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Updated: August 3, 2012 15:24 IST

Nothing wrong in Mumbai Police imposing ‘right values’

V. Gangadhar
Comment (48)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

MUMBAI'S MORAL POLICE How many of the suffering citizens of Mumbai, have either the facilities or the cash for this sort of "night life"?

A farmhouse at Igatpuri, near Mumbai yielded six skeletons. Expensive flats in posh suburbs at Andheri and Oshiwara were scenes of gruesome murders. Mumbai no longer needs horror movies or comics. Open the newspapers every morning, the horror stories hit you. Not just murder, but decapitation and further mutilation. A disgruntled man thought nothing of bashing to death six members of his family and burying their bodies. The inside pages have more — rave parties, chain snatchings (seven within two hours one day), rape, molestation and its lesser version called eve teasing on the roads, buses and suburban trains. Human life is cheap, people are killed over negligible amounts and minor irritations. Others meet the same fate for no reasons whatsoever.

That is today’s Mumbai. Its streets were once supposed to be paved with gold. In fact, the roads are full of potholes. As the city’s under-strength, underpaid and overworked police force struggle to handle the crime situation, a few people (Mr. Sidharth Bhatia in his article “Maximum City’s morality play,” editorial page, The Hindu, July 7, 2012) complain that police excesses against citizens who want to have fun and entertainment have affected the city’s night life, halting its progress to become a global metropolis.

How does a city qualify as “global metropolis”? By its smooth roads, clean environment, efficient transport, or what Mr. Bhatia calls its “night life”? How many of the suffering citizens of Mumbai, have either the facilities or the cash for this sort of “night life”? People here work hard, every stage of their daily routine is filled with problems and the one thing they need at night is peace and quiet. But even this is scarce because a minority with too much money and too little public awareness want to make a nuisance of themselves. When the police intervene, the cry goes up against “moral policing.”

For the past two months or so, Mumbai police has been active in raiding bars, breaking up parties which went on and on and checking the licences of restaurants, drinking joints and night clubs. They are only trying to enforce already existing laws being broken every night with impunity by the celebrity crowd that believed they were above the law. A Preity Zinta, Deepika Padukone or Farhan Akthar think they can carry on birthday celebrations or housewarming parties with loud music and dancing till 3 or 4 a.m. Finally the police stepped in only when other residents complained.

Socialite Parmeshwar Godrej’s party for U.S. TV star, Oprah at Juhu would have gone on until the morning but for police intervention. Mind you, the police stepped in only reluctantly. Celebrities have “high connections” both in the police and the media. Very often, reporting in the celebrity media is heavily biased, painting the police as kill joys breaking up innocent parties and ignoring major crimes.

Mr. Bhatia made several references to Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble, presenting him as a hockey stick-wielding maniac. He is accused of arresting innocent women on charges of prostitution. He has barged into parties and bars demanding to check their licences and whether drugs were being consumed. The hockey stick was no doubt there, but there are no reports of Mr. Dhoble using it. TV channels went to town with Mr. Dhoble, who enjoys the full backing of his commissioner. More and more people who have had their sleep and peace of mind disturbed by rowdy elements thronging the discos also back him.

Of course, the police did make mistakes. Why on earth did they barge into an Andheri Club and arrest some senior citizens quietly playing bridge? Women in bars enjoying a drink are not call girls. Not everyone at a rave possesses drugs. There was no need to arrest and fine courting couples (mostly holding hands).

Mr. Dhoble and other officers should brief their men on what is legal and what is not. Many of the current liquor laws are out of date and silly. But the police have to operate on what the rule book prescribes.

I am not a prude attacking “night life.” My two daughters were brought up in the city, did go out at nights (we kept awake till they returned), chose their own subjects of study as well as their own life partners. Being liberal is a state of mind, not boozing or dancing to the tunes of celebrity culture. Let us get rid of the pseudo sophistication that associates cosmopolitanism with drinking alcohol.

Forty years ago when I settled down in Mumbai from Gujarat, my friends from “dry” Ahmedabad while visiting me expected something more than tea, coffee or soft drinks. In surprised and injured tones they queried, “Thame drinks letha nathi, aah tho Mumbai chhe. (Why don’t you drink? This is Mumbai”). I had fallen in their esteem.

