February 29, 2008

Your Life In the Saffron Shadow - I

Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, U.P., and now Orissa? The Times of India reports:

Chairperson of the state [Orissa] commission for women (SCW), Namita Panda, with cameramen and police in tow, on Friday chased girls and boys sitting in a city park ...

Taken unawares by this attack on their privacy, many couples fled from the park by jumping over drains and barbed wire fences to escape the cameramen clicking away pictures of the "errant lovers".

Some of them had their dresses torn as they tried to negotiate the fencing, while others hid their faces in bushes and walls to avoid being caught on camera. Many college students, who were in their uniform, pleaded with Panda not to print heir [sic] pictures even as they meekly swallowed her homilies.

"This is obnoxious. I just cannot imagine how these young boys and girls can be involved in such nasty and abhorrent activities in the open," Panda said.

A nightmarish scenario of life under Saudi Arabia's Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice? Does it really matter if there is nothing in the Indian Penal Code that prohibits young men and women from Ikhtilat, as there is in Sharia law? When a ranking State official and the police could intimidate these youngsters, and chase them out of a public park funded by the tax-payer's money, who cares if the color of this dystopia is saffron or green?

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