Anti-Moral Policing Protest in Delhi

The Stand Up to Moral Policing protest in Delhi was worth a visit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, I was not a visiter, I travelled half the Delhi (not to mention sacrificing my morning sleep on weekend :P) to be there to protest against moral policing. And I was not alone. There were others who too had traversed the whole length of the city on the Valentine day’s eve for the same cause. ๐Ÿ˜€

Namrata, the lady who started it, had come prepared. She came armed with several placards and her sweet parents (imagine, how many parents would do that? ). She had chosen a nice spot, where we were easily detected by passers-bys, who lingered to absorb what our protest was about. It was not a protest by pub-going girls. In fact, several of us had never been to a pub in our whole lives so far. They all came to make a point. Most heartening thing about this meet were the few righteous men, who too chose to be part of the protest. We need more men like them today.

I met bloggers like Indyeah, Aneesha, Jasdeep. We had come to amke our protest in peaceful manner. In fact, Mayank Austen Soofi from HT (I guess he’s still there) suggested that we throw our fists in air and display our angry expressions for the picture. His request was unanimously turned down.ย Unlike hooligans, aggression was not our thing. We came with love, for our love for freedom of expression.

Namrata’s campaign had ensured we had plenty of media attention. All of them were there: NDTV, CNBC tv 18, CNN-IBN, HT, some hindi news channels and even tabloids. I am not sure what angle they would take for their newsstory about our protest. Bytes were taken from most of us. A rambling journo from a Hindi TV channel was shamelessly sensationalising the issue. He asked Namrata, while cameraswere rolling, Aap ke saath bhi aisa hua (like Mangalore incident), aapke logon se hi humein khabar mili!! (It happened to you too (the Mangalore incident), we heard from your people). She clarified with a patient, mocking expression, “Nope, none of us who had assembled here have been victims.” I bitched in anger, “Well, should we wait for the time to come when we would be victims?” To my surprise, two similar, strong voices came up from my adjacent, echoing the same. It felt good, to be there with people who people who believed in the same thing ย what I did.

I must also mention the inverse snobbery going on. Some journos tried to dismiss the protest merely as a skirmish from Eng-speaking girls. Thankfully, Namrata spoke Hindi like a seasoned, suave public speaker. Mediamen and women were more concerned about having a good pic. Most insisted the girl with guitar to stand in middle. Pissed off, she later put away her guitar. Most cameramen would interrupt us to say, lower your placards, your face is not visible. Though, all girls would make sharp retorts, “Our placards are important, not our faces.” , they put up with it. It was small price for a worthy cause. Speaking of slogans on our placards, there was an interesting one:

Girls are not cattle, stop locking us at Dusk.” ๐Ÿ™‚

I had hearty laughs over girls holding it up with aplomb. It was apt. It was also Aneesha‘s favorite. So much that she offered to carry it in metro, all the way back home. A policemen objected, you cant carry your placards outside of this designated protest place. Aneesha slyly covered the placard with her shawl at metro checking counter (the guard there WAS suspiciously eyeing her covered-placard, but thought better of voicing anything) and displayed the placard everywhere inside metro. That’s her, Aneesha inside the metro, my last min pic: (Here’s Aneesha’s own take on that.)

image098

My slogan for placard, which I couldn’t write, would have been:

Don’t use women to make your political debut (re-launch).

Precisely the reason why I joined the protest. We don’t want more hooligans to use women to launch their parties. We need an effective law enforcement, so that hooligans like Ram Sena don’t get away with it. Ever.

P.S: Highlight of the day was meeting two fiery, pretty girls: Indyeah and Aneesha. Hop over to Indyeah’s post to see pictures of the protest.

Cartoon courtsey Toothpastefordinner, thanks Anshul for sharing
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39 Responses to “Anti-Moral Policing Protest in Delhi”


  1. 1 rajiv ramanujam February 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Bravo Poonam.I am unwell, otherwise would have made it too

  2. 2 Indyeah February 14, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I absolutely love how you have captured the essence of the protest and how enthusistically people came..and how some ppl were hijacking it..:D
    Your post made ME feel good..((hugs)))
    Awesome post Poonam!!!:)

  3. 3 Indyeah February 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    *enthusiastically*
    heh!heh!

  4. 4 aneesha February 14, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    hehehehe.. lovely post!!! check out my blog too…

  5. 5 Usha February 14, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Great going Poonam… have been on indyeah’s aneesha’s and namrata’s blog ๐Ÿ™‚ And now to yours..:)

    You girls ROCK!!

    Congrats! Kudos… ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 6 Allytude February 14, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    GOOD JOB GOOD GOOD JOB!

  7. 7 Vikas Gupta February 14, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Wow! That was a good account straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Look at the camera shy Aneesha! I would have behaved similarly.