(V. Gangadhar is a Mumbai-based columnist.)

Sidharth Bhatia reponds

More In: Comment | Opinion

When you write an article, please get your facts right. Mr. Dhoble, has used the hockey stick at a roadside juice centre (Amar Juice Center, Juhu), where there was no prostitution, drugs or alcohol. The footage was captured on CCTV cameras installed and shown on NDTV.

And if your concern is that the "facilities and cash for this kind of lifestyle" are there with only a few people, that is the case for 5 star hotels, luxury fashion brands, super cars. Why should the rich be apologetic about their wealth? Or not be able to spend the money they earn working hard??

And if bars in a residential locality is a nuisance, go after the the 20 odd government departments who authorised it to come up in the first place!! Not the owners or the patrons..

Immoral and illegal activities happen even on the road. A good example is drug addicts consuming drugs behind BEST bus stops(at bandra station). Nobody bothers with them coz they have no money to pay corrupt cops and the news won't make headlines..

from:  sandeep
Posted on: Jul 16, 2012 at 12:02 IST

I fully support Mr. Gangadhar's article. just check out how many of
our mumbai people are daily caught by the RTO in case of drunk driving
coming out of these bars / pubs / late night parties. then you have
people like Salman Khan / Arbaaz Khan's driver / Fardeen Khan's drug
act / S Kumar's son, who have committed crime and still not punished
by our law. Liberalism doesn't mean we should ape the only dirty
things out of western culture but learn to ape the finest things from
them. Today if our son/daughter gets caught in such raids we will only
try our best to protect them and see that they are out of such mess
but not even think that it is only we who in the name of liberalism
and that people do not call us backward thinking turn a blind eye to
our children's straying habits and support them in the name of
modernism. I fully back mumbai police for such excellent crackdown.
Let the rich and famous feel ashamed.

from:  Shridhar Yadav
Posted on: Jul 15, 2012 at 08:03 IST

There was a comment about Netherlands being the epitome of "liberal" society - and how even legalizing marijuana has not led the youths their "astray".
I should little more information to the comment above. Netherlands has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies and divorces in the world. Apparently, our "liberal" citizens here want us to ape that as well. Their solutions to social problems are found only in West, they are never set in Indic context. Such is the level of intellectual discourse in India, that any action or policy is only condemned or praised with reference to Western contexts and paradigm. Why should India be equated with the society of Netherlands? Why should Indian laws set to be at par with what the West prescribes? With all due respect to liberals, Dhoble is just doing the job that Police all over the country should have been doing long back. Pushing him back in name of liberalism will only degrade the society further.

from:  Sagar
Posted on: Jul 14, 2012 at 22:28 IST

Vasanth Dhoble has been in the news over the past few weeks,
having sparked outrage among netizens, eminent

personalities and the youth with his raids on Mumbai’s popular
nightspots. He has been accused by his severest

critics of trying to Taliban-ise Mumbai. While a Facebook page called
'Dhoble - Oppressor of the Innocent Public'

has 20,000 members ,writer and commentator Pritish Nandy has described
him as 'Public Enemy No 1' on Twitter.

The actions of Vasant Dhoble are just. It would be unfair to term his
acts as moral policing. People in the

entertainment business, both in India and abroad, believe that they
can get away with anything by greasing some

palms. When an honest cop like Dhoble comes along and tries to uphold
the rule of law, a huge hue and cry is raised

and his actions are touted as unjust. Regardless of whether India’s
laws are archaic, it is the police’s job to enforce

them. If laws governing people are considered outdated, then they need
to be amended. This is the responsibility of

the legislature. The police ought to be allowed to do their job.

from:  J.S.Acharya
Posted on: Jul 14, 2012 at 19:16 IST

The Hindu's " editorial policy" published in this issue says its values have not changed over the years. It's quite true, one can understand that from V Gangdhar's article justifying poice atrocities on innocent youngsters visitng restaurants and night clubs in Mumbai.

from:  laxmi
Posted on: Jul 14, 2012 at 10:10 IST

I could not still understand the view of my fellow citizens. What is wrong in a boy or girl enjoying a drink in a club or bar at anypoint of time. Is it simply because the holy books condemn we should not give that fundamental rights to our children. What a wrong in an adult girl or boy having consensual sex with someone they like until and than they are contractullay obliged to another partner in terms of marriage. All that we need to teach our children is to protect from sexually transmitted disease and avoid getting pregnant. No other restriction is necessary in 21st century. I hope that the Indian mind will change in the coming generations.

