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Moral Policing - or talibanisation?

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In case you have missed it on the news, here is a complete report.

The case of the attack on girls at a pub in Mangalore, has really shocked many of us. Shocked, not because this is the first time, but because words like "talibanisation" have been brought to our doorstep! What we cursed them for, what we almost supported a war against is now happening in our own back and front yards!

Firstly, I think we have to agree (a majority of us) that the freedom of choosing any religion or culture wrests with the individual. It is not up to you, him or god to tell me whom to follow, what to wear and what my "culture" is. It is a basic freedom that our republic offers. So, when groups such as Ram Sena and others justify these attacks with sayings such as "This is not in our culture" - I fail to see the point!

I strongly believe that we need to have an independent, non political body to govern moral policing in India. Political parties, left right or centre never seem to take action against them. Its either a weapon against the other party  or a shield against themselves.

Also, a strong signal must be sent from people that such practices will not be accepted. For which, we need to find out from ourselves, if we are all for it, or apathetic to it or against it! I think such bodies that conduct these attacks are immune to Bands, protests and other traditional forms of protesting.

At the same time, we need a good educational system that channels our "culture" and "moral values" in a manner, where children/youngsters are aware of it and cam make conscious decision whom to "follow" and what their culture need be. This way, soon hopefully we will have a more holistic bunch of rulers in our growing and emerging country.

I remember there were a few more Blog entries, at the start of BSY's tenure about the increase in moral policing in the Mangalore are and the home minister's response was that he will  "look into it." Well i do sure hope he does look deeper into it this time around!

At the very least I hope the people responsible - and I mean those responsible and not only the messengers - are brought down, and treated as per the law. That would be a quick pain killer to the situation.

Rediff.com reported an interesting quote by a lawyer "If you take the Pub out of a republic all your left ith is a Relic!" - How appropriate right now!

Comments

silkboard's picture

case of encouragement?

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I hnoestly think that use of terms like talibanisation etc are overkill for this incident. Its a law and order problem, key is to probe and see if some political party or figure used "these methods" to settle scores with either the pub owner here. These things usually work that way.

I wonder if lack of strong action in the recent incidents of attacks on churches have encouraged the "let me fix it myself" groups. The deeper truth of the church attacks were like this:

One group within the christians in Dakshin Kannada region are seen (from first hand knowledge, I know that they are) very aggressive towards conversion. And, there is reasonable resentment towards their methods. The 'attacks' were directed towards only this group, not all churches.Government has been a little light (now, this is an allegation, I have not verified this in any credible way) as they know they have some "ground support" in this "indirect" stance against aggressive conversions.

However, letting vandals get away with such acts is not the way to deal with the situation. If it feels the need to act, it must explore legal ways (however controversial) like banning conversion for meny or whatever.

I am afraid that "light punishment" approach may have set bad precedents for the region. Folks of all kinds could use "these methods" to settle scores or brag about their ideologies.

s_yajaman's picture

Or both?

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Don't worry Narayan - this is just the start.  I am just amazed that these people take it on themselves to usher in Indian culture - whatever that means. 

If Mutalik wants to live in the past he is welcome to.  He can stop wearing tailored clothes, wear clogs, stop using toothpaste, go walking or in a chariot or on horseback, stop using electricity (of course these sort claim that electricity and planes were invented by the ancient Hindus!), don't go by train anywhere, etc etc.  He can ask his Sene to do the same. We can have Sati once again and burn women who don't bring enough dowry in.  BTW Nazis had similar ideas about a great and glorious German history.  They also believed that a woman's primary duty was to give birth to babies and take care of them at home.

With a government that actually spent money warding off "bad luck" from a solar eclipse by doing pujas all over the state, I doubt we can expect anything rational.   These people also form part of their vote bank and BSY cannot antagonize them too much. 

We don't need moral policing - independent or otherwise.  There is the normal police and there is the law. 

You're right - if we keep quiet, then we will be next in line.  How do we send a strong message out?

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

bialterminal's picture

definitely talibanisation

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We would be insulting the police force and the word "policing" by calling these sensless acts "moral policing". This is nothing but politically motivated goondaism and muscle show. The strongest message can be sent out only by the law enforcement agencies (which will unfortunately not happen). Speaking of whether terming this as talibanisation is an overkill for this incident, well I don't think so; the only difference is that in the other case there is more violence and they(the talibans) were running the so called government. This video leaves me completely stunned and ashamed - http://www.youtube.com/wa... I think the supreme court must invoke some extraordinary powers if available to intervene in this and make an example out of those thugs by meting out the strictest punishment (life in prison).
narayan82's picture

Shooting the messenger - thats what we are doing!

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Srivatsa,

Good point there about lifetyle's of the moral policers!

So leads me to the same question - how do we send that message out? Firstly, I think arresting the 27 culprits - isn't going to solve anything. They were simply messengers. They were probabbly college students/drop outs who were sent there to accomplish a task. Which is why the whole issue of the molesting charges came up. These messengers were given a free ticket to do what they want in order to "punish" them. So, my jailing these 27, nothing is going to stop the next 27 from doing another attack.

What we really have to do is crack down on such fundamentalist organisations. To me, they are the same - whatever religion! Yes, it is a free country and we can practice any "culture" we want, but at the same time, we must protect the other persons right to do so. And this can be done through a good education system. If we mentally enforce this right to the new generation from an early stage, hopefully in the future such organisations will not have the taskforce of support.

But I also have this feeling that this whole item is nothing but a political ploy!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Rithesh's picture

Bunch of frustrated souls

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Thats all i can say. These things are like a blot on our progressive society. We are back into dark ages.

In an interview in Times Now, one of the victims narrated how they were manhandled and molested. Many of the girls' dress were torn apart. After all this - they say "These girls are like my sisters" !!!

I was shocked out of my wits to see the way they were attacked - http://ishare.rediff.com/...
If a society treats a woman like this - we dont deserve to be called a society.
Our freedom is at stake here. How can some one tell us what is right and wrong for us. Who are these people to define what is morality - a bunch of jobless, frustrated, neglected people - being instigated by people like Muthalik. It is an attack on the rights promised by our constitution. It is a clear human rights violation.

If these people were given a free hand, i am sure they will also bring down every temple on this land - citing obscenity.

If things are not controlled, they will only get worse. I doubt if the politicians of BJP will do anything at all apart from all the cosmetic stuff they have done till now.

But is there anything that we can do - apart from cribbing here? Can we write to NHRC?

Prajasevaka :x
murali772's picture

internal terrorism

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The threat to the country from internal terrorists of this kind are far worse than those from external ones like LeT, JuD, etc. What is urgently required to tackle this is state level reforms as detailed at

http://bangalore.praja.in/blog/murali772/2008/12/30/state-level-reforms-linked-security-issues

The civil society needs to push for it with all its might.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
ebi.schubert's picture

How do we stop this in the future ?

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In a diverse multi-cultural society like India how can one group of people decide what Indian culture is all about. That too by assaulting women. It is my belief that the inefficiency of our judicial system that is strengthening people to do these kind of acts. Justice delayed is often justice denied. Is there anyway we can bring awareness to this aspect of our society ? I am sure if the people involved beleived that it would affect their life for ever they would not dare to do such things. How about 10 years in prison and a criminal record that would prevent them from getting employment or contesting elections or getting loans, etc. Three such acts and they are in for life (similar to california's 3 strike rule). -ebi
bayern's picture

Disgusting !