    Good you guys didn’t play to the gallery for HT and others.

  8. 8 Reema February 14, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Here is a pic…The place was Jantar Mantar no?
    Kudos to u guys!! Well done.

  9. 10 Anshul February 15, 2009 at 12:10 am

    OK, Here is what’s written on my placard “You do not hot link to images on other people’s site because that way you are actually consuming his/her site’s bandwidth(money) while he/she is providing you content for free.” Plus, its better to link to homepage, than a image url.

    Its good to see you people peacefully protesting against the issue. Politicians have found out an easy way to gain publicity through this kind of stuff. Media has made them celebrities.

  10. 11 Indian Homemaker February 15, 2009 at 1:50 am

    From somebody who would have loved to be there, and is grateful to you … a big Congrats and a Huge Thank You!
    Such protests let everybody know we are aware and we object, and we object strongly enough to get out of our homes early morning … and stand in peaceful protests. Hats off to all of you!!!

    Proud of you brave, lovely people ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 12 Indian Homemaker February 15, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Inverse snobbery annoys me too. The fact is if the elite and English speaking can be assaulted just imagine what might be going on in the villages.
    And I am so glad you could give them back in chaste Hindi ๐Ÿ™‚ (How I wish I was there!!)

    dismiss the protest merely as a skirmish from Eng-speaking girls. is something they can’t. You know of the girl in Mangalore, who took her own life because of similar unconstitutional moral policing!?

    And atleast because of efforts like these the Policeman who beat up a girl in Haryana was suspended.
    So Thanks! You made a difference.

  12. 13 Solilo February 15, 2009 at 6:15 am

    You chupa rustam! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so glad you joined too. I would have too. Kudos to all of you! Hope I can meet all of you like-minded women some day too.

    “I must also mention the inverse snobbery going on. Some journos tried to dismiss the protest merely as a skirmish from Eng-speaking girls.”

    [b]Not just journos but I see the same in blogosphere and other places too where people insist that real India is in villages. What is this real and unreal India? Should urban Indians now strip off their Indian-ness because we look and live differently. Indians come in all colors, shapes and attitude. Our means might be different but our destination is same.[/b]

  13. 14 Smita February 15, 2009 at 10:06 am

    This is fantastic….

    These media people suck!!! They only want to senationalise the issues and ignore the core issue. The slogans on the plac card are so apt….

    I too would have loved to be a part of such a protest…

  14. 15 Dev February 15, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Poonam, well done. I bow my head to all you girls who took this initiative with success. ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. Post more pics of the protest. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. 16 balvinder singh February 15, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Kudos for launching the campaign and congrats for its successful execution. sent here by Indyeah. Keep the heat on.

  16. 17 amreekandesi February 15, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Thats a great initiative! Kudos to you and the others who participated!

  17. 18 oorja February 15, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    oh i wish i was there..!

    great going girl(s) to all who were there and/or wanted to be there..!

  18. 19 vimmuuu February 15, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Way to go blogmate!!! How I wish I had similar people around me here !! Chennai, which I realised now, is such a sober place to conduct such activities. My so called comrades were shying away from reacting to this whole issue !

    I am proud of you and the rest of the bloggers; this is indeed a new beginning !

  19. 20 the twenty second line February 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    yes, this is not about the pub — this is to make a point.

    “divide and rule” mantra of the british adopted by indians themselves – how UNDIGNIFIED!-:)

  20. 21 Sirop February 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I was so glad you all were there. It was quite something eh? I wanted to punch the India TV woman and that idiot who asked, “aapko kaisa laga jab aapke saath yeh mangalore mein hua”. Ugh.

    Yes, we need such men in our country. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, we need to avoid things like car breakdowns and insane auto wallahs! in order to realise what’s happening (told you, “long story”..)

  21. 24 Dhiren February 16, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Bravo !!

    Really nice of you folks to get together… and heartening to hear that you were not alone… !!!

    This hooliganism cannot be allowed to continue and we must all get together and make sure it doesnt keep on happening..

    In our adjacent town, ujjain, a brother and sister were beaten up by the bajrang dal. The siblings kept screaming they werent lovers but they wouldnt listen !!!!

    10 people were arrested…. atleast the police didnt turn a blind eye and even that is heartening !!!

  22. 25 Nikhil February 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Brilliant! Good show! ๐Ÿ™‚
    From men all over the world, I bow down in humility and shame and turn around to get kicked in the backside! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. 26 harsh February 17, 2009 at 3:00 am

    well done !!! …. great job indeed …. steps like those would surely break all the shackles that happen to exist around women , even in today’s age !!!

