Monday, June 4, 2012

moral policing or moral hooliganism?

SreeNair | 8:09 PM | |

The moral police shoots up in to the social firmament suddenly from nowhere year after year, every Valentine’s day, every new occasions to threaten pillion riding women in jeans and to beat up pub-smart women remorselessly.

Moral policing, simplistically stated, is often an inadvertent and at times a carefully planned masculine outburst of the innate surge for binding the society around the best traditions of ethics and aesthetics of yester years. The juries at the scene are the sudden and spontaneous conglomeration of the inhomogeneous and faceless herd of males descended out of blue from nowhere and they conduct the trial and pronounce the verdict ostensibly as a normative exercise to lead the erring to the righteous path and also to serve an admonition to the society.The ruffians that rule the roost on the scene are probably the henchmen of the organised power centres of the politics,cast social forces of the area.The punishment could be anything between beating,a flurry of expletives to severe torture.

The concept of total disconnect between public and private realm in our personal life has been the offshoot of the descent of colonial powers in India. They brought in the philosophical, theological, maritime and mercantile traditions to this country for the justification of their imperialistic invasions.In the western philosophical and political traditions the public realm consists of the state, city, or republic where male is at the fulcrum of law-making , business and governance.The private realm is defined with in the loci of family belonging to the females ie.wife, daughter, mother and sister . Men are synonymous to rational thought, justice, critical judgment, objectivity considered essential for the conduct of state affairs. Women embody feeling, fickleness, purity, spirituality, delicacy, dependence and morality. Female is thus tied to the family. The contrasting nature of these qualities anointed male at the centre of the statecraft while the females were relegated and downplayed to be unfit for public life.

A strong morality has become implicit to women hood and any aberration is intolerable and met with affront.

However the changed globalisation scenario impels the women to stray out of this safe areas.

The ex tense of the confusion created with the openness and the value the new telecom facilities and the Internet brought to our living rooms is wast.The Internet provided a springboard for overthrowing the control exerted by the society on the life style,the personal tastes,sexual selection,gender relations of the women. .This has aggravated the schism between the traditional values and the new values injected from the Internet which in turn engendered acute anxiety and made men cynic.

Women across all classes are brazenly audacious to occupy public spaces, more confident of their bodies and attire and increasingly articulate of their desires and passions. The mounted distrust and the attended fright made men to take the mantle of the sentinel of morality .Men are intolerant with the female presence outside the models of the family .Those like Daliths,tribals,eunuchs,blacks,nomads,sexual workers,those sidelined ,persons from other religions etc are treated as outside this model of the righteous family and are marked as 'danger' subjecting them to constant cultural intimidation's by the moral police. Identity plays a major role in becoming prey of the moral police. If the moral outrage is happening in public spaces ,the response will be even more violent.When we sea a man and a women in a company we see only their body.

Though on daily basis several atrocities,incidences of graft,political and social deprivations and the like are unravelled right before their eyes,they seem not much perturbed ,but on a perceived threat of moral turpitude they get ensnared. Any such incident which dares the fragile moral code will be remonstrated vehemently as one which threatens the cultural fabric.This cultural fright and the collateral masculine dilemma adds fuel to the increased expositions of the violence's.

When capital flows across nations ,the male centered society fails to assimilate the transformations effected by liberalisation in individual life. The fiscal liberalisation will transform the social and cultural spaces in the society which is half feudal,half capitalistic and man oriented.That will disquiet the forces of regression and is best illustrated by the Muthaliks ,Sreeram Sena and the jihadists.

The menace of moral policing cannot be thwarted by dignified attire or avoiding travel,desisting from talking to acquaintances in public spaces etc .It is worrisome that the resistances against these atrocities do not go beyond evening channel discussions.The problem is such that it acquires political dimensions. A social ambiance needed to be created in which the daily agenda of the political parties should be such as to include the core changes in the gender relations that has happened.It is impractical to surmount this moral hooliganism without changing the style of action of the political functioning.


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