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This whole episode is disgusting and taints indian democracy.Any kind of assault on an individual is a criminal offence. Its beyond me how these guys can get away so easily
s_yajaman's picture

Women in the Nazi State

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Enlightening.  IMHO it is a power game with men increasingly threatened by what they see as the breakdown of their once invincible bastion. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/germany/womenrev_print.shtml

"Women were supposed to emulate traditional German peasant fashions - plain peasant costumes, hair in plaits or buns and flat shoes. They were not expected to wear make-up or trousers, dye their hair or smoke in public.".

And see this interview in today's TOI

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/RSS_has_some_advice_for_Rama_Sene/articleshow/4044051.cms

"Your organization has been preaching a lot about the ideal Indian woman. Who, according to you, is an ideal Indian woman?

We regard Indian women as akin to Mother Earth. It is she who has the responsibility of giving birth, nurturing and preserving our values. This, however, does not mean that she will be confined within the four walls of her house. She has every right to enjoy life and accept the positive features of modernity. But sadly, she is increasingly becoming a victim of westernization and this is weakening our traditional Indian culture. That's really worrying us
. "
 

Why can't we regard Indian women as simply normal human beings, who have the same set of needs, wants and desires as men?  So men go scot free and are not responsible for "traditional Indian culture".  I would love to hear what this traditional Indian culture looks and feels like.

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

narayan82's picture

Supreme Court - needed

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I think we require the intervention of a body like the SC - to once and for all dictate what moral policing is (Define) and pass a judgement against it (hopefully.) Its something like Dowry and Caste Oppression. It needs to be made illegal IMO.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
bialterminal's picture

re:How do we stop this in the future ?

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Like i said before, first and foremost, the strictest of punishment should be imposed on those involved by bringing all charges legally possible, it is basically called "throwing the book at them"(throw at the culprits every charge that you can find in a legal book and make sure there is no leniency..there is enough proof in terms of live video). Nothing short of Rigorous Imprisonment with life in prison should be expected. If you ask me what happened is worse than murder. The apt term I can think of for what is happening is "aaj ka goonda raaaj".
silkboard's picture

Disrupting public order

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Taking a step back, there needs to some legal step to introduce strong penalties for "disrupting public order". I am no legal expert. May be this already exists, but the thing we are looking for is a strong tool to deal with "mobocracy".

Collect 20 people, and you can get away with anything today - damage to public property, attack to business establishments, rallies that disrupt life in our city - all these are symptoms of the same disease - some people think that "mobs can get away as along as there is no murder involved".

bialterminal's picture

re:Disrupting public order

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I think the existing tools are enough - POTA (we can consider this an act of terror..spreading terror among innocent civilians), molestation, disturbing public peace etc. etc., and what more does any judge want..proof available on video. One need not be a legal expert to see what an atrocious crime this is. In my opinion one needs to be a legal expert to defend these thugs and figure out how to let these people off lightly by citing some technicalities (and get bail for them) inspite of all the evidence available. Eventhough i still believe in the legal process..at least for this episode I don't think these thugs need a fair trial, straightaway imprisonment it should be for them.
silkboard's picture

analysis or action possible?

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"I don't think these thugs need a fair trial, straightaway imprisonment it should be for them"

bialterminal also suggests using POTA as a tool to deal with miscreants who disrupt public order?

Perhaps our emotions are boiling over here. How about we turn this into a reasonable discussion? Wouldn't it be nice to provide a link to POTA, or list the provisions under it, or status of POTA in Karnataka, and if it can be used in cases like these? I am sure not for I have read some.

Or, how about filing an RTI with Police to ask what happened to the cases of public property damage and arson during Dr Rajkumar's death ceremony? Did the police act at all? Or did the miscreants get away using some legal technicalities as bialterminal suggests in a comment above?

I realize that emotions lead us to make blanket and motherhood statements, but I don't think we should do that here on Praja. What is reasonbale and sane for me can be entirely the opposite for another person. That is why we should do analysis, reason or fact based suggestions and discussions.

Sorry if I broke the tone of this discussion. Just felt like reminding ourselves about some things.

silkboard's picture

POTA details

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Found POTA 2002 here - http://www.satp.org/satpo...

Read definition of terrorist organizations:

http://www.satp.org/satpo...

Read definition of terrorist activity in section 3.1.a and 3.1.b:

http://www.satp.org/satpo...

Perhaps, the concept of special courts can be borrowed to deal with "mobocracy driven disorderly activities":

http://www.satp.org/satpo...

Anyway, the point is, does anyone know about the legal provisions that exist to deal with such organized group-ful disorderly activities? Perhaps the legal tools are interpretation based and thats why the police can't swiftly, or the state interprets thingsin its own convenient way. I wanted to understand this angle.

bialterminal's picture

re: analysis or action possible?

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silkboard, I apologize for not posting the relevant link and contents of POTA provisions eventhough i was aware of the provisions (i wrongfully assumed others would). Using the link you posted above, i am pasting the first section here -
--------------------------------------------
with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people does any act or thing by using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or inflammable substances or firearms or other lethal weapons or poisons or noxious gases or other chemicals or by any other substances (whether biological or otherwise) of a hazardous nature or by any other means whatsoever, in such a manner as to cause, or likely to cause, death of, or injuries to any person or persons or loss of, or damage to, or destruction of, property or disruption of any supplies
--------------------------------------

Please note the bolded words. It really depends on how this law is used in this case. It really depends on how much spine,guts & will there is at the highest levels to go all out for the severest punishment. Agreed that we are not legal experts, at least we are well educated to see that this has struck terror in the minds of people and this is not the first time. We have had many such incidents in the past and nothing has been done.
mayank's picture

Ram Sainiks are in the wrong; but Pub culture is also wrong.

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What the Ram Sainiks did was disgraceful. But in the name of liberal society and progressiveness, can we have drug culture, sexy dancing, etc.? Is this liberalism or pseudo-liberalism? Interestingly, no body is bothered about increasing number of pubs etc. No hue and cry is being raised over their presence. In Allahabad there were lesser number of “Thanda beer” shops. Now you can locate them at every nook and corner of the city. But no one is bothered. You can find young guys/girls smoking and drinking beer together. This is the pix of “Shining India”. This is the image of “young and vibrant India”. Hats off to such glorious developments.Please don’t say anything to these youths-representatives of modern India. They are bubbling with confidence. Westernisation is being promoted under the garb of liberalism and democracy by the media to suit the interests of foreign MNCs and others to make huge profits. Look at the way our youth is progressing. They may or may not know about finer values of life but they are certainly aware of “safe sex” methods. They may or may not go to schools but you may find them in pubs. They may or may not talk with their parents but you can find them chatting with their GFs on mobile for hours! The CEOs of big companies are involved in fraudulent activities. But they are not ashamed. On the contrary, poor farmers are committing suicide to get rid of guilt of being not able to pay the debt. That day is not far when it will be hard to distinguish “home” from a “brothel”. Parents should not be worried about anything else other than imparting knowledge of safe sex to their children. The day is not far when mom will ask their daughters waiting for school bus “Purse mein condom to hai na “? (Have you kept condom in the purse?)
mayank's picture

Do you support alcoholism and drug culture?

