Kerala’s men are turning moral policemen. Couples are interrogated by random strangers, even beaten up and arrested.
In this article, Shahina KK discusses the morality-centered vigilante culture that is growing at an alarming rate in Kerala. She gives several anecdotal examples of incredulous levels of violence (from overwhelmingly male perpetrators) in both private and public spaces (including Thesni Bhanu’s, an infotech professional, now-famous story).
I generally disagree with ‘sexual repression’ being offered as a reason for any act of violence. I am not even sure what ‘sexual repression’ means. The concept of a man who has not had sex for a while suddenly exploding into violence is both misogynist and usually racist. What I do think is going on though, is an increased visibility of women displaying both social and sexual independence. In a culture with multiple socially and culturally constructed ‘rules’ that dictate and police women’s every step (both literally and otherwise) to ensure an eventual passage into marriage and reproduction; such rash displays of ‘non-traditional’ is intolerable. These women are not ashamed enough. They, in fact, believe they have rights protected by the law.