Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For our own good.

Watching NDTV report on 'Bangalore Bleeding' made me very angry. And also pleased me.

I am ALWAYS happy to see citizens waking up to their right to freedom. I hope they go to the court and win their freedom to dance, and if they please drink till the wee hours of morning.
I really don't see why we let our semi-literate, corrupt politicians to interfere in our personal lives. First there was this law in Mumbai, that stopped young people below 21 from drinking. I am totally against young people below 21 drinking, I wish there was no drinking or drugs or liquor production at all...(that's a different post) but I would never want a Police man/law/politician to make drinking by them a crime. And why 21? If they can vote, if girls can marry and have children before 21! Why give the government the authority to decide what's good or not good, for our children (and us).
Drunker Driving -they don't control.
Illicit Liquor sale near all slums, and resulting crimes by men of all ages they cannot control.

And then they go all out to implement archaic, long forgotten laws against young adults in clubs, pubs, restaurant and discos who drink in reasonably controlled and safe environment of these places. And my friend Anju who has two wonderful boys believes "it's for our good", otherwise "These boys will get spoiled! " So, I wonder - How many of us believe that BANS on drinking, smoking, cell phones (that's the limit) will help us raise better children?
(stopping smoking in all public places is a Non Smokers' right, and a different matter, I am only against the State trying to tell us what is good for us.)

Ban against the use of cell phones by children, in some parts of India, is another such attempt to tell us what's good for us. Both my kids carry mobiles (and I will have no peace if they didn't!). When they go for coaching classes, when they walk back home or are being driven home in school buses - I would like to know we can get in touch in any emergency (often created by the same, above mentioned politicians etc)....A government that does not manage to feed it's children is concerned about their falling grades due to use of mobiles!!!

I also feel a citizen's sexuality is not the State's business and was happy to see Gays and lesbians are fighting for their rights. and they have all my (however little) support.

Would you rather the Police and the Politicians controlled your children? And frankly, CAN they? If 21 year olds insist on drinking despite their parents' displeasure, do you think fear of the law is going to stop him/her? And would you like the Police to take action if your 21 old was caught drinking?
And who is this Police? How will you ensure it is not someone like Sunil More -the Policeman who raped a minor on Marine Drive? Or the bunch that investigated Aarushi's murder? Our Police Force has countless such samples.

I think our moral values are OUR business, not Constable Sunil More, Modi, Advani, Raj Thakre, Pappu Yadav or their likes. I know some of us believe these laws are good for us...

Bangalore does not !
All the best to them :)


D said...

Very difficult to say what's right and wrong here. But there has to be an enforcement agency to implement what is good for the larger interest of the society. Again, who decides what's good or not is debatable. But then, the election of a government by public mandate means that we have reposed our trust in these representatives of the people and believe they know what's good for us as a society. It's ironic though that none of that seems to hold true these days.

Mampi said...

I am all for individual freedom while believing that my duty automatically becomes your right and vice-versa. As long as one's right does not mess with another's, there is no other authority that can or should actually interfere. There was a time when we pasted notices around campuses CELL PHONES NOT ALLOWED, now I announce to keep cell phones on meeting mode in the class so that the lecture does not get disturbed. Its time we recognized the change in the times. Alcoholism has done enough damage to kids even when not indulged in by under-age kids. The only line that can be drawn is at the family level. I might sound old fashioned, but it is on samskar-level that we can make a change.

Pinku said...


you have really picked up a lot many issues in one post. Ok, here's my take on the issue.

The government can and should educate everyone about the ill effects of liquor/smoking/mobile phones/sex without condoms etc etc. After that it should be left to the individual to decide what he or she decides to do or not do. However if someone breaks the law as in does rash driving after drinking, or smokes in a no-smoking zone the person should be heavily dealt with so that others are warned. At that time a bribe of Rs.50 shouldn't be enough to make them turn the other way.

Bravo Bangalore...lage raho!!!

chandni said...

isnt it strange that in a country where we can vote in the govt at 18, we're not allowed to make a choice about drinking till 25?

Aaarti said...

I somehow get the feeling kids these days get influenced very easy and fall prey to that... i mean, the number of kids(girls too) smoking, some of who look not more than 14-15...

the Govt, cops, schools NEED to educate people about living life in a good way- teach them ill effects of drugs, AIDS, unprotected sex, driving while drunk etc... but the kids should also be taught to use their brains n act wisely...

its like they say- you can take a horse to the water, but you cant make him drink!!! :)

cellphone usage=- well, i feel its the adults who need a lesson on how to use the phones.. gets on my nerves when it rings during movies, concerts, imp functions etc...!!!
nice post!!!

Unmana said...

I'm coming over again to say I strongly agree with you. The government should keep out of people's personal lives and ensure basic infrastructure. The police should see that other people aren't harmed due to some people's unlawful activities, and keep out of 'victimless crimes'.

I wonder if this is an easy way out: if fewer people are out at night, we don't have to bother makin sure streets are safe.

Anonymous said...

