Moral police at it again!

What’s with the police in this city? The current spate of raids on bars is a case in point. Two young women at a bar, who hadn’t even been drinking, were taken to the police station by women police. Who then asked them how often they go there etc? Then the station head gives them a lecture about how the smoke and atmosphere of the place (sic!) would kill them. What was their offence, pray?

At the same time, we have hundreds of TASMAC (Government run) shops on busy roads, where thousands of men go, not only to buy their drink, but to actually drink at makeshift bars. These men spend their time and money here, often every day, instead of going home to their families. Any number of protests by the wives of the families affected have been ignored. They then go home, and violence often results due the tensions at home. One hears about this from so many sources.

Many of these ‘bars’ are open up to the wee hours of the day, catering to their alcoholic clientele. What has the police done about these? Ever hear of a raid on a TASMAC bar/shop open beyond hours? Ever hear about what the police is doing to help curb domestic violence? Doesn’t this also constitute their duty- to protect the lives of the innocent and helpless?

Since when did lecturing people about morals, and harassing them for perceived indecent behaviour constitute the duty of the police? If this city is ever going to join the ranks of the great cities of the world, its police have to get their perspective right. I am not saying everybody must get drunk or behave in a socially unacceptable manner in public. What I am saying is that they must focus on where the problems truly lie, and not just prey on soft targets like licensed hotels where people may be unwinding after a hectic schedule. So they can impose their ‘morality’ on people who they might otherwise have never met or socialized with because of a difference in background, socio-economic status or lifestyles.

Just because people have different lifestyles doesn’t make them ‘bad’.

24 Comments so far

  1. nandhu (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 8:33 pm

    those two women were women. big, big crime.

  2. Suppamani (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 10:29 pm

    The referred girls were sitting in the Bar only and it too after the stipulated time limit. They were not taken custody from their work place. They might have taken drinks or not; But what for they came there; Just to chit chat or for relaxation they might have gone to cofee shop or eleswhere. Naturally the cops have to take them to the statioon in as much they have raided the bar. But they have not given the identity of the girs to the press on humanitrian grounds and advised them and let them go; What is the harm in it. Already hands of the Police are tied in so many ways and by making all these as issues the cops have to sit idle either at the stations ae at homes.

  3. Ananymous (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 1:03 am

    Last year they raided the bar, because the top most COP Family Kin was directly affected by that. Who knows, may be the same thing is behind the reason for this time also. Give some time you will know the exact story behind the “Raid” from the News Magazine Cover Story.

  4. sj (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 2:19 am

    What they have done is correct what are girls doing at these places if they are not drinking or indulging in something else. I they want to meet friends there are many other places to do so. But this incident just shows how corrupt society is girls down here are too westernised.

  5. nandhu (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 7:18 am


  6. Lavanya (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 8:51 am

    Nandhu – caps and bold please – HELP!

  7. Anniyan (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    I have seen many of these bars open in my neighborhood well after their stipulated time limit. The funniest part is TASMAC is not in the police radar and I want to share a small experience I had in one of these TASMAC bars. I remember it was oct 1st when I was denied alcoholic beverages in one of the famous star hotels in ECR. Me and my friends came over to the TASMAC shop in ADYAR signal and asked for a TEACHERS 750 ml bottle and the guy who attended us was quoting a 40 % premium. Upon showing him what the MRP was he gave it for the MRP.I had the same experience this month when I visited Chennai and was told the same thing in the same shop.I saw 3 women picking up a bottle of the same brand at a 40 % premium and from the looks it appeared they were not wiling to stand for long in front of the shop and were in a hurry and did not mind paying the premium.Jackpot for the TASMAC shop guy.

  8. Ravages (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

    Suppamani and SJ: I fully and wholly back your comments. What the police have done is not only correct, but what they should have done much earlier.

    I am infact going to request the police come to your home and raid and see if there are any girls who are chit-chatting unnecessarily. Meanwhile, who cares if there are other issues – such as drunken violence in the slums, and the like, that are not being looked into.

    And SJ – you are doubly correct in saying the society is too westernised. Let us all do our little towards correcting that – I say we should walk barefoot on hot sand, not wear trousers or shirts, treat heartattacks and stuff by going to a quack who will beat a drum and throw sand on you.

    Thank you for opening my eyes.

  9. Nastikan (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

    I find it really wierd that you would have to defend the civil liberties of middle-class women in bars by arguing that the police don’t harass poor men enough. (Are poor men not unwinding after a far more hectic day?)

    Perhaps the cops were trying to prove to slum men that they are also willing to harass middle-class women — like the Khushboo affair, moral panics are a stupid appeasement of a genuine class anger. Why play into that angle?

  10. bejharboy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    How I wish the Police raided the election booths and counselled the “kallavottu” parties!
    By the way, Suppamani, yes, the police can actually sit at their homes. What is the point anyway in them being outside?
    They cannot see the violence in polls (“polling was peaceful” – comissioner and DGP), they do not have the guts to stop autorickshaws charging phenomenal rates, they cant react to increasing crimes in the city, they cannot even CATCH THE KNIFE-STABBER who came to stab Mu.Ka.Stalin in public light in a railway station, they let a full-fledged arms and defense parallel industry function in Ambattur,….
    the least they could do was harass hapless people who went for an evening of relaxation. All kinergarden kids beware, police might catch you and advise you against watching Pogo, telling how Mr. Beans is absolutely bad-mannered!
    Namma ooru policu athukkuthaan laayakku!

