Social & Cultural
Where kissing has to stop...
In one of the most densely populated cities in the world, there are few places that offer a safe place for young lovers, who are constrained by cultural conservatism and the constant glare of relatives. Indian couples steal kisses and exchange whispers in the most intimate setting available such as a stretch of reclaimed land protruding into the sea around Bombay, but this act is enough to get them arrested.
In 2007, there were more than 100 couples rounded up by police for activities that in a Western society would be regarded as innocent. However, in India kissing in public is technically illegal, so the couples were taken away in vans and fined up to 1,200 rupees for indulging in “obscene” behavior and forced to endure the humiliation of calling their parents from behind bars.
“Critics say the outburst of moral policing is evidence of an inherent insecurity among Hindu nationalists and the elder generation about the breakneck speed of social change.” Dr. Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research in Delhi said, “India is modernizing and we, as a society, are not coping with the new-found confidence of boys and girls to be together openly.”
It has been a confusing time for modern Indian youth, who are bombarded by the advertising industry with images of sexual freedom, but obligated by social norms to reject them. However, there have been comments made by young Indians that agree with police action such as 20-year-old woman saying, “Hugging and kissing looks bad. I think you should wait for all physical things until after you are married.”
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