  24. 27 Poonam Sharma February 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    @Rajiv: That you support in spirit is good enough. We need more men like you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Indyeah and Anisha: I felt good reading both your posts. I have already linked to your posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Usha: THanks for linking to us and supporting us. I have read all your posts so far but not ben able to comment in my haste. I will surely come over! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Allytude. Vikas: THnaks for your support!

    @Reema: Yup, that is the pic and it was at Jantar Mantar, seems to be taken by a curious passer-by. I saw that picture immediately after returning from protest, a friend shared that with me.

    @Anshul: Which image is hot-linked on this post? Aise hi. Don’t be a troll. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Media made us too photo-up girls for the day, I was not very fore-sighted baout it. Alas!

    @Indian Homemaker: You ahve made a difference.’

    Nothing better could have been said to us. I feel happy. THnak you for your support. Me and Indyeah remember discussing about support from you guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Solilo: yeah, I am seeing that snobbery all the time. It is same as saying rich people are living in sin when there are so many poor in the country. People in this country would not work upon anything themselves but keep on whining about everything and anything. I am surprised at the new controversies I hear everyday. Some of them are unnecessary and downright trivial.

    @Smita: Would have loved to see you with us for the protest. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Dev: See pics on Indyeah’s blog. I have linked to her post in the end.

    @Balvinder Singh: Thnaks for coming over and expressing your support. I too have visited your blog from Indyeah’s site for she put your blog on a place of pride. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @amreekandesi, orrja: Thnak you for your support!

    @Vimmuuu: I have seen your efforts to have a blogmeet. ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep at it, hope it works out soon.

    @the twenty second line: You are bang on. Divide and rule, that’s how India’s politics go. Fools!

    @Sirop: GLad you could come, I had actually been looking for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I did expect your long story to be something like that. Autos are pain-in-the-neck in this city, something we are helpless against, let me not start agin about it…ugghh

    @Oxy, Roop ; THnaks guys for you support.

    Roop, thanks for linking this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Dhiren: I read that news. Yeah, this time I read so many news about police vigilance. In Delhi too, police arrived in the parks before couples to protect them.

    @Nikhil: Naah, wont kick you. We need more men on our side. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Harsh: Thanks…I can’t see shackles around me..ugghh ๐Ÿ˜› On a serious note, yes, such crass politicians should not get away with terrifying acts as these.

  25. 28 Jasdeep February 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    nice post on the protest..

    you have gripping blog there ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. 29 Chirag February 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Hey Dude, this is awesome, we did miss the action in Delhi ๐Ÿ™‚ my brother was there ๐Ÿ™‚ though. It was nice too see some of the democracy is still alive and kicking. Agree with Nikihil some what.

  27. 30 Arpit February 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    fantastic poonam ๐Ÿ˜›
    after my exams , if you go for such protest, dont forget to count me . i would love to join you people.
    and you talked about action……..i think you have taken the first step and surely there is more to come . all the best

  28. 31 Indian Homemaker February 18, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Read your comment on PCC contd, very well said.

  29. 32 Nita February 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    When I read about these kind of protests I feel really glad. There are people standing up and speaking out. And it is because of these people that we will be able to prevent the talibanization of India.

    Thanks for your support, Nita. However, I feel ‘Talibanization’ is a huge word to use for these small-time-freak-vested-interest-people’s desperate attempts for publicity mongering by moral policing. Much as I detest them, I refuse to say Talibanizing is happening..it can not.

  30. 33 prabhu February 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Lets declare January 24th as “The Consortium of Pubgoing, Loose and Free Women”. Thats the day when Mangalore Pub attack took place.

    Lets use the same day to represent our collective will, cultural understanding and resilience against the moral policing brigade and religious fundamentalist groups.

    Let Culture not be the amount of skin we expose/cover.

    Let Culture be a quality of our Heart!

    Not a bad idea!

    plz forward this to others.

  31. 34 jigish thakar March 16, 2009 at 2:02 am

    you ppl reminded me rang de basanti….

    gr8

    Wow, that’s some compliment, Jigish ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. 35 anigalla March 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    this is very nice.. i liked the slogan “Donโ€™t use women to make your political debut (re-launch).” ..

    Thanks, Anigalla ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. 1 Ahem! Ahem! Valentine’s Day! « Emotionally Speaking… Trackback on February 14, 2009 at 9:19 pm
  2. 2 Three Cheers « banalities of life Trackback on February 16, 2009 at 7:37 am
  3. 3 A day that was Valentine’s « /home/jasdeep Trackback on February 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm
  4. 4 Of the Delhi protest…. « เคฌเคพเคคเฅ‹เค‚ เคฌเคพเคคเฅ‹เค‚ เคฎเฅ‡เค‚….Chai conversations Trackback on April 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm

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