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Your comments are amusing. I am not a supporter of Muthalik but I don't think he meant what you state. But are you advocating a society that is into drugs, alcoholism, teenage pregnancies, adultery etc. that is how western societies are and in the name of progress we indians are following it. Its time for society to introspect about what the meaning of the term progress is. we seem to believe that everything that comes from the west is progressive and anything from India is regressive. I cannot comment on whether Indians invented electricity but I surely know that ancient Indians and ancients of all societies [Greek, Roman, Chinese, etc.] had very good understanding of many aspects of life. Yoga, for example was a condemned practice until the west discovered it. now because of the westerners we are ready to accept Yoga as a science. Our slave mentality for the west doesn't seem to go.
mayank's picture

Criminal Media

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The entire media knew about this cognisable offense atleast an hour before the event. The media is the biggest culprit behind this unfortunate incident. It needed trps and for making money, they have exploited the situation of the poor girls and boys. Why is nobody talking about that?
aagrawal's picture

in response to Mayank: "But

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in response to Mayank: "But are you advocating a society that is into drugs, alcoholism, teenage pregnancies, adultery etc. that is how western societies are and in the name of progress we indians are following it. " ** No one is advocating it clearly. You have a very warped view of the Western world. I believe people are advocating a free and fair democratic society where informed adults are considered mature enough to take their own decisions without having to worry about some moral brigade. "Its time for society to introspect about what the meaning of the term progress is. we seem to believe that everything that comes from the west is progressive and anything from India is regressive." ** Introspection is good. I don't think anyone believes what you're saying. It just seems to be your interpretation. How do you define progress?
aagrawal's picture

Some questions for

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Some questions for Mayank: You have issues with young Girls and Boys drinking Beer / smoking together. Would it be alright in your view if they were eating samosas and drinking tea together instead? What do you have against pubs as long as they're legal and operate within the parameters of the law of the land? Whats wrong in being informed about safe sex methods? How do you co-relate CEOs indulging in fraud and farmers commiting suicides? Both are serious issues and need to be dealt with but you seem to suggest both result from progress being made otherwise. Your comment is otherwise full of cheap rhetoric and nonsensical innuendos that cannot be discussed seriously.
narayan82's picture

Re:Mayank

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Where the law is broken - we must enforce it. Where an individuals opinion/choice is withing the law we must respect it. That's the right to freedom we allow in our country.

If I choose to don a cowboy hat instead of a Turban - its my choice and I have every right to do so. I cannot be forced to wear a dhoti or a kurta. I can choose who I want to follow. If I want to believe that a certain western country's culture interests me more than my own - then I have every right to follow that culture.

What, I personally do not like is the fact that many of us cant be satisfied by following the culture ourselves, individually but instead want to preach and convert the whole nation into the same principles. No individual is greater than the other - and hence each one will, and should have the right to choice/freedom of thought.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Vinay's picture

Mayank, do what you want to, but don't ask ME to..

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Mayank:

Yes, indeed it is time for "instrospection". It is time to introspect, why is it that with the "great and rich heritage" of Indian culture, our women are among the most unsafe in the world. It is time to introspect why West European women, with a "morally corrupt" society, are the safest in the world. Time to introspect as to why girls and women there are able to walk home from the station in the middle of the night, ALONE, without fear whereas Bangalore girls, Delhi girls and Indian girls are scared to move around alone even in the daytime, let alone nights.

Hats off to parents who teach their children "morals, religion, prayer, 'good values' ", even as they continue to bribe, cheat, litter, persecute (maids, other castes, etc.), demand dowry, are the WORST hypocrites, etc. etc. etc. Are YOU advocating a society that is into child marriage, caste oppression, dowry burning, systemic corruption, etc. that is how Indian society is, and in the name of "preserving culture", people defend anything and everything that happens in India, because, according to them, anything that is Indian is part of a "rich cultural heritage" and it automatically much better than the "morally corrupt West".

What I am trying to say is, no one here advocated teenage pregnancies, and all the rest which you have mentioned. All I want is, let people live their lives as they wish to, PLEASE? Do not impose ideas of culture.

Vinay's picture

Will my view of culture be followed?

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Mayank:

For apologists of the "Ram Sena" in general, and not necessarily only you in particular, I present the following:

MY view of Indian culture includes wearing Dhotis. I DEMAND that you wear dhotis, or I will attack with a mob of 40 men. If I find denims on Indian men, I will safeguard Indian culture in ways that I deem fit.

My view is the 'purer one', isn't it? Takers, anyone?

mayank's picture

How do you know about the western world?

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Sir, I have some idea about how things are in the western world. I also know about Russia and other such states. Drug addiction is rampant, alcoholism is rampant. The problem is with us, Indians who have a warped idea about our own values. We are confused. honestly i don't believe that a free and fair democracy works when we don't want to take any responsibility. In the name of democracy, the media is pushing all kinds of vices among the educated and young. consumerism and all kinds of vices are pushed through the media to create an atmosphere among the impressionable minds. just because people can vote at 18, doesn't mean that vices are allowed to flourish in the name of progress.
mayank's picture

You are wrong.

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I don't support the Ram sainiks or whatever their name is. Nor do I support pseudoliberalism which you propound. What kind of society are we creating by allowing pubs, sex, adultery etc. is this progress? very soon, we will have liquor in the taps in place of water. I am not advocating the so-called Indian culture. I am saying that certain traditional values need to be kept and retained. I don't believing in deteriorating society in the name of democracy. That's pseudo-democracy.
mayank's picture

Law is subjective and keeps changing

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I have absolutely no issues if they have samosas etc. I have issues with this alcoholism and its culture that is pushed by vested interests to destroy the ethical fabric of society. The laws keep changing all the time. In Moraji Desai's period, liquor was banned. It was banned and lifted later due to certain reasons of inability to implement the ban. There is nothing wrong about educating safe-sex methods. But think about what kind of society we would be living in. Morality and laws are very closely related. Laws reflect the moral values of the times. I am sorry, I take objection to your last statement. I disagree with your last statement and I have made my views very clear.
mayank's picture

Its not about a small issue about Dhotis and Kurtas

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Its not an issue as trivial as dhotis and kurtas. Its a very serious issue about alcoholism, drug addiction, adultery, rampant teenage pregnancies etc. Where is the comparison? The responses by the so-called egalitarian society show how brainwashed we are that we allow all kind of vices under the garb of democracy and individual choices. Lets get serious. We cannot have a society full of alcoholics, drug addicts etc. in the name of democracy. We cannot allow social evils in the name of freedom.
narayan82's picture

Laws and Morality

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You see if Laws were built on Individual Morals or Morals of a selected commuinity then we would not be a democary. taliban was such an example in my view. I didnt support thier laws or views as an individual. I felt the were oppressing some parts and liberalising some parts of society in a unbalanced manner.

But, I am quite sure that none of the moralistic obligations (not going to a pub, women not dancing...etc) will not be a majority decision. And enforcing such ideas will not work as a democracy. Coz, then every minority would want to impose his/her laws.

But what I still cant understand is why as individuals we can't follow the cultre we want to and instead want everyone to follow an individuals culture. I think its greed more than need.

