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Last Updated Friday June 05 2020 04:10 AM IST
Other Stories in Opinion

Kiss of Love and the curriculum of morality

Prem Udayabhanu
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kisslove

Make no mistake, the narrative that is panning out in God's own country may have been probably scripted by the devil himself. The larger picture of the robust cultural ethos of the state remains intact, but the social fabric that hosts it is being pulled in all directions by fringe elements that flaunt their medieval moorings.

The arrest of cheer leaders of the Kiss of Love protest was celebrated by the same chorus that loves the songs of intolerance. While the arrests on charges of links with an online sex racket is not end in itself, the trial has begun, albeit in social media itself.

Curiously it was the same platform that moved heaven and earth to flaunt the celebration of love in the streets laced with kisses of protest. Now we know that social media with its porous borders and lack of accountability can have an elephant's memory.

The same accountability factor comes into play in a reverse situation after the arrests of the Kiss of Love cheer leaders. Now, those who had supported it have been put on scrutiny.

The political and cultural platforms that came out in support of Kiss of Love have been targeted in a pattern reminiscent of hardline right-wing elements who seek definitive proof of the patriotism of certain sections of society after every terror attack.

The same narrative was in play when a celebrated journalist was recently held in the United Kingdom on paedophilia charges.

The venom of hatred that trolled in the aftermath of the arrest clearly had a grudge – his harsh criticism of the ruling dispensation. Moreover, he was a Left liberal. The same hate mails can troll the opinion expressed here also and hence a voluntary disclosure: Paedophilia or sex rackets are not what we are talking about. And being charged with an offence does not mean you are a culprit. Period.

But does it make sense to rubbish a noble cause just because some players attracted to it are alleged practitioners of illicit ways? The answer clearly is blowing in the wind.

There can be proponents and opponents for Kiss of Love or any such symbolic protests that espouse the cause freedom of speech and expression. We have enough space for arguments and counter arguments in a democratic polity.

Advocating a cause does not mean that anyone can be held accountable for any probable misdeeds of those who are fellow travellers in espousing it.

If that is the case, no one with a semblance of sanity would be able to associate with any movement or cause, regardless of whether your political leanings sync more with the Left liberal voice or the radical right.

This learning point is perhaps missing when it comes to the curriculum of some of our political masters too, who are not so keen to camouflage their medieval moorings.

That is why there are staunch proponents of gender discrimination who back the retrograde notion that boys and girls sitting together in a mixed college amounts to something akin to blasphemy.

Fair enough, you can have your arguments. But where is the sanctity of our pluralistic collective consciousness, when a teacher, albeit of another college, is unceremoniously sacked for posting on Facebook that he did not agree with such forms of gender discrimination?

Perhaps, it is time to revise the curriculum of morality in the social altar of God's beloved country.

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