Do some of us see anything that is done purely for pleasure (no moral or monetary benefits), as wrong?

Specially if the fun is not being had in the name of religion/tradition/custom? Like you can dance all night, make as much noise as you like, use loud speakers, serve alcohol, get drunk, get into brawls, molest strangers, block traffic with your dancing and celebrations, travel, spend huge amounts of money – if you do it because it is a tradition/custom/religious requirement.

How does the society respond to celebrations/fun when there is no religion/culture/custom involved?

Do some of us see anything that is done purely for pleasure (no moral or monetary benefits), as wrong?

Isn’t that the reason why such controls are not seriously challenged?

… police permission is required to host a party at a rented serviced apartment, resort, pub, restaurant or hotel,” …

party organisers must submit an application with details like the size of the gathering, the kind of music (DJ/recorded music/live performance), dance floor, timings, serving of alcohol and other such specifications.

“The police will then accept or reject the application depending on whether the party could disturb neighbours or not,” [Add to party checklist: A licence from local police]

If this is about disturbing of neighbors, then are religious gatherings, prayers with loud speakers, political rallies, fire crackers, birthday parties and wedding parties also included?

I also feel, the reason why we don’t see serious action against Taliban like acts and threats of acid-throwing, sexually-assaulting, stripping and robbing young men and women, is that many Indian parents see these assaults as a way of controlling their adult children’s lives.

Do you agree that many parents of young Indian adults don’t really mind archaic acts and threats by criminals controlling the social lives of their adult children?

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34 thoughts on “Do some of us see anything that is done purely for pleasure (no moral or monetary benefits), as wrong?

  1. You have raised some very valid questions. Yes, all in the name of simple living and high thinking, fun, creativity, sport etc has to be suppressed. Abroad people travel for fun and learning, here they travel for work and to pilgrimages. Even vacations are time to visit relatives or the chaar dhaam. Food for thought

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    • Interesting! What’s with visiting the grandparents EVERY summer holiday? I mean, I loved to visit them. But what is this urge to do so every holiday? Surely, people deserve to visit other places?

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      • Why not visit them every Holiday? They are family, dont the old people deserve to see us at least during holidays? ..I do not know why we are mixing up issues here.

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        • You interpreted me wrong. I LOVE meeting my grandparents, and did so even more when I was a kid. But that should not be the entire holiday. There are many things and places to explore in life, and people should do that as well as meeting the grandparents.

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    • My biggest grouch about vacation time… why is it always dedicated to visiting relatives? Why do most people spend their holidays and also take unpaid leaves to attend family ceremonies? Why not spend that time for your own hobby or enjoyment? Why not bond with your immediate family over a travel adventure rather than spend the time bothering with all the hassles of a journey and bearing with obnoxious relatives because what-will-so-and-so-say?!

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  2. Valid question and I would be watching this space keenly now , to read a few of people , because I have a feeling what they goiong to say and if we look back what they have earlier said , will be a difference🙂 sorry if i am being nosy IHM.

    The thing as i have always said is , that people talk of things which are of others, or about others what happenes inside their own house they dont say a word..

    Over time I have read articles and Comments by people (sorry if this sound sexist – but i am jsut giving a example) .. who go on and on and onnnn about men , yet inside their own home they have a father-husband-brother-uncle-son WHO goes out and does the same or in the house..

    I dont have a problem with asling for permission to play music late etc etc but it has to be same , I went to india after a decade and we had a party and I took permission for the music till 11pm .. DOT 10pm the police guys came to stop it , they were shown the permission it did not matter , a bottle of rum worked , and that too after i refused to give them a bottle of enlish scotch i had taken from here. again 11pm they returned .. THIS IS not right yet the very next day there was a JAGRAN and the damn speakers went on ALL NIGHT, and these people did not have permission too..

    In india in a the name of religion every BAD element does a lot of things , Religion is used for every context..

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  3. Yea… having fun is a crime!
    ‘Instead of wasting time roaming around with friends why dont you do something constructive?’
    ‘Why dont you join a vaccation class…’
    Dandiya is allowed. Discotheques are not.
    Prayer rallies and political rallies that cause hours worth of traffic is also fine…
    ‘Birthday party at midnight??? When we were your age we used to go to temple do pooja bla bla bla on birthdays’
    Then of course the million dollar award goes to ‘this is what happens wen girls hang out in pubs with so and so wearing skimpy clothes’

    “Mr. Police, can I please throw a party for my friends at a place I book for rent and serve them food and alcohol and whatever bought with my own-hard-earned money?”
    Wowww! India Shining!!!

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  4. The party-license-rules, as written, certainly includes birthday-parties, wedding-parties and religious parties if they are not celebrated at home. (it does say in the article that no licence is required for parties in your home)

    But in practice, I don’t think it’s likely that the police will crack down on people who, for example, arrange a wedding at a fancy hotel.

    I think parties are a bad example. The main objection to parties is not that they are done “purely for pleasure”, the main objection is that they can cause a lot of noise which can disturb other people in the area.

    Ultimately, everything we do beyond the bare minimum needed to stay alive, is for pleasure.

    Why buy nice furniture instead of sitting on the floor ? Why pay extra for a more comfortable car ? Why go on vacation ? Why read a novel ? Why kiss your husband ? Why write a letter to a friend ? Why drink a cup of tea ? Why put spices and herbs in your food ? Why paint interior walls ?

