Anti-Romeo Squad – A Protective Act or a Restriction of Freedom

From the time the Modi government came into power, I have been a sceptic, completely sure that this government will not make a difference in people’s lives. It will be the same circle of false promises, hopes shattered and disappointment. I still am a sceptic, waiting and watching to see if the government lives up to the people’s trust.

One of the latest moves by the government that has people(especially the young people) scared and worried is the Anti-Romeo Squad started in U.P. We are automatically worried and concerned that it is a garb for harassing couples. I completely empathize with people’s concerns and worries. After all, we have had experiences of policemen harassing couples under the pretext of protecting women.

However, in this case, I feel things may be slightly different. From whatever I have read – the Anti Romeo Squad isn’t created to prevent interactions between girls and boys. I know that when we look at Yogi Adityanath, we perceive the kind of person who wants to take India back to the dark ages. But somehow, I beg to differ in this case. I may turn out to be wrong, but from what I have seen of his actions, his decisions after becoming CM have been based on the right thought process.

The Anti-Romeo Squad has been created with the thought process of making the cities safer for women. The thought behind it is a good and positive one. Yes, when I read up about the Anti-Romeo Squad, I did come across incidents where innocent young boys were harassed or young couples were troubled. However, there was one big difference that I noticed. Immediate action was taken against the police officers who harassed consenting couples or group of friends of mixed gender who were together. The officers were suspended. So, eventually this might turn out to be the step that will make U.P a safer place for women. We should give it a chance. Also, the squad has one male and one female officer, another difference from the past.

Now the important question asked in this topic. Should we stop the intermingling between boys and girls? Definitely not. We should encourage boys and girls to have healthy relationships based on respect and understanding. We should teach them to treat each other as people and not look at each other as members of the opposite gender.

A lot of the times, no make that all the time, children learn by following our actions, not by what we preach to them. How many men make sexist remarks about girls or women in the presence of their sons – making comments on their physical aspects, the clothes they wear or even their driving skills. If you preach to your son that he should respect women as individuals but behave in the opposite way, what do you expect him to learn? Similarly, if you teach your daughter to dress modestly, to behave in a certain way when going out with guys, you are drilling it into her that she is responsible for ensuring no guy treats her in the wrong way. We need to teach our boys that women have the right to dress the way they want to and if a woman is drinking at a party or if she has many guy friends, she is not a woman that they can play with.

Once again, children follow by example, not by preaching. So, if we want to have a healthy intermingling of young people from opposite genders, we need to practice what we preach and treat men and women(boys and girls) to see each other as people and individuals, not as someone from the opposite gender.

This post is written for the Indiblogger Indispire topic # 166



10 Replies to “Anti-Romeo Squad – A Protective Act or a Restriction of Freedom”

  1. You have considered all aspects of the issue very carefully. I also have the feeling that so far the UP CM has taken decisions that will take the UP in right direction of development and clean the system and the society many long afflicted ills.

    1. Thank you 🙂 yes even I feel the same and I have heard from friends I know in UP about the change for the better that they have experienced in the working of the government offices since Yogi Adityanath came into power.

  2. I think Anti Romeo Squad is preventive policing. Allahabad High Court has accepted its utility. Those not living in UP and criticise the move, do not know the ground situation. As much as we want girls and boys should talk, mix and be friends, we should also criticise and take steps to physical harassment, molestation, following a girl all the way home, passing lewd comment etc. This type of behaviour must be controlled. True, mindset change happens at least in part at home. But society must have a mechanism to deter errant individuals. That is what is called policing.

    1. I totally agree with you and from whatever I read, strict action is being taken against officers who harass innocent boys and girls. I think the intentions behind the Anti Romeo Squad are good.

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