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What we must abandon so we can be FREE

Beating up party revelers comes easy to many, especially when they form part of what in India is called the moral brigade. Now it may be easy for us to look down on the low-lifes that make up the moral brigade, but the truth is, we too may be be guilty of playing into an imposition of such morality, albeit in a manner that is subtle. Our impositions may not pan out the way the moral brigade does it, but disapproval to say women drinking surely does rear its head in our heads.

To understand why this happens you must look at 'cultural impositions' in India. As a nation, India is 'collectivistic' in its orientation. Which automatically means the practice of morality turns collectivist too. Morality thus turns the hand maiden of any community in 'command', to be enforced by force. The collectivistic backdrop ensures zero consideration of what I believe must be the only consideration of any civilised society, that of individual liberty. When individual liberty trumps collective diktats, you can be assured that the law of that land reigns. Conversely when collective diktats have a free reign, it must mean individual liberty doesn't matter as much, and the law turns a mere bystander.

The Mangalore incident, and similar incidents before have more to do with what's wrong with our collectivistic leanings. Agreed, the goons must be stopped, but tell you what, more will crawl out of the woodwork. Its only a matter of time. The only way we can put a stop to such abuse is by abandoning the collectivistic promptings of our culture. Now would that in turn require that we abandon what is part of our culture?

You bet.

Its time we hoisted the individual over the community. Its time we believed laws are made to protect the liberty of an individual. Its time we abandoned the collective.

Yeah, I agree, easier said than done!


Anirudh said…
Sir Unless the until there is a change in mind set and change in the system nothing can be achieved !

What may follow is the taliban style killing of women in the streets in near future !!

Secondly I believe that our country is adopting the western style or habits quite drastically and this cannot be tolerated by so called MORAL policing stuff !!

It is disgusting to know even after so much of public awareness the legal authorities haven't done a thing to any such incidents this defeats the system itself !
Ranjit said…
Hi Professor, have been away from your blog for a while now...the advantage in that being I get to read a whole lot of your insightful musings in one go! :)

I personally feel its not morality that's turned "collectivist" in our country - its hypocrisy. We Indians are no way morally superior to people in any other part of the world (revelation!!) - its just that we have absolutely no confidence in the "self", in the individual.

Neither the thought or sight of a woman enjoying a glass of liquor outrages my personal morality. But hey! 'they' say that its immoral, and therefore so must I, also, be immoral to not feel offended...but if I am indeed so, I am also smart! I am certainly not going to let anyone wisen up to me! Hence I shall be amongst the first to cast a stone, and hide in that act my own shameful 'immorality'.

What a good boy am I !

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