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 23:44 IST

Thank you Mr. Gangadhar for writing this article. I agree that there is nothing wrong with regulating activities that lower human inhibitions and can make perfectly normal people commit crimes. Tough regulation of such activity should not be seen as Talibanization. I also agree that a significant part of the elite in our cities is deeply insensitive to the impact its activities have on the hard-working part of the society.

By the way, in the last paragraph of his original article, Siddharth Bhatia made a boo-boo. He said that when dance bars were closed down, many women employed there had no choice but to become prostitutes. Seriously Mr Bhatia? Do you even believe the truth of what you write? There is much that is wrong with our country but to say that Dance-bar employment and prostitution are the only choices available to the unskilled segment of Mumbai's female population is not just deeply offensive but totally wrong. Are you really a liberal Mr. Bhatia?

from:  Pavan
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 23:25 IST

Yes,some people drink and create nuisance but everyone has the right
to decide whether they want to drink or not.People should realize themselves that they live in a community where they need to think not
only about themselves but also about the society as a whole.Yes,strict
action should be taken against people who are guilty.But, generalizing
that everyone is breaking the rules is also not right.And we all know
that the police in India has to do a lot for the safety of women and
others.So,i think the night life should go on with some better rules
by the police so that not only people are safe and comfortable but
also they can enjoy.

from:  isha takkar
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 22:48 IST

The police need to do their duty and implement the law. Not just with regard to night life but from all aspects of society which really does not happen when it comes to the rich and mighty. Will the police pull over the driver who is talking on the phone if he is driving a car belonging to a politician or a relative - a call will set them free, Sleeping on the road is illegal - what are the police doing. Then they blame the driver of an actor - The death is a result of the police not doing their duty... Please do your duty in all aspects - If that happens India will be a better place to live in....

from:  Christopher
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 22:05 IST

Mr Dhoble - you deserve kudos. Today's celebrities have started forcing their clout on the public at large - They have acquired from the public - have given back very little and now want to the laws of the land to acceed to their machinations.
No one in this land can call himself liberal just because he follows or copies west. Why such disputes show their ugly head only in Mumbai or at times in Delhi. It speaks volumes about the mindset of the so called "Societe".
Why can these uber rich not do their partying without disturbing others - and since the crowd at such parties are in large numbers only jungles are lft now where they can be held - (for the junglees)
By quoting the laws of west they forget the values of East. Unable to give away what they have acquired these worms of Indian Social Quagmeire need to be weeded out and the police is the only solution to tackle this.
Netherland and Denmark and what not - these countries are fighting their own drug doping citizens et al

from:  Narayan
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 18:39 IST

Taliban thinks exactly like V Gangadhar. There are Taliban among Tamil
Brahmins as well

from:  Raja Sen
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 17:39 IST

I am 24 and a B.tech student. Many people in my college do drug abuse
and drink excessively. Its a nuisance and NORMAL( if you want to know
the difference between people who do not drink excessively go to a
rehabilitation centre in Punjab) people feel insecure. Abusers have
stolen many laptops and mobiles to maintain their cash demand fulfilled.
We would be happy to see a police officer like him in our area. Thanks
for the article sir.

from:  Abhinaw
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 17:02 IST

great article with very strong opinions which must be thought about...it
is high time we do strict moral policing and salvage India from the
clutches of western practices...I am a woman and have worked in the
corporates around the world for over 15 years and yet believe in being
the right mix of eastern and western values...we can't afford to put our
country to shame and see it getting ruined in front of our
eyes...whoever is not understanding this will see their wards going the
same way not too late from now...

