Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who is right?

In Mangalore, pub goers are assaulted by an unknown group which calls itself the Ram sene. Their “crime”; spreading indecency and promoting pub culture.

Moral policing in our country, which traditionally has been called a tolerant culture that prides in accepting every thing with open arms, is not a new phenomenon. Every year one or the other group emerges in a part of this country and purports an ideology that violates the rights of the very individual that they seek to protect.

Ram Sena, Shiv Sena, Maharastra Navnirman Sena all these ‘sena’ follow the same ideology; to somehow impose their ideology on the common mass.

One of them is against the pubs, one of them is against the westernization of expressing love and one of them finds the concept of regionalism too hard to resist.

When these conglomeration of chauvinist come out on street to show and pursue their intent the result is trampling of rights; rights that accrue to a human being because he/she is a human being, not because they are prescribed under any law.

Right to enjoy life, right to express feelings, right to interact with members of the opposite sex, right of not to be manhandled, right of not being degraded and humiliated and many such innumerable rights are violated, trampled in the most bizarre way.

The surprising and the sad part is that it’s just not the illiterate section of the society that are associated with such chauvinism but these groups have supporters from the educated class too. Working class, students support this ideology and find nothing offensive in whatever they do. So is the theory that education opens the mind, a myth?

Is this not like the classical scenario of a fight between the ‘right’ and the ‘wrong’. The good and the evil? For followers of the 'Senas' the moral and the regional policing that they are practicing is correct. Their critics will give them hundred reasons to put forward their point but in the same breath the supporters will point out hundred and one reason to prove that they are right.

It is the personal perception that defines what is right and what is not. And then it is personal sensitivity that determines which of the two ‘right’ one will veer towards. But sometimes we ignore the fact that it’s the personal sensitivity that shapes up the sensitivity of the society and the nation as a whole.

Empowerment means the right to decide. Let everything be decided by those who have to take the call. The concept of state and citizens right emerges from this very notion; the right to choose without fear and without favour.

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