oppn parties Moral Policing in Kolkata: Hugs Are Accepted Form Of PDA

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
Moral Policing in Kolkata: Hugs Are Accepted Form Of PDA

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-05-03 23:29:22

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
A couple was thrashed in a Kolkata Metro station, ostensibly for standing “too close.” The picture published in the newspapers the next day showed largely middle-aged commuters with raised hands as if about to hit the guy and the girl protecting him by covering his body with her own. The girl was also not spared. The tormentors also raised cries of ‘get a room’ and ‘go elsewhere’ etc. It immediately destroyed Kolkata’s image of being a liberal and permissive city.

Hugging is now as commonplace as holding hands or putting your arm around your partner. No one gives a second look if couples are hugging on the road. It has now become an accepted form of public display of affection. Most couples hug generally and there is nothing obscene about it. Then why did the crowd at the Metro station become aggressive on seeing the couple hug? It is not immediately clear what sparked the violence. But it did show that Kolkatans are becoming easily outraged and violent at things that they chose to take in their strides earlier. The city is no longer friendly to couples in love.

The Telegraph quoted a young student who takes the Metro everyday as saying that although these people got aggressive on seeing the PDA of a couple, they turn a blind eye if girls are harassed by louts in the Metro or elsewhere. This shows that the crowd always picks on the weak and the vulnerable. They know that the couple will not retaliate, so they hit them. But when a lout harasses a woman, the crowd melts away as they do not know whether the rowdy, who has the ‘courage’ to harass a girl, carries a weapon or if he has friends nearby who might hit them back.

Although the Metro issued a notification calling for passengers not to tarnish Kolkata’s “cultural heritage,” it did not specify who it was pointing at, the couple for their PDA or the crowd for hitting them. Meanwhile, couples all over the city decided to hit back at the moral policing in a unique way. About a 100 of them assembled at the Tollygunge Metro station and hugged publicly carrying placards that said #hokalingan or ‘let the hugs flow’ after an event was created by a youngster on Facebook. Hitting young couples in love for PDA is outrageous in a city that once boasted of a “lover’s lane.” Moral policing must stop. The couples know their limits and they must be given space.

Picutre courtesy The Telegraph. Pic credit: Ujjwal Chakrabarty
Read The Telegraph story