 

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
mayank's picture

What I am trying to say is,

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What I am trying to say is, no one here advocated teenage pregnancies, and all the rest which you have mentioned. All I want is, let people live their lives as they wish to, PLEASE? Do not impose ideas of culture.--------------------- You need to understand that in the name of freedom and democracy, we cannot allow all kinds of social evils like alcohol and teenage pregnancies. Ask any sociologist or counsellors to know how serious these two issues have become. Our society is going to dogs because of irresponsible democracy. where did I support corruption sir? Where did I support all those adjectives that you mentioned? My stand is that we cannot have anything under the banner of liberalism. The liquor lobby is having its way through all sorts of banners. Think about it. Think about what the future generations are going to be.
aagrawal's picture

Even If I were to assume for

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Even If I were to assume for the sake of argument that drug addiction is rampant in Russia, no one here is suggesting we emulate that. You seem to blame media for a lot of things without substantiaing any of your accusations. I think a thriving media is an essential part of a functional democracy. We should raise responsible citizens, arm them with quality education and pluralistic values. Having done that we should have belief in their ability to tell facts from the fiction. I don't know what in your opinion vices are, if you think young boys and girls spending time in each other's company is a vice, that frankly is your problem, that you need to get over, and not a vice that media or anybody else is propagating.
mayank's picture

A Misconception.

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There is no comparison between a thinly populated west and an over crowded India. Inspite of all the progress the west has enormous problems, though much less when compared to India. Who said that people can walk at night safe in America? One of my friends got mugged some years back. Robberies exist everywhere. Attacks take place in all countries. The other side of the fence looks greener always. India has much more complicated problems though. But who is safe? Nobody is.......refering to your comments about prayers, moral values etc., you seem to say that we should ban all that. Its like saying that ban medicine because there are a lot of quacks. Corruption is there in all systems. Society keeps changing and misconceptions start creeping. It doesn't mean that the system itself is bad. Quackery is rampant, so we start banning medicine itself. Think about future generations. Think about how the media is going about and what it is trying to promote. Every newspaper has pictures of page-3 women.
narayan82's picture

Enforce the Law not the Moral

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Mayank,

Be clear what is against the moral and what is against the Law.

Clear, good and stern enforcement is what is required to tackle a large number of your concerns. Smoking/Drinking is not allowed below the age of 18. Hence why not enforce Pubs, Shops to insist on Age Proof?

Drugs are illegal. Again, why not enforce the law, have more stringent checks and catch those reponsible?

But, if a 21 year old women, wants to go to a pub - shake a leg and sip a drink, you and I cannot stop her, nor can her parents and now can any organization.  If a 23 year old girl wants to wear tight jeans and a sleeveless top, hold a boys hand and walk in the park - we have no right to stop this.

Thats my point.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
mayank's picture

Is the media doing its job?

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You seem to be giving a clean chit to the media. How do I know? I am aware of all that is happening. Nobody in their right mind would ever say that the media has any high standards these days. Even Editors privately admit it. Sensationalism and page-3 culture is all that the media does. Do I need to substantiate my accusation? Are you unaware of the surroundings? Media is in theory a very functional part of any democracy. So much for the theory. In practice, we know what it is all about. All countries, I am told are facing a deterioration of the media. Its like saying sir, that parliament is a very important functional part of a democracy. Would you say that parliament is upholding high standards? How do you raise responsible citizens? What according to you is responsibility? What according to you is quality education and pluralism? Are we really doing that today? Its all in theory sir. 50% of India is starving and is on one square meal a day. Do you know how difficult it is to get admission in schools? To your last statement, you have imagined certain things and you believe that I stand for that. When I said vices, I refer to overall deterioration in terms of alcoholism, drug addiction, etc. Nobody says that girls and boys shouldn't mix together. Its a total misinterpretation. My point is that we need to contain freedom to some extent [This is an interpretation however] and cannot allow deterioration of social values in its name.
narayan82's picture

Dont even get me started on Media

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Again, I am not quoting anyone. I am merely Emphasizing MY point of view.

Dont even get me started on Media! I can hijack this thread into wonderland!  The thread started after Mumbai Attacks has my view penned there!

"My point is that we need to contain freedom to some extent"

I would term this as the Law. And what we need is to enforce it well.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
mayank's picture

Laws are constantly changing.

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Morals ultimately become the law. There is a moral belief that it is wrong to commit theft.It is a law. At one point in time, liquor itself was banned because morals of those days were more traditional than today. See the connection. Who makes laws? Laws are made by some MPs without any discussion and these MPs themselves don't even have 50% majority! Are MPs our moral teachers? My response to your reference to the 21 year old girl is this. As a society, you have to admit that we are caught up between two opposite norms - traditional and modern. While you guys talk about a girl going out with a guy and wearing semi-nude clothes in a Pub [This is what they were allegedly wearing in the Mangalore bar], how many of you would tolerate your own women doing that? We are just hypocrats. We want other women to do that, we don't want our own women out there. Now, this is just one aspect. The second aspect is that in the name of freedom for all above a certain age, we seem to be allowing a deterioration of society and morality. As time passes, we would see more and more people doing just that. More and more alcoholics and more and more such related behaviour. Question is: Just because of attaining majority, and in the name of democracy, can we allow a silent deterioration that creeps into our system which would ultimately ruin the system itself?
mayank's picture

Clarification.

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Most of you guys must be thinking that I support the Ram sevaks or whatever they call themselves. Let me make this very clear to you: I never ever support what they did and the way they went about. I never ever support the stupid media that didn't inform the police even though they had all the information with them. Having said this, I wish to draw attention to the silent deterioration in social and moral standards that is happening under the banner of freedom and democracy. If there are 100 people who are drug and alcoholics today, in times to come, with the collaboration of the media, the numbers would rise significantly enough to change the laws themselves. When the numbers rise, the laws change accordingly. Think about this.
aagrawal's picture

Not maitaining a high

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Not maitaining a high standard and propagating vices are two different things. Yes there are bad apples in Media but I'm not about to blame them for all the social evils. Quality education in the context of this post is to posess the ability to tell truth from the fiction. Pluralism is to respect others and their view as much you want them to respect yours. Not imposing your morals on others. To behave responsibly is to be aware of your rights and obligations and to respect them. Your point about people starving and admission to schools is a real problem that needs addressing. It can be discussed in a seperate post. I didn't mean to presume anything on your behalf, I qualified that statement with an if, good you don't have anything against boys and girls mixing. I cannot see how curtailing any freedom that is within the boudaries of Law bring about any good.
mayank's picture

Containing freedom need not be the law

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Think about this. Alcoholism is allowed to thrive today because of various reasons. The various agencies and the media make it fashionable to drink and pub all the time. In due course, the number of alcoholics would increase dramatically. In another 10 years, alcoholics would support any law that would reinforce alcoholism. Similarly, drug addiction is a social evil and it is banned today. In a few years, as the drug peddlers lobby becomes powerful, they pressurise the media and the govt. to allow it in a more sober and silent way in the name of democracy and individual choice. That's how all social evils thrive. Same with adultery and other forms of behaviour. Though there are no lobbies behind all those vices, political correctness would make it acceptable and legal. Do you want to allow social evils in a very sober way? I call the lack of morals slow and certain poisoning of society.
ebi.schubert's picture

There might be a fundamental problem here.

