dating in park legal
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Is it wrong to date in a park?

By Auntyji Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 11:02
Hi Aunty ji, my bf and I were sitting in the park just holding hands and the police harassed us. They threatened to call our parents. What should we do if this happens again? Tanya, 20, Lucknow.

Auntyji says, ‘Oh ho – there are too many pyaar ka dushmans around these days.’ 

Touch me not

Waise to we are a nation of touching, cuddling and kissing. So much so that even a strangers’ kid is not exempt! Oye kitta pyara puttar hain! And then come the cheek squeezes! But when it comes to lovers or ‘couples’ – lo ji raayta! 

On one hand, we are all about pyaar kiya toh darna kya and on the other hand, we just can’t tolerate even the smallest show of love or affection between two loving, consenting adults? Aye ki gall hoyi?

Act of weakness

First some kanoon ki class. Beta are you aware that there is a Section 294 in the Indian Penal Code,  according to which, we Indians have to show some decorum in public spaces. So do remember that there is a limit to which we can display affection in parks.

But what the ‘limit’ of that decorum is – that’s not very clear. Now holding hands cannot be an act of obscenity – can it? However, it is the lack of clarity on what’s obscene which leads to the problem. It provides for the misuse of law to cause discomfort and harassment. 

And there is one other thing that aids the harassment. Do you know what?

Well because the police or authorities know that you are perhaps meeting each other without your parents’ permission or even knowledge. Hain na? And now if you get ‘caught’ – you are put in a very awkward  position, you are on the wrong foot and now you will do anything to get out of this situation. Hain na? This is saraasar blackmail beta.

On the right side

So what can you do? Sabse pehli gall. Try and not get embarrassed. That often works as a cue for harassment. Keep your thand, that is, be cool. Be confident and ask what wrong have you done.  

If they begin to harass or threaten you – say ok – please call my family, here is the number – call their bluff. Insist on going to the police station – Yes beta, go. 

Don’t feel shy or nervous. It’s just a police station and most crucially – don’t let them get physical with your bf – like pushing around or all that. Create a scene if need be – police don’t like that – it’s their reputation at stake after all. 

I feel heavy hearted that we have to protect ourselves from an institution which is supposed to be protecting us actually – what a situation. Sad!

The decorum business

So now I have a question about the whole decorum business. There are so many awara aashiqs who roam about – harassing women with rude words and actions. Where is the Section 294 then? Where is the police then? If that’s not indecent, then what it is.    

So many cheap and filthy songs that are belted out on loudspeakers. Is anyone saying to them ‘mein hoon tandoori chicken gatkaale mujhe alcohol se’ –  please close your ears.

We are OK to accept this and much more but not two people who have found a little time to come out and sit together, in love and tenderness. Nonsense!

Now don’t worry and go find my favourite song – ‘hum to mohabbat karega, duniya se nahin darega’ – because beta Tanya, love is in the air and we must all feel it, and even see it – in good measure. 

*To protect the identity, names have been changed.

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