BENGALURU: For Parminder Gill and Asha Verma, a walk back to their college campus turned into a nightmare when a security guard of the college hauled them up for obscenity.
“We were walking back to the campus and I had my arms around Asha’s shoulder. The guard asked us what we were doing and started abusing us,” said Parminder. When they objected to the guard’s behaviour, he used abusive language. “He asked us to go get a room,” Parminder said.
The incident occurred on Tuesday in an engineering college located on the outskirts of the city. Asha and Parminder’s university has rented certain classrooms of the college to conduct classes.
Parminder and Asha were part of the group of people who gathered at Cubbon Park to create awareness about various forms of moral policing. Organised by Coalition Against Immoral Policing (CAIP), various NGOs, awareness groups and individuals met at the park to narrate their tales of moral policing and also spread the word against it.
Danish Sheikh, one of the participants said, “There are groups which have no legal standing and still attack people and create violence. And our leaders do nothing but stay silent.”
“Moral policing is not just asking people to stop displaying affection in public. It is groups asking people to behave in a certain way without having any right to say so. People have no right to threaten somebody if they are friends with someonefrom a different caste or religion. How is that anybody’s concern?” said Aditya, another participant.
Many of those gathered had come from Mangaluru to show their dissent. Vidya Dinakar, one of the organisers, said the issue was disturbing in Mangaluru. “There are many youngsters who are scared to even have coffee with people from the opposite sex or from a different religion. What kind of fear is this? These groups have nobody to control them or take against their antics,” said Vidya.
“Since there have been many such reports across the state, it was high time the state capital heard about it,” she said.