Mothers’ group dishes out instant morality in Manipur restaurants
Manipur DGP Ratnakar Baral said this form of social vigilance was fine as long as it remained within the law, and adds that his hands are tied. "This is the kind of moral policing which takes place in Manipur. We have received no complaints from anyone... so there is no question of us stopping this campaign. Of course, if we received a complaint, that would be different," Baral told The Indian Express.
Defending the action against the Meitei woman and the Assam Rifles personnel, Memma says: "It is bad enough that the two had physical relations. What makes it worse is that the man was a non-Manipuri and therefore it was so much more difficult to make him accountable for our society."
Memma sees nothing wrong in using the video clips of the couples either. According to her, their intervention in case of unmarried couples, when they call in the parents, was "maternal".
"We have found scores of young people at these seedy restaurants doing what they shouldn't be doing. After we locate them, we first give them a warning and then call in their parents. We ensure that the families agree to the couple being married. Pre-marital sex is not acceptable," she says.
Such is the clout of women's groups in Manipur that, the Lup says, not a single family contacted by them has so far refused the marriage diktat.
In the case of extramarital affairs, the Lup extends no such "niceties" — going straight to the press and police. Memma calls "rising" extramarital affairs "a very dangerous trend" and attributes it to TV serials and movies, especially from South Korea. "Korean cinema and serials are foreign — it is not our culture. We cannot ban Korean TV but what we can monitor the behaviour of our children," she says.
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