Every single time a moral policing issue comes up in India, there is an oft-asked question from the ‘moral police’ or the supporters of the moral police – “would you let your mother/sister/wife/daughter?” – and that question is appealing to a larger fraction of the society because the social morals of this patriarchal society, especially when it comes to women, are decided by men.
The answer from the ‘liberal’ camp (except a few) to this question would usually be blunt, going by the politically-correct statements, like “it’s not for me to decide, but for my mother/sister/wife/daughter to decide whether they want to go”. Well, I agree that’s how it should be but I’m also suspecting how honest that answer is, to come from a society like ours.
I support the events like “Kiss of Love“, that is now in the news, in protest of the moral policing by BJP’s youth wing in Kozhikode, not because I would ‘let go’ the women in the family, or ‘not let go’, or ‘let them decide’ (basically just saying that I don’t know what I would do if it was on me, because even though I would like to think of myself as a conservative-in-transformation, it is a big struggle within myself to come out of my somewhat-moderate-but-still-conservative upbringing). I support such protests because regardless of what answer that a conservative or liberal comes up with to such a question, based on their own morals, we as a society has the responsibility to protect the individual’s freedom as long as it is not harmful to those who involved or others. The nation and it’s legal/police system also shares that responsibility. And when we fail to do that, we fail as an evolving society, or as human beings.