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I think what happened in mangalore is deplorable. I think such kind of acts should never be allowed in a democracy. However, there is a need for society/community as a whole to have discussions about what is acceptable for the society in a more mature way. The ballot measures in the US is one example of how something like this can be done. In a country as diverse as ours there is bound to be very diverse opinion as is seen in this forum itself. There is a need to recognize this diversity. Facilitating and creating environment where the differing views are heard and laws enacted and enforced. Media and politicians will eventually provide what people want.
mayank's picture

Containing freedom need not be the law

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Think about this situation. Today, liquor is allowed and is legal. In years to come, without any doubt, more people would be addicted to it. Laws would be more liberal to allow and breed this evil of alcoholism. Similarly, today's illegal thing such as drugs would become legal after sometime when it is allowed to breed silently. The same thing applies to adultery, and other such behaviour. Just because something is legal today, if allowed to thrive, would become a serious social evil tomorrow. All religions or most of them came into existence because of social deterioration and immoral behavior. Just because of a certain thing being legal doesn't necessarily mean it is correct. This is a silent killer. It kills society. Today, you may have the freedom to choose things. Tomorrow, your children will have no choice because today's minority of immoral people would have become tomorrow's majority. Today, the govt. wants to legalise live-in relationships. Only a minority of people actually go in for that. Tomorrow, it will be made compulsory.
mayank's picture

I agree to an extent

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I agree with you sir, but to an extent. I agree about the ballot provided powerless voices like mine are also heard. Today, the media refuses to print my views because its against the various lobbies that they support. Public opinion and popular perception is always in the hands of the mass media. They have the power of altering perceptions through their presentation of news and views. Naturally people would toe the popular line - that which the powerful people want. 90% of India is following the agenda of 10% powerful people in the media, politics, bureaucracy, and various lobbies. They all have the common agenda of showcasing non-issues so that the real issues are not dealt with. From an independent angle, think about the silent effect that deterioration of social values has on future generations. New social evils in the form of alcoholism, drugs, junk food, obesity, adultery, etc. would be the order of the day. Powerful lobbies within the society would always try to market their products by convincing the people. We only invite new-age diseases and social evils.
mayank's picture

How's it different?

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How is not maintaining high standards and propagating vices two different issues? By propagating vices, the media has lowered its standards. Open any page of any newspaper or watch a T.V. channel. Look at the number of page-3 articles in them. Most articles propagate a culture that most Indians still consider immoral. There are articles that promote live-in as a way of living. There are other articles that promote promiscuous lifestyle. Forget it. In the Mangalore incident, the media knew about the attack 1 hour in advance. They should have informed the police. Instead they exploited the poor girls to get more TRPs. Sorry Aagarwalji, I cannot give a clean chit to media. IF THE MEDIA HAD DONE ITS DUTY, THIS UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED.
bialterminal's picture

missing the point

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Some folks who are talking about the evils of alchoholism, bad culture etc. are totalling missing the point. This is something like arguing whether it is correct to carry money in a wallet after a person is pickpocketed.

Today it is pubs, in the past quite regularly a certain group has gone on a rampage on valentine day destroying cards and shops selling them, tommorrow if punjabi bhangra dance becomes popular and folks get into it enmasse there may be similar incidents in the name of "protecting culture" threatening people not to go to such dances. It doesn't matter what is right or wrong about these activities but the point is that incidents like what happened in Mangalore have been happening and will continue to happen if something isn't done.

Ill effects of alchoholism(drunken driving, health effects etc.) can be tackled through educational awareness, better parenting & law enforcement. Such a discussion about alcoholism and it's effects belong on a separate thread.
ebi.schubert's picture

Media does not alone determine election outcomes

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If media decides election outcomes then people like Mayavati can never win elections if media determined election outcomes. I have not seen any media describing her or her actions in good terms, but she controls the votes. I am sure there are many instances of such cases in india. In california the popular media was against prop 8, yet it won. The fact that you have a ballot measure will generate lot of discussion/debate around the topic bringing in diverse view points. Probably get some of the youth involved in the election process.

On the topic of pub culture, I am not sure what you mean by that. We have tried prohibition before it did not really help except the illicit liquor business. Again the Ram Sena's problem was not really liquor or the pub it is women being present in a pub. Is pub as a format worse than the road side liquor shop ? If so, why is it so ?
mayank's picture

I object to your use of Talibanism.

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If I need to coin some terms, I can do it. I can call people terrorists for not agreeing to my views. But I desist. I didn't know that my views were Talibanist. About laws, they have always been based on morals, possibly morals of the majority. Alcoholism was considered an evil about 30 years back. It was banned for sometime. Is this individual thinking? Or is this restricted to a community? Women dancing in semi-nude is about obscenity and majority of people still don't approve of it. Where is the oppression? Do we want a culture of nudity? Then lets take off all our clothes and walk naked! How do you know that people opposing the Pub culture or dancing in the nude are in a minority? Irrespective of minority or majority, do you want to promote alcoholism and other related social evils? Do we want liquor lobbies to rule our society? Just because I don't drink, its doesn't mean that I allow deterioration in society which would some day affect me. That way, dowry system need not be banned. I don't accept or give dowry. So, if You are giving or taking dowry, why should I fight it? Can you now see the logic? Is the evil of dowry individual thinking?
mayank's picture

Can we allow deterioration of society in the garb of freedom?

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But what I still cant understand is why as individuals we can't follow the cultre we want to and instead want everyone to follow an individuals culture. I think its greed more than need.------------------------------- Its simply the greed of the powers that be. The media, govt, lobbies, MNCs are all controlling out thought processes and our values have been corroded because of their constant propaganda. Nobody in this forum is prepared to say that alcoholism is bad. It shows how much we are brainwashed. Yes sir we all follow our culture and our own values. It doesnt mean that we allow deterioration of social values. In the name of freedom, can we allow corruption? Okay, today corruption is illegal. But there have always been times when many illegal things were legally allowed. There was a time when dowry was legal. Does that mean that it was right? Individual choice?
kbsyed61's picture

It's all about law & order !

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Here is my 2 cents. If we really analyze this issue closely, it is a clear case of mis-governance and pathetic Law enforcement.

 The accusations that Pub & Bar culture is threatening Kannada & Kannada Pradesha's long held cultural values, need to be looked at. No one can deny that there is a exponential rise in outlets that are licensed to sell alcoholic drinks from Toddy, arrack to wines. In my last 2 visit to India (one in 2002 and 2006), what I experienced and found out was that 2 businesses are thriving every where from a small village to cities is - Money lending and Liquor business. Experience tells us that due to politics, narrow political & ideological gains these businesses have been left unregulated and almost un supervised. Even the licensing is there just for big fat bribes, not for any regulation.

I am not advocating 100 % ban or free sale. The mess is all about mis governance. Neither we are sure that there should be 100% prohibition nor we are convinced that it should be 100% free for business. States have experimented both extremes and both extremes have failed. Not because of anything except for half hearted efforts and no sincerity in implementation. Even in states like Gujarat which is a dry state, you can get any alcoholic drink you want. AP failed in the prohibition efforts recently.

The liquor business is very tempting business for all. For govt more revenue as taxes, babus more bribes and businesses more profits with potential benefits of contacts and contracts from Politicians. The whole case rests on governance and a strong will to deal with the trade and its impact. I need not go into the effects of alcoholism and how it affects families and social fabric. Strong governance and law enforcement can prevent the social breakdown and also stop huge loss of revenue to govt from this business. Liquor is in one of the most traded/bribed item in the corridors of power and corporate world. Extortion, Goondaism and anti-social menaces are all ements that are connected with this mis governance. The attack on Pub is one such manifestation.

 Coming to the issue of every tom & dick becoming law enforcer/breaker, it is the manifestation of our pathetic policing & law enforcement culture. If policing and law & order had played their role effectively, no KRV, no MNS would have dared to transgress one's rights and privacy. Again the entire blame is on Political class, who in their selfish motives and ill-designed games, has rendered police and the law enforcement toothless and action-less. Many times these are the very people whom the govt and politicians extend their support and blessings. If any thing is to be done, it is the clean up of politics with these viruses. We need to get rid of the goons, selfish netas and fraudsters from the political spectrum. Basically vote for one who values life, liberty and freedom of others, not only his.

