EDUCATION PLUS

It’s just not right

ANISHA SHETH

Those who oppose ‘pub culture’ cannot carry out attacks, feel students

The youth have always been known to resist any form of moral policing. The recent attacks on what came to be termed as “pub culture” in Mangalore has the student community up in arms. In a first of its kind rally, students from as many as 13 colleges in Mangalore protested the recent attack on women in a pub in the city. Speaking out against the moral policing by certain groups, students boycotted classes to express their angst.

The issue is of particular relevance in this growing city considering its significant student population. Scores of professional colleges in this area attract students of different profiles from all over the country. The Hindu EducationPlus spoke to students in different colleges in Udupi and Mangalore to find out what they have to say. While some students were afraid of speaking to the media and being photographed in the wake of the incidents, others said they felt the need to speak out against what they perceived as a frontal attack on their freedom. Madhu M. (Final year B.Com, St. Agnes College): When I watched those girls being beaten up on the television, I couldn’t believe that such an act of hooliganism was happening in a homely, quiet place like Mangalore. They claim to be protecting women, but this is not the way to deal with a situation. If they object to women going to a pub, they should have talked about it, not assaulted and molested those women.

I don’t think that anybody has the right to dictate terms to anyone else, with regard to lifestyle. Moral policing is wrong. Our parents and loved ones have a right to correct us when we’re wrong but not strangers. They have no right to impose their views on others.

Tsewang Rigzin (second year Master’s in Social Work, Roshni Nilaya): This incident happened due to a failure in governance. These groups are confident that they can get away with what they do, so they have no fear. I feel that the lawmakers and the government have failed to prevent this attack. We must not ignore such incidents for the simple reason that anybody could have been attacked.

They also mentioned culture, and I think that culture is very hard to define. One cannot impose one’s definition of culture on others. If they want to protect culture, education is the way. They seem to think that the end justifies the means. But I think that if the means are wrong, then the ends cannot be right.

Pheba Daniel (first year, MSW School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya): I am completely appalled by this violation of human rights. Such atrocities must be dealt with in a stringent manner. The government must initiate measures to ensure that the guilty are brought to book, but I doubt that it will happen. The reason this is so outrageous is that whether those women were “half-dressed” or not is irrelevant, because you simply cannot go and beat up someone. This country boasts of its secular harmony, but pushes religiosity to fanaticism.

We have a black mark on this secular fabric, because of these people. I would like to point out that although such an incidence of sexual molestation evokes sympathy and shock, sexual violence is an everyday reality for all women, and because it happens everyday, it is taken casually.

Farhan Hussain (third year, Bachelor’s in Business Management, Upendra Pai Memorial College): Instances of moral policing and communal violence have been growing steadily over the years. Such attacks are pre-planned and I think that they will keep increasing in future. What happened was terribly wrong, and I think that girls and boys deserve the rights.

The men who attacked these women had no proof that anything untoward was happening. If they claimed that such things were happening, they should have obtained proof. The general feeling among students is of fear, they don’t feel safe anymore. These attacks happen any time, and February 14 is nearing, I don’t know what will happen then.

Avitha Fernandes (third year, Bachelor’s in Business Management, Upendra Pai Memorial College): I think that these organisations are supported by certain political parties. No one can take the law into his own hand, and these men have assaulted women. I think that the government must take strict action against such groups so that such instances do not happen in future.

Yesterday it happened in Mangalore, tomorrow it might happen in Udupi, no one can say where they will attack next. They are curtailing the freedom of people by doing such things, and it is an outrage. They take the law into their own hands, but have a problem with people who are minding their own business. In the name of a god, they have assaulted women; they have lowered the dignity of women.

Manisha ( first year B.Com, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Udupi): What happened was extremely wrong, these groups should not have assaulted women in such a manner. If they thought that these women were wrong, then they could have spoken to them. Would they have done such things to their sisters? Is sexual assault Indian culture? Pubs must not be banned.

The organisations which carry out such unlawful activities must be banned. Attacking people cannot be condoned. People have fundamental rights which cannot be violated. People must protest against such incidents.



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