I hate moral policing by people who are incompetent or are overstepping their authority. In fact, I got into a huge issue with Kid#2's school because they wanted parents to sign undertakings stating that we would curfew TV viewing. I just told them to do their job and let us do ours.

Anonymous said...

i agree the govt needs to make laws..but they need to be sensible ones..curbing individuality and individual choices shudnt be on their agenda

@lankr1ta said...

Lets ban blogging also
it is unproductive, while we are at it

Indian Home Maker said...

@D I basically object to government overstepping its authority and forcing personal opinions and prejudices on us. We are not retards, we know what TV channels we wish to watch...etc When we give our government too much authority to interfere in our lives, then they misuse it. See how Sunil More (in Marine Drive rape case in the police station) misused his authority, he told the students they were behaving obscenely!

@Mampi I totally AGREE :)it's a pleasure to read such clarity of thoughts...

@Pinku I totally AGREE :) Like Unmana said, the government should keep out of 'victim less crimes' -they only benefit the cops.

@Chandni Our brilliant law makers! It's outrageous!!!

@arti I agree, educating is welcome...but these guys LOVE banning? If we give these guys our fingers they will grab our whole arms :) We need to ban hate breeding organisations, bandhs, custodial rapes, crime in politics, rigged elections, poverty ...Educating is done much better by concerned social organisations, media, parents etc. Our elected representatives are always trying to become our RULERS.

@Unmana Yes, 'victimless crimes' was the phrase I was looking for :) Thanks!You know Cannaught Place was safer when the markets were open till late at night, then they made them close, at I think it was 7 pm..and it used to get so lonely, I think for women, it is safer if there is lots of activity all night long.

@phoenixritu Exactly how I feel. Our schools an our government are forever over stepping their authority. We PAY our schools to educate our children and soon they are telling us what to give them in their tiffin, and how girls (yes) should not wear high skirts and spaghetti straps. We need strong parents to curb this.

@mandira They don't make laws, they just BAN! And our personal lives are NOT their business..Police misuses the power such bans give them.

@@lankrita :)They will LOVE to ban blogging!Some schools in Mumbai banned their students from using Orkut because, they alleged, the students were writing obscene comments against the teachers. I don't think this kind of total control is right. What would they have done if the comments were written by students of other schools?

@lankr1ta said...

IHm I wonder how they came to know about the Orkut comments.. which of the teachers was on Orkut?

Indian Home Maker said...

@lankrita Teachers are allowed on Orkut :) Some (my kids and their friends told me this) 'warn' them their scraps are being 'monitored'...while I totally disapprove of any kind of obscene comments against ANYONE, I don't see how a school can put a ban on Orkut or anything! The Bombay schools, if I remember correctly, which did, were Bombay Scottish, St Thomas, Narsee Monjee...maybe we can Google for correct info.
But let me assure you the kids must have continued with different names and ids, they learn how to get around such authoritarianism fast.

Oreen said...

just wanted to say am reading u...

SiD said...

well.. first time on a home-maker's blog in 3 years of my blogging !! :)

regd the issue of 'law', I saw Atlas Shrugged as one of your fav books.
Rand says in that.. laws are made to make us feel guilty of something...something which MAY be right.. but which is not good for the lawmakers.. dont know after reading this, instead of thinking abt how the law wud affect us.. I wonder how is this going to benefit the lawmaker..
May be another tool by the aged politicians to reign in the Power of youth.. just giving them an excuse to let us feel guilty of some more things!!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Oreen :)

@Sid I agree, these laws are made to benefit the lawmaker :) But we must (at the least) refuse to feel guilty!

Anonymous said...

Hi, visiting your blog for the first time. A good attempt :)

I found something really interesting... You have written "Both my kids carry mobiles (and I will have no peace if they didn't!)."

Tell me something, when we were growing up, there were no mobiles. But, our parents made peace with it right? Not just that, dont you think mobile phones are more of a nuisance than a help!?

Indian Home Maker said...

@Worldthrumyeyes Not at all, I don't think mobiles are a nuisance. I think I am eternally greatful to technology for creating a tool that keeps me connected to my family. My dad made us all buy mobiles as soon as they became affordable, and we were in touch all the time. When I locked myself out of my new car, he could guide me. I could call a mechanic to help me once when the car just stopped...when my daughter's bus broke down she could call me and I could pick her immediately. When the News of July 2007 train blasts came on TV, I could only relax after my husband could call me (at first all lines were jammed)...I think it has became a habit /fashionable to criticize TV, antibiotics, cellphones, internet etc. Worldthrumyeyes I always tell my kids, how difficult it was to get a phone connection when we were young, and how lucky we all are today ....
Everything that is useful is likely to have some misuses. Our grand parents had no telephones, electricity, internet, but they survived...does it mean we should do the same? Do you know Pressure Cooker and Cooking Gas were criticized for not cooking like the good old chulha when they first came?
The post is actually about government focusing on doing their job, not on RULING us , they forget they are our elected representatives, they think they are our rulers! Government should leave 'victimless crimes' alone.