Wednesday, September 28, 2005

And the Police Commissioner obliges

The Police have taken action against The Park hotel for conducting an "obscene party" in its premises. The F&B Manager and the Front Desk Manager have been placed under Judicial Custoday. They have been arrested under "Section 37 of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act (violation of licence condition), 294 of Indian Penal Code (obscene acts and songs to the annoyance of others in any public place) and under Section 24 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition License Act. "

So dancing, kissing and hugging are prohibited in Chennai. Drinking is allowed, but for men only. If a woman drinks, the 2000 year old culture of Tamils will be spoiled.

Update: Sudhish Kamath highlights the issue in The Hindu.

37 comments:

F e r r a r i said...

Nethi adi thalaiva!!

Anonymous said...

Am so mad, am gonna go to the kitchen to break a glass, to take out my frusturation.
Absolute apathy to incidents of rape, molestation, eveteasing, dowry deaths.... ,but outrage over women partying.
A culture where there is absolute lack of respect for women.

Ramnath said...

and it was a private party

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

came here via ammani's blog...

i was shocked also to read that some statements khusboo had made in a mag about pre marital sex got her in trouble with the pmk because it was against tamil culture and ethos! it's terrible that we can't even voice our opinions any more! whatever happened to free speech?

Jeevan said...

First time on your blog. Where is Chennai going?

Anonymous said...

The city police commisioner had absorbed the role of moral police much earlier too. It is really regrettable. The only way is to get out to a more enlightened place. If it was a "Private Party", I dont know what public nuisance has been committed. In a fairer society, the journos would have been arrested for invasion of privacy.

Chenthil said...

Guys, all of us feel bad, but that's the way this state is. Dinamalar, the newspaper, in its follow up ,quotes a police officer stating that action against those who were caught dancing and kissing will be taken.

What this does is pushes the parties to private guest houses. Did you know that to open a bar in Chennai, the place should have lodging too. You cannot simply have a stand alone bar. That is why only established hotels have bars and pubs. Even Zara Tapas Spanish bar has rooms for namesake on the second floor though it is not a lodging place.

We live in a blinkered city with moth ridden rules.

Karthik said...

Pathetic! Thanks for posting about this - the whole vigilante moral police crap is getting to be unbearable. First movie titles, then Valentine's day, now this.

Every Tamil Magazine is filled with hypocrites - they'll publish pictures of skimpily dressed girls from seedy movies, and write a stupid article about the depths to which movies are sinking. Pathetic is the only word I can think of!

Krithiga said...

@ Jeevan

"Where is Chennai going?".

To the dogs?

WA said...

We seem to have a few bloggers supporting the police action too. I am still seething

lazygeek said...

sucks, BIG TIME.

Sriram said...

Chenthil, Me referring to your post. this is absolutely crazy.. sucks big time as Lazy says.

anantha said...

Uma: Support for the police? Enga.. Enga?

ammani said...

Like anon said...

We seem less outraged, apathetic in some cases even call into question the woman's character when it comes to rape and molestation. But just listen to the venom pouring at pictures of women partying!

More's the pity.

ammani said...

And Chenthil, well-written as always.

Deepa said...

Shocked, disgusted and suffering from mental agony thinking about the rise of 'moral policing' in my beloved city. Maybe I should file a case against these so called keepers of morality, for impinging on the freedom of the Chennaivasis.

Doctor Bruno said...

I beg to differ

The Hotel where about 200 people (Who do not know 190 except for perhaps 10) gather is NOT a place for "private" party

You can do whatever you like inside your home or office or hotel room

Police do have a right to interfere when things are not suited for the culture (and era) of the place and such things happen in public

Nilu said...

Dear Bruno,
There are definitions of what is public and what is private - and those are based on ownership, not number of people.

So regardless of how you feel, I can still invite a million people and have a private party. Unless, there is a specific law that is being broken inside my private premises, the police have no buisness poking their ass into it.

visithra said...

As Uma had already said it is irritating that there are ppl supporting the actions of the police.

Chenthil said...

Dr Bruno

"Police do have a right to interfere when things are not suited for the culture (and era) of the place and such things happen in public"

that is precisely what my anger is against. It is not about whether somebody can drink or kiss in public. For me the debate is about who are you to decide what I can or cannot do?

If we get into legalese, the police will win the case because their major claim is the bar was maintained at a place other than the sanctioned one. This looks to be true, so they might win on this technicality. But the media will write that the debauchers were punished and Tamil Culture is saved.

WA said...

aNti - Yellam neenga regular-aa visit panra blogla dhaan. I like the kid so i am not gonna shop him here, but just head to the blogs of one of the biggest fans of the Thalaivar, you will find the person supporting the police :)

Doctor Bruno said...

"So regardless of how you feel, I can still invite a million people and have a private party. "

This is what I wanted to emphasise......

It is not the number of people that is subject of discussion.

We can only label a party was private when there is something common between every one (co workers of an office or relatives or batchmates)

The party under contention IS NOT A PRIVATE Party. This is a clear fact.

So the question is. ... Does the police have a right to control public behaviour in a PUBLIC place

Nilu said...

Bruno,
Why is that a clear fact? It does not become one because you say so.

The roperty was privately owned, the invitees were privately selected and the tab was picked up by private individuals....so please let me know how you arrive at your facts. If it is by listening to PMK and the like, I suggest a lot of sex as an alternative.

Premalatha said...

WOW nilu.:)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I dont have a blog, so I had to post as anonymous.