from:  Maha
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 15:45 IST

We live in a country full of contradictions & double standards. The
governments both at the federal and state level is made of the rich,
powerful and elite. We have over 1.4 million child prostitutes in
India, and yet turn a blind eye to the issue. Women and men are
routinely arrested for "prostitution", and end up in jail unless they can cough up bag fulls of money - the rich and powerful in that trade are never arrested. Middle class employees go to jail for being corrupt, while the super rich who are equally guilty of doing just that, are never in trouble. Then we have the cops, (also the "moral police") who believe that they know best what is good for society - their actions are based on their bias, prejudice and opinion, rather than the law.
Unless society changes, laws are amended to reflect current society, & applied as (as opposed to our personal views and prejudices), there will be 2 sets of them - one for the rich, and the other for the common man. It's that pure and simple.

from:  Mohan Narayanan
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 15:36 IST

Life is important than 'night-life'. Gangadhar, you are right and our heartfelt appreciations for you - for defending Dhoble in the time many vested interests carrying out national campaign against a man contributing his little to make the system better.

from:  Melsi
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 15:23 IST

It is unfortunate that The Hindu gives space to a a person who is not
even coherent in his thoughts. the editor might have thought - here it
is a view point that might challenge thinking. Hardly a view point at
all. According to Mr. Gangadhar, being liberal has been to let his
daughters go out & choose their life partners, while all those who
have parties and enjoy drinking need to be morally policed. He also
says how anybody in the middle calss can afford these jaunts. And
further Mr Gangadhar says that the Police are doing their job - the
Police are there to protect people & not put a streak of morality in
their policing. why shouldn't people who can afford to enjoy the way
they ant go ahead and do it? It's people like Mr Gangadhar with their
warped views who cannot understand societal changes that are amongst
decision making roles & hence the state of the country - a divergent
and schizophrenic situation that is filled with homophobic and
discriminatory thinking. Pity Mr.Gangadhar.

from:  Praveen Rao
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 15:05 IST

Five decades ago when I visited Mumbai for a few months I happened to
observe the energetic pace of the people who were rushing in all
directions with on some errands - for a youngster staying freely at a
friend's place there was opportunity to loiter around, browse through
the bookstalls, and enjoy varieties of food. The menace of the
thousands of loudspeakers blaring for days during "ganesh festival"
was the worst problem. There was no need for non vegetarian
food,liquor, drugs, or women at that time for me though temptations
were plenty and availability a lot. Over the years Shiv Sena
activists' behavior and other intrusions in the personal lives of
common people have created a bitter feeling for a "Madrasi" like me.
The cosmopolitan nature that prevailed once is not there.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 14:57 IST

The article appears on the day when the nation is outraged to read that a girl in Guwahati was stripped and molested in a busy area after she was apparently thrown out of the bar along with her friends at midnight. Nobody should question as to why the girl should be in a bar at that unearthly hour.Right ! ?
And we criticise Cops like Vasanth Dhoble !

from:  K.S.Jayatheertha
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 14:47 IST

I am having a little hard time understanding exactly what accusations are against Dhoble. Can someone please point it out to me?
I proudly salute to vasant dhoble... We really need such officers to clean night club dirtiness of our cities.
If the same scene was show in some Bollywood movie everyone would have applauded for it. But when it comes to reality People cant take it... ACP Dhoble is a perfect example of an ideal cop.. hats off to his efforts... we should at least learn to follow the rules......that's it what he wants to say

from:  J.AKSHOBHYA
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 14:45 IST

A pathetic attempt to be an advocate of the police and especially ACP Dhoble. Your statement that Dhoble should brief his men as to what is legal and what is not is truly laughable. The man himself is breaking all rules.

If the establishments do not have the required licences and permits, how do the patrons who go there will know? Why penalise, harass and arrest them?