 Syed

mayank's picture

Media is powerful; don't underestimate it.

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The media is very powerful. That's why every political party now wants to have a T.V. channel. The powers behind the media are many. They are literally controlled by various groups and vested interests. In Mayawati's case, there are other powerful factors that neutralise the media. Mayawati has goons at the lowest level to turn votes in her favour. During Gujrath elections, you may have noticed sudden increase in anti-Modi news and articles all over. It shows that there are agendas behind the media. Why didn;t they show Modi in poor light right from 2001? Why 2 months before the elections? Similarly, in this Mangalore incident, I also have the feeling that the Ram Sainiks could have been bribed heavily to commit the act to embarass the local govt. and to get some votes in the favour of the opposition. Lok Sabha elections are due in 2 months. [Just a speculation]. The PUBs are as dangerous as road side liquor and arrack shops. The Ram Sainiks attacked the PUB just to get maximum coverage. [This is another speculation]. The media got their spice, the Ram Sainiks got their coverage overnight, and the opposition got to score political points.
mayank's picture

Laws don't necesarily cover all evils of society.

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Strong governance and law enforcement can prevent the social breakdown and also stop huge loss of revenue to govt from this business.----------------------------- Alcoholism is an evil. Promiscuous behaviour is another. Laws don't cover many social evils like these two. So, where is the question of enforcing that which doesn't exist?
mayank's picture

Hooliganism is never acceptable

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bialterminal: The incident in Mangalore has brought about the issue of deteriorating values, alcoholism, drugs etc. to the fore, apart from the hooliganism that we all witnessed. Nobody would support hooliganism. I don't. But, to say that anybody above the age of 18 can behave as they wish is also not correct. Laws don't cover all social evils. Alcoholism, semi-naked dancing in pubs, promiscuous behaviour are simply not covered. Would we tolerate our sons and daughters getting into these assuming that they are above 18 years in age?
bayern's picture

Re:How do you know about the western world?

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Mayank

Looks like you have a misconception that in western world alochol,tobacco & drugs are free for all.

In the US, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from consuming alchohol & tobacco. Any bar,pub, restaurant,liquor store who sells alcohol/tobacco to anyone under 21 is punished severely. So its in their best intrest to check the ID before selling these to anyone.Any kind of drugs is illegal in the US.Anyone caught selling or in possession of controlled substance are convicted.Scantily or inappropriately dressed men & women can be booked for indecency.

This is law and order. Going and beating up people which you have been supporting is talibanism. Plain & simple.

And who gave you or anyone the RIGHT to beat up people anyway. FYI... if you go and beat up people in a western world you will end up behind bars for atleast few years and will be branded a convicted criminal for rest of your life.

PS:I live and also spent my college years in the US,so please don't ask me how do I know about the alcohol & tobacco law in the US
idontspam's picture

BJP

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BJP is failing the citizens. I dont think this party has the right head on the shoulder. I voted BJP but I am dissapointed, I should have known better. It definitely cannot steer our country in the right direction. This is the start of a banana republic right on republic day. We are clearly heading the Pakistan way.
bialterminal's picture

re: Hooliganism is never acceptable

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@mayank You wrote: //I don't. But, to say that anybody above the age of 18
//can behave as they wish is also not correct. Laws don't
//cover all social evils. Alcoholism, semi-naked dancing
//in pubs, promiscuous behaviour are simply not covered.
//Would we tolerate our sons and daughters getting into
//these assuming that they are above 18 years in age?
My answer: That is precisely why we are called adults. If you or me find the above wrong then we simply don't be a part of those activities, simple isn't it? We can decide for ourselves and for our kids what we like/don't like, what we find incorrect and make appropriate choices versus being beaten black and blue by somebody else and told what to do.
Regarding alcoholism, comsuming loquor in a pub is not the same as alcoholism; an individual A can guzzle down bottles of liquor at home and go out and cause trouble. On the other hand an individual B can go to a pub for a social evening out, still drink responsibly, and act responsibly later. Trust me, I have seen both instances. What really matters is that individual A is caught and held responsible for his actions by law and sent to the proper forum to addrress his/her alcoholism (I am sure you have heard of groups like Alchoholic Anonymous) and of course since prevention is better than cure it comes back to education, good parenting etc.

:-) remember, some medical experts say drinking wine is slight moderation is good for the heart :-)
srinidhi's picture

So west is progressive?

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First, I did not want to post here at all..anywyas first I start condemning the attacks..howvever..

We tend to ape the west a lot..the pub/club culture..independence/freedom in the wrong sense etc

The other day there was a report that increasing number of women in UK are taking prenatal genetic tests to determine the father of the child and deciding to continue their pregnancy based on that for 99$! Is this progressive?!

Agreed they have laws prohibiting sale of liquor and drugs for under age people..but has that really worked?!

Prom nights is the biggest day for youth there..lets not hide saying they just dance around there drinking root beer..however 'arangetram' or the first public performance in classical music or dance is still the norm in Chennai

The west has exceptions too like what Fuser did however youth, especially in the early days, take easily the wrong path in the name of freedom

Where did we get the word 'groupies' from? freedom? ..This can go on and on!

Finally moderation is very important as BT says but thats mostly never on mind of 16-22's!

As the kannada song goes 'idena sabhyathe..idena samskruthi!'

Ravi_D's picture

Freedom...

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Like SB suggested, let us put our emotions away.

 
Let us all first agree that we covet freedom. That hard to earn, hard to retain concept. The luxury enjoyed by only a small percentage of human population on earth, but should be the right of every single soul.
 
Even though we have achieved a lot so far, our country is far from being a mature free society. Ground realities (corruption, ignorance, poverty are only a few of the enormous set of challenges) stretch this 'maturing’ process forever. In fact, the path to freedom never ends even in mature societies.
 
Pathetic part is that we so easily forget where we are headed. In the name of “__________” (fill the gap with pub, religion, language, regionalism, political power, whatever), we tend to add more hurdles to the process, or more often here in our country, we tend to even reverse the gains we have already made.
 
Our efforts should be to help the process, not hinder it.
 
When do we learn?
 

Ravi

s_yajaman's picture

BlrSri - The road to hell is paved with good intentions

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BlrSri,

I don't think any of us is suggesting that we imitate the west blindly or that sitting in a pub and drinking and dancing is desirable or undesirable. These are assaults on some of our fundamental rights.  The road to hell is always paved with good intentions.  Today it is drinking in a pub.  Tomorrow it will be against wearing jeans.  The day after it will be about talking in English in public.  And then about listeniing to Pink Floyd :) Who gets to decide what is desirable or not? 

If the general belief is that we really cannot decide what is good or bad for us till the age of 21 then raise the legal drinking age to 21 or 25 or whatever.  But I am dead against self appointed guardians of culture and youth and their wayward ways.

And this whole Hindu culture bit frankly gets on my nerves.  Which Hindu culture - the one in Mohenjo-daro or the one in Akbar's times or the one in Samudragupta's time?  If you ask me, we are one the most morally corrupt nations in the world, where everything can be bought and sold, including women.  PDS rations meant for poor people just gets stolen.  Only 10% of money for public works programs actually trickles down to the beneficiaries.  Corruption is a way of life in India.  So let's not pretend we are inherently saints and it is the wily West that is corrupting us.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

bialterminal's picture

and before we rattle off about the "corrupt west", some facts...