Those who are opposing the police action are well justified in their outrage, but they do not understand the ground realities in TN politics.

Things like Tamil Protection Movement, the Thankar Pachan and Kushboo episode, have a deeper meaning. These protests are led by communities that have not benefited by the Dravidan movement. (PMK was not part of the original dravidian movement)They are using the same tricks that Annathurai, Karunanidi, used in the 60's.

It is their time in the sun. Why complain about it ? It is not as if the entire Dravidian movement (the *exact* same save Tamil campaign, humiliating a particular community, cinema worship, breaking of idols) was full of logic either.

It is a bizzarro world - where the richest and most influential call themselves oppressed and continue to dominate the mainstream parties. The benefits of the dravidian movement have been cornered by a select few communities. Now the chickens are coming home.

It is through these types of protests - parties like Dalit Panthers, PMK, can mobilize both publicity and support. They have just now found the keys to unlock the doors of politics of entitlement. You bet they are gonna try to milk it. Guess what, no one can complain. What is good for the goose..

Yeah it is inane, anti-fun, hypocritical. Welcome to TN.

Anonymous said...

Very well said, anonymous!
Excellent point made.

-Prabhu

Guevara G said...

People, I neither support or condemn the Police Action. If they are Guilty Bu Law they are Punishable and its for the Courts to decide.
Personally, I feel that the Party Culture does tempt teenagers and should be CONTROLLED

Chenthil said...

Anonymous (on TN Politics) - I do understand the ground realities of TN Politics. Many a time I cast a cyncial eye on what is happening and go like "well, this is the way it is in TN". Somehow this issue got me angry enough to break the cynicism.

Guevara G, this party was not attended by teens but adults with their faculty intact. How does the partying of adults affect the teens?

DOMAIN NAMES FOR SALE said...

Yeah Chenthil,

You have rules in USA to keep under 21 people out of the bars. But sadly, nobody cares in India. I've been to Pasha a lot of times and have seen lotsa under 21 "kids" hanging around and drinking. personally, I dont have anything against it. But unless India enforeces the 21 age rule, we cannot really complain abt any police action. I know how the dances happen in these pubs (Include me in the list). Not being a hypocrite here, but with a few drinks and a woman with you, you are bound to act funny.

It is the system which should change. Once the 21 age rule applies, f*** police and other moral upholders. You are free to do as you like as long as you are not against hte law. And the current law is very much against public show of love/affection. So blame the law makers.Not police. (also, is there any political interference in the police commisar's action??)

Nilu said...

It is a huge misunderstanding to say 'the current laws are against public display of affection'.

The Articles 18-22 are strong enough to over ride any archaic law that you maybe referring to. All we need is a good precedent and I believe a case like this would provide an ideal opportunity to establish that.

Even the world's greatest 'law', the American First Amendment has become what it is now, only because the limits were constantly pushed by a litiguous society. Had it not been for Larry Flynt, Miller, Stanely and other 'crazies', there would have been very little difference between the USA and India.

Ideamani said...

Modifying the words of Voltaire, "I may not share the moral outlook of the party-goers, but I will fight unto death for their right to live by their moral code".

Anonymous said...

Nilu,

I was talking to a lawyer yesterday about this issue. He says under indian legal system, what the police has done is perfectly legal and it is the laws that have to be amended, if such moral policing has to stop. I will give the points i got from him below

1) The place where the party took place is a public place without doubt. The bar / lounge of the hotel are all considered to be public places as pre requisite for the hotel to get the various licences. In fact the lawyer assured me that any place that has "public access" can be successfully argued(have been done so in the past) as a public place.

2) Section 294 of the indian penal code (under which the hotel employees have been arrested) lays emphasis on annoyance of others.
(http://www.indialawinfo.com/bareacts/ipc.html)

So theoretically if the police can find even one person who says the incident "annoyed him as an obscenity", then the case can be successfully made

3) When the case comes to court, it boils to what an "obscenity" is. If the judge deems public display of affection and women drinking as an obscenity then poof.. what happened is an obscenity. Articles 19,20,21,22 have no impact, when govt counsel uses old cases as legal precedence (eg: even a case that happened in times when a woman singing in public could be taken as a precedence)
==

-
bala
upsaid.com/bala_j

Bart said...

Thangar bachan episode, Kushboo episode and now "The park hotel" episode - Women's lib at its all time peak in TamilNadu!!! Irony is that a woman is ruling the state...

Surya said...

The Israeli-Public Kiss case issue where the couple were fined has sure set a precedent.

Anonymous said...

Oh the liberated girls in tantex banians please spare me the sight of your knocks...

do whatever u like, drink,dance,go whorin,be a slut,hv pre marital
,extramarital orgies .... don't hv kids (ever thought why /how u were
born ... or is it jus kali yug... the time you were born, time of birth has turned you into
a drunken slut ..)
but for chrissake cover your bodies in public...don't go around in
underwear ... in private parties at home u r free to dance nude among
your loved ones

Anonymous said...

I blame the vernacular media.

The police acted on the reports based on the vernacular media. I am afraid the cops dont have brains of their own so i forgive them. But what about the vernacular press (not all of them though). They sensationalise all news with half baked information. I think its the press that has to be sued. As far as moral policing is concerned .... welll.... i think people should stop investing in chennai and leave the place for the more moral tamilians.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing but talibanisation of indian culture

These dictators show off their power with moral policing

http://www.teakada.com/archives/sathyabama_correctional_facility.html

all dictators will eventually fall