A MULTIPLYING TRIBE OF KILLJOYS IS ruining the social life of India’s teenagers and young adults whose number is estimated at 300 million countrywide.
This lament is provoked by a news report in Bengaluru’s Times of India (December 15) that a search of the handbag of a young woman student of a junior college in the coastal town of Mangaluru by exam invigilators looking for cell phones, revealed a love letter written to her by an amorous youth of “another community”. This grave moral lapse provoked a fracas which prompted the administration to disbar 18 students from attending classes, except to write exams. Earlier, in another college in this once jolly town with a buzzing entertainment scene, four college students who performed a dance wearing burqas, worn by conservative Muslim women, were also suspended from college. Serious offence to the religious sensibilities of the minority Muslim community.
On the other hand in the good ole days in my top-ranked boarding school in Bengaluru, the school administration routinely organised socials and dances with the neighbouring girls school, and boys inviting girls to the pictures (cinema) and romancing them was not a criminal offence. Later as a young law student in the UK half a century ago, I was pleasantly flabbergasted to learn girlfriends were permitted in our rooms until 11 p.m, a facility that one availed liberally.
The purpose of this sermon is not to recount one’s good fortune, but to advise oppressive elders and the country’s morality brigades to refrain from blighting the lives of teens and youth obliged to suffer censorious patriarchy, the insolence of office and the daily spurns that merit takes, by also denying them romance, exuberance and socialisation opportunities.