New Delhi: The attack on pub-goers including women, in Mangalore led by Pramod Muthalik's infamous Sri Ram Sene shows just how violent moral policing can get. Is there a a way to have fun and keep the law as well as moral police happy?
It didn't help that the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa too seemed to back Muthalik. "We are opposed to pub culture," he said.
Yedurappa's Congress counterpart in Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot too, agreed with the moral brigade. "We want to stop the culture of girls and boys holding hands in mall and moving," he said.
The moral police links pub culture with drunken driving and drug abuse.
Twenty-one-year old Alistair Pereira was convicted for driving over and killing seven pavement dwellers after drinking at a party in 2006.
In October 2008, over a hundred youngsters tested positive for drugs after a raid on a Mumbai nightclub. And in 2007, police arrested 270 youngsters at a rave in Pune, some of them in possession of drugs.
"Suppose 100 people have consumed liquor and are driving - one situation - likeliness of road accidents is more and when people are going alone, late in the night in stark roads maybe they can be attacked by criminals," said Bangalore Police Commisioner Ajai Kumar.
However, those at the receiving end of moral chaperoning, feel the authorities give them little credit.
"I'm an adult, I can pay taxes, I can vote, I can die for my country but I'm not allowed to dance or play music. I think there's complete discrimination in Bangalore, there's no democracy," said radio jockey Rohit Barker.
So, is there a way of having fun on the right side of the law ? While pub crawlers may be able to stay out of trouble with the police, it's the moral police that are proving harder to please.