Individual Liberties in India

The chief minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Ghelot, of the Congress Party doesn’t want you holding hands with your girlfriend (or boyfriend), wife (or husband), sister (or brother) in the mall. It is anti-Indian.

The chief minister of Karnataka, Yeddiyurappa of the BJP doesn’t want you to go to pubs, especially if you are a woman. Be moral, loyal woman citizen of India, do not go to a pub.

The talented director Anurag Kashyap has probably given up on the Central Board for Film Certification, which bans and cuts his art into pieces, in the name of morality.

The central Government gets into a three way fight with (huh) its own health minister, and the Supreme Court over homosexual rights in India. The immorality!

Morality! How wrong our politicians are about morality. Contrary to their definition of morality, consider these questions: Is there anything more immoral than curbing an artists freedom of expression? More immoral than preventing couples from holding hands in public? More immoral than disallowing two people in love from marrying just because they belong to the same sex?

BJP and Congress may be Left-of-center and Right-of-center. They may disagree (hypocritically) on the nuclear deal. They may squabble about economic policies. They may call each other names like “communal” and “pseudo-secular”. They will also make sure there is no uniform civil code in India. Certainly, all efforts are directed towards ensuring that the parliament has only 32 sittings in a crucial, eventful year like 2008. Yet, in total unaninimity, the opposite poles of our great democracy agree on curbing individual liberties. It looks like controlling individual choices and freedoms has become a national pastime at the Lower and Upper houses of the Country and the states.

So all you and I do is sit and crib about what the government is not doing. We don’t even do as much as get up from our cozy couches, and vote, now and then, when the elections happen.   How will there be a grass roots movement (of the Obama kind), if we, as patriotic citizens of India, don’t even exercise suffrage?

Visit and do your duty. You ask for freedoms and individual liberties? They come with responsibility. The responsibility to vote, to make our democracy successful.

The people who suffer and crib the most about the above incidents are the urban middle class youth. I can safely claim that this group, among all the demographical divisions, have the lowest voter turn out proportional to their population.

Some nice insights by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (no relation to the late leader, the great Lok nayak JP):

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


In a country which had women leaders like Kittur Rani Chennamma, Jhansi Rani Lakshmibhai, Sarojini Naidu, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Sucheta Kriplani, etc. in the modern era- long before even the enlightened west had its share of women leaders; in a country where the two most important aspects of life- money and education are represented by Goddesses in religious symbolism; where the pinnacle of art and aesthetics were beautiful sculptures of women (if your moral sensibilities cloud your appreciation of the aesthetics, Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran might have a cure for it); politicians talk such chauvinistic trash and get away with it. They are even elected to serve multiple terms.

5 responses to “Individual Liberties in India

  1. nice post. i liked the observation about how many parliamentary sittings we have had in election year.

  2. I think this post is the right place to link something I found today… unbelievable crap:
    Can’t really imagine how this is different from the Taliban.

  3. It is disturbing to see such marginal entities existing in India. Even more disturbing is that they get considerable support from not-so-marginal sections of the society. Unfortunately for India, hatred is very easy to preach, and easily attracts people. It is very easy to find even educated people showing irrational hatred and bigotry. Examples in history are the people who supported Hitler, Mussolini, or any number of fascist rulers in the past. Sanathana Dharma is nothing like what these supposed custodians of “Hinduism” claim it is. The very act of imposing religious norms is against the spirit of Sanathana Dharma in particular and the modern Republic of India in general.

  4. what you do not seem to realize is that the people directly affected never bother to fight. The only people we see harping on about poverty are not the poor people, but the rich, as a friand of mine says.

    i do not get the shit generated over the ram sene thing when the girls who got hit are themselves sitting quiet. oh my countrymen/women, how fucking bored are all of you to fight over someone else’s issues.

  5. @CJ: huh! about the poverty comment… the reason why you (and most of us) think that way is because you (we) interact with the richer people. it doesn’t make sense to think that poor people are happy the way they are. they obviously are unhappy with their situation.

    regarding the victims not complaining about ram sene, it is because of the oppressive environment, and the absence of law and order that the victims are unable to publicly crib about it. duh, that doesn’t mean they are fine with it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s