Godwin’s Law: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”
Priya’s Indian adaptation: “As any public debate rages on, the probability of a comparison involving the Taliban approaches one.”
Any instance of the government even slightly showing muscle in matters that involve personal law or society at large, and there you go! You start encountering phrases like “Talibanization of Indian Society”.
Nowhere else has it been this pronounced as it is in the rebel yell against the 11:30 PM deadline in Bangalore. Bangalore Times, which has embraced this cause as its own, has daily columns by local celebrities (which it has created itself over the past few years, for use in situations like these) which scream again and again about how brutal the administration is.
No big deal… there are whiners always.
But what struck me is that no one, not a single soul has gone about this issue in a sensible way. Any wannabe party-goer immediately denounces the whole deal as Taliban. No one takes the point of view of the police, or the government. And worse, they treat this like it’s a decision of the City Police… why isn’t anyone seeing that they merely implement the law, not frame it! If they really did have an issue, they should stop conducting toothless campaigns like these (which only serve to tarnish the name of the city police… for doing their duty) and take the matter up in court.
The problem with this sort of approach is that the real issues are lost in the din. Has anyone bothered to check if there is a real reason behind the implementation of this law? No, I don’t mean the one that says the authorities love to Talibanize the city. Possibly the one that says that most of the dancing that goes on is done for money… I mean the bar girls. Flesh trade forms a major portion of the earnings of the seedier joints. And these also serve as hubs of extortion… you get the idea.
And then you have cases of drunken driving.
Now how is a short-staffed force supposed to deal with this? Especially since most of the owners of seedy joints are well-connected. And so are the drunk drivers. No, don’t say education is the answer… how many drunk drivers are illiterate? How many drunk people actually hail an autorickshaw to go home? Booking them hasn’t been effective so far.
There might have been a Justice For Jessica campaign, and Nanda might have been finally convicted, but who knows how many Jessicas have gone unnoticed? Can there be a media campaign for each victim of drunken misbehaviour? And is each campaign guaranteed to work? Is a media campaign the only way of ensuring justice?
if the answer to the last one is yes, it’s a very sad day indeed for the country. The Mafia-ization of India will be complete.
So… well… I’m not arguing drinking is evil. There are people who think drinking rocks, and yet another sizeable population which doesn’t quite agree. And the former group imposing their point of view on the latter is as good an example of Talibanization as the other way around.
So now how do the authorities strike a balance? I suppose “Greater good to the greatest number of people” is a common-enough heuristic to use. And an outright ban seems to give the authorities some teeth to deal with the hubs of flesh trade.
And I suppose not being able to drink in a public place after 11:30 PM is a small price to pay when you compare it to the number of girls being dragged away from their home villages and being sold. Surely the party-goers of Bangalore can afford to make a small sacrifice for this greater good?
PS: There are so many points being made in favour of bar girls, bar dancing, and legalizing prostitution. Now before you even think of saying something on those lines, give this a thought. Prostitution is legal in Germany. Sehr gut, these BgT celebrities will say, showing off what they learnt last Saturday at Max Mueller Bhavan. But then, when Angelika Hannehmann files for unemployment benefits due to an IT industry slowdown, the folks there will say, why do we need to pay you unemployment benefits? You can quite easily earn money! Prostitution is too a profession!