Moral policing has become increasingly common in India. Are we restricting individual rights in the name of Indian culture and safety? We are still pondering over whether there's life after death, we can add another question to the cart. What has happened to democracy? Has it been emptied of meaning and scooped out? Are we mutating into a totalitarian state?
Being the largest democracy in the world, it is a matter of great offence and disgrace if the Government suppresses or controls the ideas, public communication and information within a society. The Government's order to the internet service providers to block access to 857 websites hosting pornographic content being socially disparaging and advance violence against women was one of such attempts. Few days later, Mumbai police arrested 13 couples and 35 others following raids at hotels and a beach for indecent behavior in public. What have we turned democracy into? The need of the hour is the Government's long term vision and not its dependency upon immediate and extractive short term gains.
Let us glance at the pitiable state of affairs of our nation. We cannot provide food and water to our people. Our Government policies have created a population of 800 million people who live on less than 20 rupees a day. India has the largest number of malnourished children in the world. India's demographic dynamics are such that even humdrum projects, such as constructing a road, dislodge thousands of people let alone large dams and mining projects. In 2012 alone, around 14,000 hapless farmers committed suicide in India. These villages are completely resource less, barren and dry as dust. India is home to the largest number of poor with one-third of the world's 1.2 billion extreme poor living here.  In the name of development, the rivers and forests are destroyed. In the name of progress of the nation, land is destroyed by dam reservoirs and thousands of homes are bulldozed. India is suffering from problems like poverty, illiteracy, racial discrimination, famine and drought which needs immediate solution. Where basic education, health care and survival is a task, our Government's major priority is the desire to distribute Unique Identification cards(UIC) to all of its citizens and moreover do moral policing. In short, we are a state incessantly at war with its people.
Further, what did the Government formulate of these many corruption exposes? Does the Government see major scams like Commonwealth games, 2G and Coal-gate as a vigorous development of the nation? It is indeed an essential development as it helps a ordinary man know the politics of the current process of political and economic destruction and the other innumerable things that make India’s engine work, or not work—all through the contracted, frail lens of corruption but the worrying thing is that each scam pushes the last one out of the way, and life goes on.
We live in a civilized society. Creating havoc over a movie poster spreading vulgarity and trying to smear the purity of the Indian culture, vandalizing Valentine's day celebrations to safeguard morals, banning beef to protect our religion, banning porn or raiding hotels intruding someone's privacy to safeguard morals and values will not help our nation develop or progress or evolve in anyway. Let the police do only policing and value education be the means to learn the difference between good and bad.
India is certainly not yet the worst place on the Democracy issue but the state needs to focus of its development and leave moral policing aside. Having said that, the anarchism in our people, the fact that it is such an insurmountable country and though the institutions of democracy are of their way to corrosion, there is a revolutionary sprit among the people. They know that they have to preserve energy and how and when to deploy it. They have apprehended that they are on their own and have to fight their own battles.
 ,TNN Jul 17, 2014, 04.19 AM IST