In my view, Mr. Dhoble has been let loose by the Home Minister - the original moral policeman of Maharashtra, who seeks to impose his village values and morals on the rest of the society. Disgusting.

from:  Manohar Tandon
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 14:34 IST

It's a big joke of 21st century that Indian police is teaching the right moral for us. It's the worst organised and legalised criminal gang in the entire world. They are the worst offenders among the citizens and they never care about the law. They get monthly commision from the gangsters, history sheeeters and law breakers. Can we atleast show only one police in our entire country who is moral and don't take bribe. The main reason they go for raid is to collect the bribe or that particular people could not hve given the commission to the police before hand. But expecting commission even for some one drinking after midnight in his private home is bit too much. Until and than what I am doing in a private property doesn't interfere with the third citzens right, no one has the right to question me, until and than I am not doing something illegal.In the modern 21st century our law needs to be changed. Still following shariat law, british colonial law is foolish.

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 13:48 IST

It's amazing to know that drinking and dancing represent pseudo sophistication. This attitude exemplifies, at best, a narrow vision of Indian culture and, at worst, a Taliban mindset.

from:  Jojo
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 13:39 IST

Nice article. Sane view points. We need safe cities. Law and order must prevail. For the larger good of the society, it is necessary at times to wield the stick. I think the Mumbai police are doing a good thing, for the benefit of 99.99% of the population.

from:  deebee
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 13:29 IST

To me only question is whether law prevails? So we all know we live in a country where "Chalta hain" should be on our coins and not "Satyamev Jayate".
Everyone has some biases .... fine. Everyone has right to be entertained .... fine. But no right or no bias is above the law which is made for protecting rights of someone else.
Morality is individuals and families to chose. Society is a mask and cannot own or disown morality.
Liberty is fine and good ....... so will be the punishment if the liberty helps you to cross the law.

from:  Jayesh
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 13:22 IST

Nice article!

from:  Arun Sharma
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 13:14 IST

Agree with Mr.Gangadher.There is no doubt that Night Clubs,Pubs and Bars are open our entertainment but there are rules to be followed.When people cross the limit,break rules,think themselves above law under influence of money or outside support,only then Police is forced to take action.There might have been some mistakes by Police but performance of duty to give relief to public at night is appreciable and should continue.

from:  Ravindra Raizada
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 12:52 IST

Moral policing is all over this column itself... the author needs to reconcile to the fact that the waters have flown around him.

from:  DD
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 12:35 IST

I completely agree with comment of Mr. Kunal, if you hate something doesnot give any right to you to stop other for doing so. and Mr. Bhatia also wrote about the ligitimate way of enjoyment not any unlawful activities and the people going for such places are not naive.

from:  Mrunal
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 12:32 IST

I agree 100% with you, Mr. Gangadhar. Thank you.

from:  Sarvan
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 12:29 IST

Right inside your column is a direct validation of what the recent brouhaha is about.
Mumbai needs safety, better infrastructure and clean environment. What Mr Dhoble is reportedly doing brings none of these.
It does take away safety of people who are just sitting in bars without doing anything illegal.
And there is no justification for carrying a hockey stick. It hasn't been used, as you say, but surely the reason it is being wielded is to intimidate. Why else would he carry it? Is wielding a hockey to intimidate justified? Full backing of commissioner is no justification for any of the things he is doing. Who is the commissioner to impose moral values?
Not everything the police does is bad. It is right to stop parties which go beyond stipulated hours. But thats the only thing rightly done that you have mentioned.
The question is not just about what laws exist. It is about priorities. Should the police's priority be to do this?

from:  V G
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 12:25 IST

So true. We are currently visiting Chennai and reading the newspaper
here is such a refreshing change from the depressing copy that we wake
up to each morning in Mumbai! A ray of hope comes from a paper like the
Hindustan Times, which takes its role in building the future seriously
via very meaningful campaigns, however it too may be criticizes for
excessive reportage of negative stories, which to an extent nullify the
positive campaigns.

from:  anand desai
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 12:08 IST