  11. bejharboy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 1:47 pm

    I am not supporting AMMA, but definitely cant help wondering about some things that were better during prev regime. To start with, the Govt employees, who were quite scared despite the drubbing they gave amma in parliamen election, they were still shit-scared until amma party went out of power. Contrast with Mr. Dayanidhi MORON and his granddad legacy ruling this state this ime, even a bus doesnt stop in the bus stop properly, and when questioned, the conductor attempts to assault or use absolute bad language.

  12. Ravi (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    David, I think moral policing is definitely required *to some extent*. Its not that police raid our houses. In this case atleast I can see that women were in a “bar” after the stipulated time, which is definitely not safe for them. And if something were to happen to them then you would see police being targetted again. Well I can understand their attention is required elsewhere too (in fact many places) but lets be happy it has started somewhere.

  13. bejharboy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    Ravi, typical Male chauvinist stmnt. When invigilation happens strictly. and occasional raids are there, enough to instil sense of carefulness iin citizen. The point here is their “moral policing”. Why wont the smoke affect the menfolk or what? Or wouldnt they listen to some advice, right there in the hotel itself? do they have to be dragged to police station, address taken, parents need to be called?
    and if police are so concerned about morality, roadshows can be done, pamphlets can be dsitributed, they can even send “BULK SMS”; the target crowd at this hotel might even be cautioned when they enter…
    dont justify such things by Police. If Police really wants to take part in restoring morality, they shud hav concerted effort with agencies and not do something like these, and people like you saying “patronising” things about girls being “out there”

  14. bejharboy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 5:09 pm

    while intention maybe good (but then, knowing police dhairyam in recent times), execution is absolutely guffaw-worthy!

  15. Badar (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 5:58 pm

    Hi frens,

    If girls, who feel for getting treated by police like that, They should have thought before going to the Bar what consequence they have to face if police come.

    I think this is not the first time police are raiding the bars.

    If they choose a lifestyle like that, they have to face this.
    Infact Bar is not a holy place or casual place for gals to go around.

    To TASMAC only 0.01% women may be going for drinking or chit-chat as u told!!!

    I oppose Police behaviour but i agree with their basic point.
    But dont tell that poor Tasmac guys drink and police are not taking any actions.
    We have to be rolemodel to them and make a new society.

  16. Ravi (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 8:24 pm

    Bejharboy, I don’t know what in my post made you term me a male chauvinist. I never mentioned against women drinking or women visiting bars. My point was about being in a bar over the stipulated time which would do them no good and it was a concern. Lets accept it, a woman being in a bar is prone to more risk than a guy. Maybe the way the police reacted could be debateable but not police’s action itself.

  17. cheemachu (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 9:01 pm

    Well fellows,
    You forget TASMAC is public sector and so beyond the law, just like the rashly driven state transport buses.
    In this city, you may drink on the roadside and pass out on the foot path, you may defecate in public. The police won’t even give you a second look. But step into a bar, specially with a girl, oh boy oh boy you had it.

  18. nandhu (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 8:47 am

    the cops could see the women to the vehicle, and tell them not to hang out after hours because it isnt that safe a city yet!

  19. prabhu (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

    goin to a bar is not a sin, it is the same for boys and girls. even if they have stayed beyond the stipulated time limit, the police should have asked the hotel authorities to close down the place insted of harrasing the people inside.

    the police should have taken steps to cancel the license of the bar or atleast penalise them, insted of takin these girls into custody.

    Personally, we wont like if our sister goes to a bar even it is for a chit chat rt? so girls y dont u find a better place to hang out.

    This place is not safe equally for both boys and girls, thats the truth.

    Never support the police for this action, they could have caught / stopped many criminal activites in the time they raided the hotel.

  20. nandhu (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

    anybody read nikhil chinnappa’s defence of clubbing in the hindu today?

  21. nILU (unregistered) on November 10th, 2006 @ 12:20 am

    I am sure you are all very wise ad argue very well. But David, please explain the usage of ‘sic!’ in your first paragraph.

  22. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on November 12th, 2006 @ 3:19 am

    If the police want to do moral policing, shouldn’t they examine their own shortcomings, and police those first?

  23. suppamani (unregistered) on November 12th, 2006 @ 11:48 pm

    I hope I can expect comments about the druken driven and in the accident several lives are killed in Bombay last night. Still anybody feels restrictions imposed by the police on bars to close atleast by 11 PM is not worthwhile?

  24. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 12:28 am

    People can, and do, get drunk and drive vehicles at any time of the day. 11pm has nothing to do with it.

    Drunken driving should be a criminal act and policed and dealt with in its own right. It is not very relevant where and when the drinking is done — except that there is likely to be a concentration of drunk drivers on the road at closing time whatever that time is.

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