Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: Public Display of Affection

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Public Display of Affection

                                    "Shmoop!".... *kissing!!*


Public Displays of Affection, can be seen in the form of kissing, touching, groping, licking, nuzzling, cuddling, crossing hands into each other's opposite back pocket, etc. Usually spotted among new couples, frisky teenagers, and occasionally the "young at heart" (god help us). ~Dictionary

Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014 in Nigeria is anti-democratic law, and Section 377 of Indian Penal Code is a draconian law which criminalizes any activity which is against the "order of the nature", or the definition of obscenity and obscene acts in the  Section 292/293/294  of the Indian penal Code is intentionally kept vague and obscure to twist the law and give unlimited power to Police to harasses who are obstruction to the means of capitalist, bureaucrats and politicians.
Honorable Supreme Court of India in the case of Samaresh Bose v. Amal Mitra has differentiated vulgarity from obscenity.

 i) A vulgar writing is not necessarily obscene. Vulgarity arouses a feeling of disgust and revulsion and also boredom, but does not have the effect of depriving, debasing and corrupting the morals of any reader of the novel. Whereas obscenity has the tendency to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences.

Now we can overlook the legal aspect since If the police want to book  they have numerous provision of the Law, that they can use. Why they would go for cumbersome law when sedition law, and Cr.P.C. 107 has already given them unlimited power to detain anybody just on the ground of apprehension and its undefined threat to tranquillity. Courts are not made to define the law, they interpret the law made by legislation. The Act or Code itself should contain the definition of all ambiguous terms like unnatural act or obscenity. The democracy has lost it objectivity and is just another form of autocracy.

What kind of public display of affection is intolerable for society? Do the people react in the same way when an old couple is kissing on a bench in a park when reminiscences of golden days surges? The society does not find it harmful.We can shun it by saying a cultural thing, but if we believe in universal applicability of 'Law of nature', and accept human psyche as synonymous to "nature", we would be able to differentiate that all types of cultures are on the same racing track, and the one lagging behind is ready to gallop and surprise the audience.

The various acts of public display of affection are holding hands, embracing, kissing (hands, cheeks, lips, earlobes) or smooching, caressing, cuddling, fondling, hugging, petting, snuggling, necking-what is the exact stage when Police would shout 'STOP'- this act of yours is illegal.

Police Department runs shortage of staff, constables are chasing young couples in the bushes, theft, kidnap, rape and all other crimes remain uninvestigated, radicals and fundamentalist are getting stronger, and middle class is the only sector of the society obsessed with values and is happy with the moral policing their children are facing. So the youth, have become rebellious and enjoys doing what irritates the older generation.

Literature has reflected the sentiments of society.  "Seven Minutes" by Irving Wallace, "Eleven Minutes" by Paulo Coelho, "Bad Girl" by Mario Vargas Llosa, "Thy neighbor's wife" by Gay Talese are some of the examples when the issue of expression of sexuality has been taken up seriously but a universally acceptable code of conduct is still a distant dream.

There are exhibits' and voyeurs living symbiotically, chauvinistic males  who display affection to establish their possession, feminist females who want to win race and take initiative, people fighting with their own insecurities as if public display would seal the relationship, some are tempted by libido and some are fun-seekers, there could be numerous other types involved in the PDA.
What do I suggest?

I suggest stealing an apple and find out yourself if it is sweeter.

© Vipin Behari Goyal
Author is also Advocate at Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur

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