Banish the guardians of morality

Few days ago there were reports that Muthalik, leader of a local right-wing group is keen to spread his wings and introduce his own brand of moral policing in the adjoining state of Goa. The otherwise peaceful Goa was aghast, the Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Goans in one voice have made it clear they don’t want this man or his moral policing disturbing the secular fabric of the peaceful state. With BJP in power in Goa, Muthalik felt he would be welcome in Goa.

Until a few years ago nobody had heard of him. It is only after the BJP came to power in 2008 in Karnataka has he raised his head. He came into the limelight with the earlier pub attack. In 2009 – on January 24, forty activists claiming to belong to Sri Rama Sene, a right-wing Hindu fundamentalist group assaulted young men and women at a pub in broad daylight, saying that these youngsters were violating traditional values.

On July 28, as per reliable sources, a group of youngsters comprising eight boys and five girls, celebrating a birthday party were assaulted, molested and robbed by a mob claiming to belong to Hindu Jagarana Vedike, a right-wing organization. The police arrived on the scene after nearly half an hour and arrested eight people, including ring leader Subash Padil. On July 30, colleges remained shut as students protested against the incident urging police to take swift action. Satyajit Suratkal, Southern head of Hindu Jagarana Vedike, denied that his group had planned the attack, but he admitted that some attackers, such as Padil were its members.

Times have changed, so should traditions. Who are they to judge and arrogantly undertake moral policing, by attacking soft targets – students going to pubs or celebrating birthday parties. The street-smart attackers are either, small-time local goons and uneducated youths who are used by these petty leaders and so called guardians of morality, are coaxed to sabotage and attack in the name of Indian culture and tradition. Is it Indian culture to attack youths having fun? Who are they to decide, what is good and what is bad for Indian society. The authorities should act promptly and take strict action against the perpetrators of this ghastly act.

Mangalore, a fast developing city is known to be an educational hub, with major companies and IT giants like Infosys having their corporate offices. Mangalore is in a state of shock and it is in danger of losing its status as a peaceful student city where student from all over India and foreign countries come to study in the numerous top colleges and educational institutions. The self-appointed moral policing should be banished.

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