KOCHI: With back-to-back incidents of moral policing, it’s time for parents to have their say.
Beena, a government employee, and a mother of two young girls, says, “I do not support the idea of children bunking classes and wandering around. I certainly didn’t bust my money for them so that they could neglect their studies. However, one cannot let political outfits like the Shiv Sena take things over.”
She added, “There could have been young working people at Marine Drive on Wednesday, who were caned and threatened by the Shiv Sena, which is unjustifiable. People, who are of a certain age, and are earning for themselves, have all the right to choose what they want to do and where they want to sit. As for teenagers, the police could advise them to go back to their classes.”
R Sharmila, professor at the Philosophy Department, Sanskrit University, Kalady, had a different opinion. “All of this boils down to looking at women as sexual objects. They are viewed as a walking-talking ‘body’ that a man can take advantage of, whenever he wants,” she said.
Talking about the umpteen religious embargos on women in their everyday lives, she added that our society is taking a consumerist attitude towards the womenfolk. Regarding moral policing, there is nothing ‘right’ about anyone trying to become a moral authority, she said.
“Educating your children about body, gender and sex should begin at home. I have a 15-year-old son with whom I discuss everything under the sun. It’s when you put a curb on their curious minds that leads to problems,” she said.
Sharmila also said that instead of joining hands with these self-proclaimed vigilantes, the police should have warned the people sitting at Marine Drive. “Everybody has the right to choose once they are above 18 years of age. And I did not see any pictures of minors at the venue,” she said. Raghuram Menon, an Inspector of Central Excise, and a father of two young boys, said that such heinous acts shouldn’t be encouraged at any cost. “Our children are well aware of the consequences or repercussions of their doings,” he said.
“They are smart and well-aware. If two young adults are found to be sitting in a free (public) space, no one has the right to question them, not even the police, unless they are found to be indulging in sexual activities.” He added that parents cannot hold a cane and control the lives of their children, for they can very well come up with better plans to outdo us. “So, all you can do is give them the freedom and your trust, so that they don’t misue it,” he said.