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Guys, for those who think pub culture is from the west & bad influence, should not ape the west etc. etc.; I am sure everyone would unanimously agree that Indian civilization is one of the oldest of civilizations around, there is ample documented proof that ancient India had social drinking and social drinking places(what we call as pubs this day and age); here is an example of the one such proof -
http://www.kamat.com/kalr... and here is documentation about drinking in Karnataka - http://www.kamat.com/kalr... and such evidence is present in old sculptures that we see today.

What is my point? Well let us be sane and not hypcritical when we start blaming the "morally corrupt" "western influence". It is as ridiculous as USA/UK etc. blaming India for the "bad influence" of corruption which is very much a fabric of our society.

There are multitude of organizations that truly promote culture & traditions in a truly constructive manner by organizing plays, dramas, musical orchestras, art & painting classes/competitions etc. When I studied in udupi/manipal I had the pleasure of attending one such yakshagana program by a little know group formed by volunteers under the leadership of the principal of a local college. People who liked, attended, the rest quitely went on with their lives. Let us support all these organizations who are the true promoters of art & culture and at the same time put the thugs (so called pseudo guardians of culture) involved in the Mangalore incident behind bars. We definitely don't need any moral policing of any sort, plain simple policing is the need of the hour.
murali772's picture

self-righteous talk!

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Well said Yajamaanre'.

Our country has adopted democracy as its form of governance. And, for all its short-comings (and, nobody is denying there aren't plenty of it), it still is the most acceptable form for any civilised society. There have been suggestions here that there should be certain curbs on freedom - of what kind, and who decides what?

Most PRAJA members haven't possibly experienced what happened when curbs on freedom were imposed by Mdm Indira Gandhi, during her infamous 'emergency' rule. It was her son Sanjay Gandhi who just took arbitrary decisions, like enforcing 'family planning' by subjecting parents with two or more children to vasectomy/ sterlisation operations, using government machinery. The babu's were given targets, and in order to achieve it, they used agents to round up even bachelors and spinsters and forced them to undergo the surgery. If you don't believe this, please ask any Delhiite, above the age of 55.

The press was gagged. So much so, the venerated Indian Express editor of those times, Mr Frank Moraes, published a few editions with the editorial page totally blank, to convey his protest (And, that's why I will always subscribe to Indian Express, even with a few things having gone wrong with the publication subsequently).

Rather than condemn the media, my admiration for it has increased considerably after the way its coverage of the Mangalore incidents forced the BJP government to do more than it was prepared to do initially. Even assuming that it had been tipped off in advance by the perpetrators, if one were to go by the conspiracy theory, the media certainly can't have known what exactly was planned. And, without that, what were they supposed to have told the police? The more important aspect is, even with such graphic details of the atrocities captured by the media, why was the government still pussy-footing the issue?

Media is one of the most important pillars of democracy, and for all its short-comings (and, there indeed are a few), it's playing a stellar role in bringing about the much needed balance in the system. And, the competition between them, besides, is helping correct most of the short-comings.

And, Mayank, Draupadi in the venerated Mahabharata was shared by five brothers. That doesn't mean that Hindu's should be espousing that example. We in PRAJA can very well do without self-righteous preaching, please!

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
mayank's picture

Who is the REAL TALIBAN?

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@BAYERN, Sorry, your statements are ill-conceived and objectionable. Just because we differ in our views does not give you the right to spill venow on me. Taliban? You cannot tolerate different views and you accuse me of being a Taliban. Better open your eyes and read what I have written. I NEVER SUPPORTED THE VIOLENCE DONE MY THE RAM SAINIKS. I NEITHER SUPPORT LIBERALS WHO ARE IN EFFECT CAUSING THE SLOW POISONING OF SOCIETY. OVER A FEW DECADES, WE WILL SEE COMPLETE IMMORAL BEHAVIOUR. A SOCIETY FULL OF CALL GIRLS AND BOYS, FULL OF ADDICTS OF LIQUOR AND DRUGS. You claim that you know western society. How then, is drug addiction is so rampant in the west? How then do women wear revealing clothes on tourist visits to India? I have seen even men in semi-nude condition. Have you visited the beaches of Goa? Drug and sex is what is on offer there.
mayank's picture

Is the media all that saintly?

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Mr Rao, Absolute freedom and absolute curbs are two extremes an both are dangerous. From one extreme, we are moving towards the other. The days of good Journalists are over. A whole new generation has gone. We cannot assume things from what was relevant 20 years or 30 years back. Those were the days of better standards. If you still wish to state that the media is full of people with virtues, you can hold that view. Sorry, I don't. Majority of educated Indians do express their dissent. The Mangalore incident had the media well-informed about what was going to happen. Do you think the media would deploy many of their personnel without reason? The circumstances are obvious - a PUB out there, and the Ram Sainiks have invited the media. Are the media personnel fools to send their cameramen in advance without any reason? I am not a fool to believe that the media were innocent. They haven't done their duty. They just wanted to exploit the girls and boys to get more TRPs and money. Not just media all the other pillars have deteriorated. Where is the question of self-righteous preaching? Everybody is trying to push their views through the backdoor. MNCs are using the media to promote their own welfare.
mayank's picture

Lets not get carried away by fancy terms

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"Moral policing" itself is a term coined by certain vested interests to promote their own agenda - liberalism or rights without any responsibility. I don't call the Mangalore incident "Moral Policing". It is just plain hooliganism and assault. I support you when you say that there is no point in blaming or pointing fingures about west and east. Drinking and dancing/ vulgarity has been there in several societies. In recent history, it appears that this is prevalent more in the west. That doesn't mean it didn't exist in India. So, is this acceptable or not? I do not support the view that we simply keep quiet while the society takes to all kinds of vices. The banner of freedom and democracy is being misused to allow all kinds of social vices to creep in and ultimately in the long run, destroy the social fabric. A society full of alcoholics, PUBBERS, call girls etc. is not going to be good for the health of any society. There is no comparison between Yakshagana or Draupadi and what I have stated above. Absolute liberalism would plunge the society into chaos slowly and steadily. People can see only the obvious. Slow poisoning is equally dangerous.
mayank's picture

Is this self-righteous preaching???

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@Muralidhar Rao, Read this news item. http://www.deccanherald.c... My point is this. Today, we have laws to cover these illegal activities. But, laws don't mean anything when society itself has changed and people accept illegal things. The day is not far off when call girls and dance bars would be made legal. Popular perceptions change when we allow society to stink. It doesn't take much for evil to thrive in society. All it takes is for good men to keep quiet about it, giving all kinds of excuses. Today's illegal would become tomorrow's legal activity. Those who don't want to would also be forced to do it due to pressure from society.
mayank's picture

You miss the point again.

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@bialterminal, You are missing the point here. If we take that line of thinking, we can allow all social evils to thrive - dowry, corruption, lottery [Most states have banned lottery], etc. The same argument can put forth and we can make all these things legal because you and me are not involved. Please understand one thing - 1. your freedom of choice will end the day when, in the name of liberal thinking, you allow vices to thrive. The day will surely come when you would have no choice but to toe the line. 2. Its foolish to believe that social vices wouldn't affect you and men as long as we don't take to them. What happens outside will have an indirect effect on us. 3. Good parenting and education would be in the hands of liquor barons and goon. Not you and me. Already, we are seeing the promotion of vices by the media. That will be more aggressive and open.
navshot's picture

Proposal please...

