would be tempted to call this the output of the rich-poor divide. But, wait. The poor are actually poor, and don't care about people partying, in fact, smoking charas is a common thing in their villages. They care about subsidies, loans, food, survival. Then, is this a middle-class versus rich war? Middle class officers, constables, inspectors taking it out on the glitzy glams? Tempting. Although, it's bigger than that.

It's basic, inherent, unnecessary sentimentalities, neo-historical baggage, chauvinism and secretly, sad lives that lead people to vent their anger on events and customs that have no bearing on real issues.

In India, leaders (if I care to call them that) and politicians cannot offer people anything other than conservative ideas to make people believe they can achieve their financial aims by wanting to revert to an earlier age of cultural purity and holiness. An age where women wore fully covering saris, when no man ever drank, men and women never were seen together in a party (except for religious parties where the swamis indulge in God-sanctified licentious behavior), and most importantly, a time when there were no night clubs. In an ancient time (of Lord Rama) the land was filled with virtuous Sitas and nobody partied, and there was peace, prosperity, no poor people, no sex, no drugs, oh, the time of the Gods!

That age never existed. Women in ancient India wore practically nothing, the moral police need to go visit the old temples and see the walls filled with sex. Lord Rama and Sita might have liked to go to parties to meet their friends and dance (in a dignified, aesthetic, classical manner). Who knows? But I surely know that people in ancient and medieval India drank alcohol, smoked pot, danced, read the Kamasutra, and lived life. That did not mean they did not carve buildings of stone, nor did that mean they did not conduct business. What's the problem now? Suddenly?

What happened to individual liberty?

Why should everyone strive to be Ghandi and refrain from all (apparently) 'vices?' Aren't people allowed to practice (peacefully) whatever they want?

Who are the moral police to judge? How did they become the moral police in the first place?

Question: Unfair economic polices, AFSPA irregularities, terrorism, exploitation of children, rape?
Moral Police: Keep the night clubs closed. It solves all the above.

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