Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Moral policing

The title, I presume, is construed to have negative connotations by most of us. So it was rather surprising to me that the Constitution of India empowers the state to act as a moral police.

Consider Article 19(pdf) that deals with protection of the right to freedom of speech. Clause 19.2 states that the state may impose "reasonable restrictions" on the right to freedom and expression in the interests of morality - among other things like sovereignty, integrity etc. Further, clause 19.4 empowers the state to limit the right to form associations and unions in the name of morality.

So it is reasonable to believe that the State may ban Valentine's day celebrations deeming it to be amoral. One could argue that the courts would find any such action taken by the government of the day to be beyond the ambit of reasonable restrictions mentioned in the article. But should the state have ANY mandate at all to impose restrictions on acts it deems immoral?

If I were to form an Association of open Spouse-Smoochers (ASS) to promote spousal-smooching in public places and make public statements in favour of ASS, should the state have the power to prevent me from doing so? This seems to be within the State's mandate as defined by clauses 19.2 and 19.4.

Any thoughts?

2 Value-adds:

Blogger Vish-vishy-visher said...

So, are you saying that the state considers Open Spousal smooching to be amoral?

Or are you saying that open spousal smooching is amoral?

And btw, who's spouse?

September 21, 2005 7:33 PM  
Blogger eV said...

I'm saying it is reasonable to believe that the state could argue that ASS is amoral. Well, if you have an issue with that, replace ASS with any legal but amoral act.

>And btw, who's spouse?
Well, dont get so despo da.

September 21, 2005 9:12 PM  

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