The police in Nagpur, India, has decided that your lover's lap should be out of bounds for you at least in public parks. Citing embarrassment to the voyeurs, they rounded up 54 couples, mostly college students, for what an official characterized as indecent behavior. According to the additional commissioner of police (crime) Bhushan Upadhyaya,
These boys and girls were found indulging in objectionable acts in a city garden, embarrassing other law-abiding citizens visiting with their families, particularly children...We plan to conduct the drive two to three times a week or more if required to stop this nuisance...There is no restriction on visiting or sitting in the garden in a proper way but if someone is found sitting on someone's lap, we will take action.
The couples were apparently "given a dose of morality" by a group of social activists, and freed after their names were recorded. What a crock of $&*%! According to a recent crime survey, Nagpur ranks number two in crime rate in the western Indian state of Maharashtra in the year 2004. With a crime rate that is more than double the state average, it's more crime-ridden than New Mumbai and Pune, two of the largest cities in the state. Perhaps, the police commissioner has better things to do than watching the laps of college students?
What's going on in India's social sphere? The last time I heard, a secular, progressive government was in place in that country. The Nagpur incident comes on the heels of the police assaulting young men and women, including married couples, in a park in the northern Indian city of Meerut last December. In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, violent street demonstrations were held last year by the members of the political party to which belongs the current Health Minister of India, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, to protest the movie actress Kushboo's advice to sexually active youngsters to practice safe sex. A timely and sensible advice, I thought in a country which, according to a recent estimate by UNAIDS, had 5.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, ranking it second behind South Africa for the largest number of HIV-infected people. Just a few days ago, I read that the Indian schools were all set to introduce sex education from next year for kindergarten children. I think the country will do well to launch a sex education program for adults, especially for the police and the politicians!