The way in which Mr. Bhatia has criticized the linking of crime graph
with drinking without permit does not hold ground. First, some of the
rave-party-goers have mercilessly butchered people sleeping on
footpaths while returning; sole reason being they were drunken.
Second, illegal liquors and joints have direct connection with illegal
narcotic trade. This is the demand side of the problem which needs to
be curbed as well. Then, it is well known that in a residential area
loud music after 10pm is not allowed, so flagrant violation of such
laws must be stopped. Above all, before blaming the police we should
blame the laws themselves which are archaic and restricting freedom.
Any government servant is required to uphold the law and police has
direct responsibility for law & order failing which they can be
questioned.

from:  Abhishek Ranjan
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 11:59 IST

the writer has done a brilliant job pointing out the problem associated with mumbai, and to a lesser extent all of India. While there is no doubt that the police of our country do indulge in frequent excesses, what is an equal although less glorified truth is that a lot of things that happen at these parties are, well, illegal. There is a well cut out difference between moral policing and moral vandalism, and the police are simply trying to curb the latter, not impose the former.....

from:  abhishek
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 11:48 IST

Crime is an omnipresent thing. One cannot give that as a reason to crack down on parties. I mean just because the police cannot control crime does not mean they vent out their frustration on hapless, celebrating citizens. People here are overworked. And they deserve some respite in life. If that comes through partying, then the police is making things worse by playing spoil sport. There has to be a law. But creating an atmosphere where one would think twice before going to a club makes no sense at all.

from:  Chirag
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 11:43 IST

I think it is after ages I am reading an article penned by Shri Gangadhar. A decade back , with eagerness and warmth, I used to read Shri Gangadhar’s article in the Sunday Magazine when he used to reminisce his days in Gujarat or even extolling the simple TAIR SADAM sky high.
Besides who will not fully endorse the views expressed? After every passing year we are finding that our citizens are becoming all the more selfish, callous and unperturbed to the feelings of their co-citizens. Our middle class population is just dug into their iphones, ecstatic when somebody in the US or Europe claims India forging into a Super Power, never bother to examine or understand the multitude of problems blighting our nation. What they have to understand is that without respecting the sensibilities or feelings of our co-journeymen we can never attain any degree of worth or respect from anybody.

from:  Jacob Zachariah
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 11:42 IST

I really don't see the connection between the decadent lifestyles and late night parties of the affluent and the simple life of the common man - people like you keep alluding to this contrast in India just for effect - as if doing anything that a poor guy can't is decadent and morally corrupt. It's distracting to the issue and just dishonest and one of the most irritating qualities of people of your generation.
As for the cops, people are just miffed that they are focussing their energy on this when it can be better spent on busting corruption, mafia etc which have more serious consequences on a poor man's hard working life than the night lifestyle of the affluent few.

from:  Varun
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 11:35 IST

Well said!

from:  madhu
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 11:14 IST

Well said Mr. Gangadhar. People squander their hard earned money to keep
up false status. I personally believe this is one of the main reason for
the crime rates being so high!

from:  Anand
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 11:02 IST

The columnist seems to have a strangely weak sense of falling in someone's esteem. Just because someone asks you for drinks does not make you a smaller person. That is just a moral standard that the writer is are applying on himself and betrays his whole lens of viewing the Dhoble Menace.

The problem with Dhoble and brigade is not what they are doing but what is motivating them. Their agenda is this - These people are having too much fun. They are 'westernized'. We must stop them.

They are using every trick in the book to accomplish this. The hockey stick may be just for show (for now), but it sends a message - "I am dangerous and I hate you"

They have no right to apply their moral standards on others. The fight on night life is just the beginning. At its core is hard right fascist philosophy. It is sadly an extremely popular line of thought in India. People lack the imagination to see its dangers and think that the Dhoble's and Thackreys will be their messiahs.

from:  kunal
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 10:56 IST

The author himself seems to suffer from moral prejudice and is only too happy to see such kind of policing go on the rise.

from:  A Kumar
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 10:40 IST

Good to see that someone has cared to write a rejoinder to the "moral policing" cry babies. These "bent and beautiful" people want to turn every city and town into a nightclub, unmindful of the pernicious effects it has on the neighborhood and the society at large. Why should the 90% of ordinary people who need some rest after a hard day's work sacrifice for the vulgarly rich 10% who spend their entire day in air-conditioned settings and start out at night like wild animals?

