Look at this attitude:
#1. “This is how I live. This is the right way of living. You have to live like me”
Many problems in India come from the above attitude. Many Indians believe they have an idea what a good and moral life is, and they believe they lead such a good and moral life that they take the next step of imposing it onto others. Contrast the above attitude with the one below:
#2. “This is how I live. That is how you live. You live your life. I will live mine”
We would solve many social problems with attitude #2. However, most Indians go with attitude #1 because we tend to believe that we Indians lead a moral life which derives its strength from our Indianness or Hinduness, and we believe it is our prerogative to safeguard our lifestyle by imposing it onto others and correcting other’s lifestyles.
The current imbroglio on Khap panchayat’s honor killings stem from the same attitude – ‘we know better and we will teach you how to live’. Many commenters on my blog continue to reflect the same attitude when it comes to many issues. Here is a comment from the post “Thou shall not eat beef!”
I have been a vegetarian for more than 20 years because I am philosophical. If they decide to ban non-vegetarian food, I would cheer them.
Banning of beef will bring only good results in the long run. It is a well known fact that red meat eaters are more prone to fatal diseases like cancer, heart problems etc. So banning beef means a more healthier population in the future.
The message is very clear. ‘I have found out what is good for me. I would like to get everyone to embrace my lifestyle by banning their lifestyles’.
In another episode, morally-conscious Indians tried to impose their lifestyle onto others by filing 22 criminal charges against Khusbhoo, an actress who condoned pre-marital sex. Our laws are still so loosely interpreted that any Tom, Dick and Harry with extremely sensitive and narrow outlook on life gets a chance to harass anyone who expresses a different opinion.
We had to bring Supreme Court in to say that it is perfectly legal for couples to live-in and have pre-marital sex to save Khusbhoo from such harassment. We also need a freedom from such harassment from every hypersensitive cretin. In Khusbhoo’s case, the court asked the prosecutor why it is wrong to have consensual sex and why it is wrong to have a live in relationship.
Please tell us what is the offence and under which section... Living together is a right to life.
How does it concern you? We are not bothered. At the most it is a personal view. How is it an offence? Under which provision of the law?
Of course the morally upright Indians were not happy with the ruling. Here are some comments from THE HINDU:
There may not be a law to prohibit pre-marital sex but it is a perceived and largely accepted and practised moral norm in India. Even western countries hold India's ethos in high esteem. The court's opinion is sure to send wrong signals to young men and women.
The observations would not only obscure certain basic moral values but also expose young people to erroneous ideas about pre-marital sex. With the growing jurisprudential subtlety between legal and moral distinctions, there cannot be an explicit legal recognition of such deviant behaviour which is contrary to right reason and public morality.
These Indians are unhappy about the ‘wrong signals’ this ruling sends, but nobody wants to defend the right of Kushbhoo to have air personal opinions. Indians don’t understand what our fundamental rights are. Therefore, they take every opportunity to impose onto others what they think is right for them. They confuse morality with legality. That’s why we see so many ridiculous legal cases that harass an individual, either it is Khushboo airing her personal views on pre-marital sex, Taslima being critical of her religion or M F Husain painting Hindu goddesses in nude.
During the topic on legalizing homosexuality, Indians opposed the pronouncements of the Supreme Court.
The Fundamental Rights enshrined in our Constitution are not without moral boundaries or ethical concern for society's welfare.
The biggest problem with Indians is that they don’t understand where the morality ends and where legality starts. Everything that is immoral according to one’s upbringing cannot be illegal – they need to understand this hard, otherwise we will continue to have harassment of individuals in this country whenever they air their contrarian opinion.
Some of these peevish Indians, who have taken it upon themselves to defend the Greatest Culture, want the judges to reverse their opinion.
It is not too late for the judges to reverse their opinion, taking into account the ground realities.
In the last few years, the renowned artist MF Husain was harassed by hundreds of legal cases, where the police and the state governments haunted him incessantly. He had to flee the country eventually. What a sad nation we have created – an artist cannot live here, an author cannot live here, an actress cannot air her opinion.
A modern nation is founded on one of the beliefs that people have different lifestyles and different opinion and that is the obligation of that nation to defend the person who appears to be different. However unpalatable that view is, we should not suppress that voice. However deviant that behavior it is, we should not ban it.
We have copied modern institutions into this country but we do not know how to protect them and maintain them, exactly the way we copy the roads and bridges from developed countries but do not know how to protect them or maintain them.
Indians have a long way to go before they can create a modern nation. They lack the maturity to deal with contrarian views and different behaviors. They want everyone to be like them – they want everyone to eat vegetables and shun nude goddesses, and have sex only when it is consented by the marriage. And if anyone is different, they want to kick them out or ban those behaviors.