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Mayank,

Maybe you should just clearly state what and how exactly you propose to control. Please don't forget to include all the facts and figures. Also state objective goals.

-- navshot

-- navshot
mayank's picture

Freedom is hard earner; Being responsible is much harder.

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Freedom is hard-earned. Being conscious and responsible of such freedom is much harder. The temptations to loosely interpret freedom is always there. We always do that and we give all kinds of excuses for that.
mayank's picture

Corruption has nothing to do with Hinduism or any religion.

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@Srivathsa, Your last para is objectionable. Its what the pseudo-secularists have preached and you have took it into yourself without questioning. Nobody is preaching Hindu culture here. Anybody who opposes pubbing or bars or any such thing is termed a Hindu or a preacher of Hindutva. Its shows how much the media has been able to brain wash people. All I am saying is that we need some sanity and order in society. In the obsession with democracy, freedom, choice and liberalism, lets not end with a culture of drugs, AIDS, call girls and boys, high divorce, adultery, etc. Let our obsession not be fatal to the general health of society. No religion supports destruction of society in the name of liberalism and progress. Its not about Hinduism or Islam or Chritianity. Its nor about men and women. Its about a healthy society free from social evils that I stated above.
mayank's picture

Obsession with fundamental rights could be the road to hell too.

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These are assaults on some of our fundamental rights. The road to hell is always paved with good intentions. Today it is drinking in a pub. Tomorrow it will be against wearing jeans. The day after it will be about talking in English in public. And then about listeniing to Pink Floyd :) Who gets to decide what is desirable or not?------------------------ Nobody supports the violence and ill-treatment meted out to the people at the Pub. Never ever. The Ram Sainiks need to be punished severely. However, our obsession with fancy concepts of freedom without responsibility, democracy, etc. may lead the road to hell for our future generations which will pay the price for our obsessions. Our own generation is witness to high divorces, adulterous behaviour, lack of trust in partners, alcoholism, drug addiction, teenage pregnancies etc. Is this heaven or hell? Who gets to decide what is desirable or not? Certainly not the media, nor the MNCs who want to ruin our social health. Its we, the people. We need to think ahead of our times.
mayank's picture

My purpose.

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@Navshot, My basic purpose is to make people think differently. I want people to move out of what is always thought of and told to be the gospel truth. Perhaps, without being so forceful in my views, everybody would think the same way - the line of thinking which pseudo-liberalists have. Having stated that, I want people to think for themselves in future rather than toe popular perceptions. We have forgotten to question ideas and views expressed in mass media, thereby, defeating democracy itself. So, lets begin by questioning the popular perceptions expressed in the media. Finally, we definately need to do something rather than sit quiet and allow the society to deteriorate. Alcoholism and drug addiction are two biggest problems facing the youth. Other vices also also need to be tackled. My feeling is that educated people need to first understand this problem, the intensity of it and build opinion against it. Pubbing cannot be stopped altogether. Just as liquor cannot be stopped. We can only build opinion against these rather than make it popular which the media is doing. There are no single, clear-cut answers. But first, lets understand the evils ourselves.
narayan82's picture

Mayank...

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I think we are mixing issues here. The issue I raised - was moral policing. This is what organizations such as Ram Sena and others are doing. This is what we call Moral Policing.

What you are talking about is the basic Law, the problems in society and civic sense. Yes these are valid and need to be addressed. This is not moral policing.

These problems are NOT culture specific. They are harmful because they harm not only individuals but other around. Smoking is a prime example. Drugs & Alcohol too, is a problem(Drinking and Driving...etc)

So the question I really want to ask you is:

  • If an individual wants to get drunk at his own expense, not harm anyone around and "ape" western culture without affecting any of us - would you have a problem?
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
s_yajaman's picture

Psuedo??

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First it was pseudo secular now it is pseudo liberal.  So anyone who does not think the way you think is pseudo-something is it? 

I don't think there are too many people on this forum who don't think that alcoholism is a problem.  I also don't think that people become bad because they smoke a cigarette or have beer at a pub.  If someone wants to have a drink or two - man or woman - they should be free to.  If after they drink they make a nuisance of themselves, they should be hauled up.  If they kill someone by driving in a drunken state they should be sentenced to many years in jail.  BTW - I am a teetotaler and don't spend my time partying at pubs.  I have better things to do - but that does not give me the right to go around telling people what to do. 

Most of us here have a problem when a mob in the name of Hindu culture goes about vandalizing public and private property and beating up men and women.  That is what this thread is all about and you seem to be in agreement.

Do you know the amount of hard work it took to get the Magna Carta signed.  Do you realize what a great victory Habeus Corpus was in the 13th century when a king could just jail you or have your head cut off?  Or that you could be burned at the stakes if you believed that the earth went round the sun and not the other way.  Your fundamental rights are what allow you to be a free human being in a country and not a slave whose existence is at the whim of a ruler.  Don't blame democracy or our consitution or our fundamental rights for society's problems.  Our constitution is what separates India from a banana republic. 

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

ebi.schubert's picture

Laws vs. Morals

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I think there needs to be a separation between laws and morals. Laws are required for any society to survive. Laws in a democracy should be based on a common set of acceptable values for the society. In a society the laws have to be constant where as the morals will be different for different people. If some one tries to enforce their moral values on others through goondaism then it will be moral policing. I think everybody inclusive of Mayank is in agreement that moral policing is bad. There seems to be a difference in the way we view what should be right for the society. Indian democracy and constitution does provide the means for legislating new laws. So if "pub culture" is indeed bad for the society then the legislature process needs to be followed. This would mean you need to define what it is and why it is bad for the society and drum up popular support for it and also if it is realistically enforceable without malpractice. Then convince your representative that it is a good cause to fight for and the legislate a law and enforcement mechanism.
karihaida's picture

License to have children

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The only thing that is required is a licensing body that will determine if any person is fit to become a parent :), to solve all the so-called "evils" of society. 'Thankyou for smoking' is a must see movie (infact educational) for the people who complain about morality and society.
Ravi_D's picture

Do I have a problem?

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If an individual wants to get drunk at his own expense, not harm anyone around and "ape" western culture without affecting any of us - would you have a problem?

No. As long as he is within the legal framework, who am I to stop him?

But if I did have a problem with it, I have many options. I could possibly have a respectful conversation with the guy, if he is willing. We have a democratically elected legislative process. We have the freedom to go to a court with a PIL or to organize a peaceful campaign to enlighten our legislators to take action. Yes, we are in for a long haul, and chances are none of the above may bear fruit in today's India. But that is what happens in a developing democracy!.

And we always have the social structure to help the individual - in terms of family, friends, and the society at large. Reasons and excuses might be many - but today, unfortunately in my opinion, we don't do a good job teaching moral principles (truth, non-violence et al) to our kids. That is a topic worth a different thread altogether.

What we don't need is some body (however good their intentions might be) taking unilateral action, and undermining the basic freedoms. Like I said before, let us help mature our democracy. Not undermine it.

Ravi

narayan82's picture

A political twist...

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The more the reports from the Home Minister and NCW, the more it seems to be a political ploy! No one really cares about the culture. This sounds like an "SMS" to the liquor companies! But what I didnt understand was the NCW's statement where they mentioned that they saw women in "Nude Clothing.!"
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
blr_editor's picture

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