from:  Ramana Murthy
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 10:16 IST

Mr.Gangadhar, I must appreciate this article and thanks for articulating it so nicely. When more and more middle class is assocaiting liberalism as being precocious, boozing and having night light, while becoming indifferent to the day-in-day-out corruption in daily life, you have rightly put things in perspective.

from:  sanchayita
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 10:10 IST

The first paragraph seems to be a straight forward lift-off from a crime-thriller. The writer to me is adept at invoking gore and gruesome imagery to justify the high-handedness of the cops. A hockey stick-yielding cop is not a crusader sir, he is a menace. My question is, whose morality do you talk about? yours, mine or someone else's ? As long as mine going out (read having night outs with friends, specifically female friends) doesn't create a nuisance for anyone else, i don't see a reason on being on the wrong side of the law. You don't drink, that's fine. In fact, that's great. But I do and that's also fine, if not great by your own exalted standards. The high pedestal of morality on which you choose to place yourself before clubbing even the ordinary mortals like us with the celebrities is nothing but a result of your own myopic vision.

from:  Abhishek Deo
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 10:08 IST

For today's youth morality is what they see in music videos. There is need to educate them about limits to which they can indulge in worldly pleasures. In a democratic set up each has his or her own right to celebration the way he or she likes without causing disturbance to the fellow citizens. We also need to revisit the old ways of observing proper timings. After all there are 24 hours in a day which cannot be increased even by a second. There have to be prescribed sleep hours and proper hours for other chores like breakfast,lunch and dinner. All these age old norms have been thrown out of the window and observing irregular timings has become the norm today. Celebrate the way you like but within specific hours without harming your health and causing erosion of human values. We should develop our own value system and not get carried away by what the music videos project. We need to inculcate in the youth a balance in attitude towards life following the middle path and self discipline.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 05:57 IST

First right value for any public servant, including Police and Vasant Dhoble, is to be
totally honest and corruption free. Neither Mumbai Police and Dhoble will able to
vouch for it and therefore have no right to impose the so called right values on
others. Like Christ once said: "Those who have not sinned should be the first to
throw the stone." The story goes that none came forward. If same challenge is
thrown at Mumbai Police is thrown, not a single police will be able to say that he
strictly adhere to the right values he is attempting to impose on others.

from:  Mukund Junnarkar
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 05:48 IST

It was refreshing to read your article, and I thank God for people like you who make Mumbai, India, and the world a better place through good sense and decency _an ex Mumbaikar.

from:  Gopal Santhanam
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 04:27 IST

Sir, your article is contradictory in itself. The title suggests that
moral policing is right and so do some parts of the article. No one
disagrees with the police for implementing laws, but they have no
right to be the moral guardians of any society. If you really were
liberal in your approach, you would not have deemed those who drink
alcohol as less worthy or moral. Please do not try to pass off your
values as those which should be accepted by others in this society.
It is always said that if the police does its duty, like stopping
parties going beyond permissible deadlines, but beyond that neither
you nor the police has any right to dictate if I or anyother man or
women can or cannot dance in a confined space as per their wish.

from:  Vishal
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 01:32 IST

Sir, who gave you the right to decide what is liberal? The very fact
that you think that you decide what is liberal for me itself, proves
you are no liberal.

If I choose alcohol or 'boozing' as you call it as my mode of stress
relief (not that I do in real life), it is absolutely no business of
yours or Mr. Dhoble's or his uber-incompetent Police dept. The state
and law enforcement cannot decide what I drink and eat or what I do
with whom, as long as it is not a violation of the saner laws.

Look at Netherlands, an epitome of a liberal state. They even
legalized Marijuana but I can assure you that hasn't 'wrecked' their
youth or destroyed their nation.

This nation ought to be a liberal democracy and in such a nation law
enforcement and govt. should go about protecting and providing
personal freedom and rights to people and not go about killing them.
Nuisances must be punished of course but sh'd you decide how I dance
or what I drink? NO! & thats the beauty of a Democracy I dream of.

from:  Robbie Williams
Posted on: Jul 13, 2012 at 01:07 IST
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