24th Feb 2017 10:02:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The suicide of a young man on Friday in Kerala—a victim of moral policing on Valentine’s Day has given more thrust to the ongoing debate about moral policing and why it shouldn’t be treated as a crime.

Many were shocked that women were openly molested and groped during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Bengaluru but not surprised about what followed—the trivialisation of the matter and the women being made to feel responsible and guilty. Counted amongst the most cosmopolitan cities in the country, the indignity women were subjected in Bengaluru speaks of the prevalent mind-set of Indian society.

Moral police is a blanket term used to describe vigilante groups which act to enforce a code of morality in India. Some of India's laws and some actions of police forces in India are also considered to be instances of moral policing. The targets of moral policing are any activity that vigilante groups, the government or police deem to be "immoral" and/or "against Indian culture".


Vigilante attacks on women, ambush in clubs and pubs, questions around dressing, the rise of fringe groups that take a moral stand on culture—all these pose serious threat to individual freedom guaranteed by the Indian constitution.

There is nothing 'moral' about these incidents. It is about getting into someone's private space which is out of bounds. These acts must be treated as crimes and dealt with a severe hand to stop its tentacles. We need to look at the issues of moral policing collectively, and not in a one-sided way.


A huge change in terms of how we view people, especially women, has to come about. What women wear, their occupations and their choices such as going to pubs, discos should be looked at in the same way we look at these issues when it comes to men.

Whether it is the police themselves, or those who are victims of moral policing, these issues must be discussed in order for us to understand that they are not being done for our ‘well-being’ in the way that it is projected. It is very easy to get swallowed into the propaganda of protecting ‘culture’, thereby allowing moral policing a place in society.Cultural vigilantes and members of hate groups must be treated as rowdies and charged with non-bailable cases.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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