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    • Agrajag, parties are seen as frivolous and wasteful, and a western influence, parties also allow men and women to have fun together. Movies, drinking, listening to western music, wearing western clothes – because none of these can be justified as required by religion/culture/custom.

      Food, tea, pretty houses, furniture are tolerated, even appreciated, because these are seen as unlikely to result in love-marriages. Cars are seen with suspicion and vacations (specially without elderly supervision) are looked down upon.

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      • You are right, and *that* is a common complaint, especially from conservative religious people. They have a tendency to see any fun that is cross-gender as suspicious. If you ask them what the problem is, they are often evasive, but ask enough, and in the end the reason tends to come down to: It’s possible that someone could be tempted to have sex.

        This is the only reasonable explanation. It’s not the pleasure as such, it’s some specific pleasures, most notably sex. Seeking pleasure in the form of, for example arranging your apartment to be aestethically pleasing is not seens as suspect, and indeed will probably be praised. The same can be said for seeking pleasure in preparing food so that it tastes and looks as good as possible — again, that’s pleasurable, but will be accepted or even praised.

        But do something that “may lead to sex”, and it’s immediately a problem.

        Sleep in a bed ? Not a problem. Share a large bed with a friend of the opposite sex ? Huge problem ! (even if all you do is sleep). Dancing, being together after dark, drinking alcohol, being together in a private place and so on are *all* considered problematic because of the possible connection to sex. A daughter that dance ballet, in daylight, in a dancing-school, with other girls, is not seen as *nearly* as problematic as a daughter who dance in evenings or nights, in a night-club, with men.

        My knowledge of India is near zero, I should stress that my above observations are more general, I’ve seen this (to varying degrees) in a multitude of places, not only India.

        This is why freeing sexuality is so important. If parents can accept that their adult daughter may freely choose to have sex with anyone she wants, then they can automatically *also* accept all those things which “may” lead to sex. For this reason, few find problems with married partners sharing a bed. True it sometimes leads to sex – but that is not a problem because that would be acceptable anyway.

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  5. I wish they’d go the other way and ban loud religious ceremonies along with loud parties. Taking care not to disturb neighbors is a good thing! I feel MURDEROUSLY angry when someone wakes my sleeping baby with their stupid noise and takes away my precious bit of free time.

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    • I am not sure if they are concerned about the noise – coming so soon after the criminal assault on the 13 young people celebrating a birthday party in a Mangalore homestay (this looks like a gesture expressing solidarity)

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  6. I think this has to do with who has more muscle power and who doesn’t. No policeman would dream of halting a party thrown by a politico or Bollywood-based people even if it is noisy, disturbing and licencious. Sadly enough, religious festivals often have political backing. Such bans and restrictions are another money-making scheme – induce fear first and then prey on that fear.

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  7. Well, there is a definite legal restriction on all religious ‘noise’ and I think it makes sense to have some control factors for parties so that they don’t disturb other people. When I am sick or working, it hardly matters to me whether the noise disturbing me is from a wedding, Ganesh immersion or a teenager’s 18th birthday party.

    I don’t think it is correct to mix people’s right to NOT have acid thrown on them or not be raped with their right to party, secular or otherwise.

    And to answer your question, yes, I do think that certain kinds of celebrations do seem more acceptable to some people than others. But again, that is a choice people have. The problem I have is with trying to exercise control over people. That is the wrong thing here, and leads to the problems stated in the post.

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    • Fem I agree that there needs to be a lot more awareness and clear rules about noise.

      If the police wishes to control noise all they need to do is announce clear rules – timings, decibels and locations that are not permitted for noisy parties – and respond to calls from residents if there is noise. This is done in Pune – I have made calls when the noise has continued beyond permitted timings, and since the calls did stop the noise (mostly), I believe the method does work.

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  8. You’ve hit on an interesting question. Research has indeed shown that conservatives don’t like the idea of having “fun” without paying for it in some way. Sex for example should have “consequences” like getting pregnant or being married. Merely having “mindless” sex for fun goes against their mindset. same with say drinking without consequences…

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  9. “Do you agree that many parents of young Indian adults don’t really mind archaic acts and threats by criminals controlling the social lives of their adult children?”

    Agree 100%, anything even resembling a threat to their control will be villified openly. Even if they vocally are against it they are quietly happy that it is happening because it serves as a open validation of their own sick control games. Parents of this nature must be cut off as quickly as possible otherwise one will end up living their parent’s lives.

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  10. In the end, all this is going to be is one more point in the system where you have to shell out a bribe.

    Why don’t they impose this on ANY gathering in public, including the “Mariamma” speakers that go on at 5 effing AM and last well until afternoon on religious days? That sure would be a relief.

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  11. There was this poster of Sunny Leone being invited as a guest to a Janmashtami function in town that someone shared on FB, and a guy commented about how the organizing group is shameless for inviting a ‘sex model’ (whatever that means) to the holy ceremony. In reality, most religious events like these only serves as an excuse for the local jobless public to gather ‘contributions’ and make merry on people’s money, by blasting music from the speakers that would give old folks a heart attack or render younger ones deaf. They tend to be all about playing songs in the local / non-local language of which few or none can make out the lyrics, drinking yourself silly, and dancing vulgarly on the streets.

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  12. The definition of a party as a ‘gathering of 15 or more people’ is nothing short of ridiculous. I’ve had literally hundreds of working lunches with more colleagues and team members than that – are they saying that such lunches would now need a license saying that we won’t disturb the neighbors? Why? Who gave police the right to arbitrarily impose blanket restrictions on public gatherings?

    I do not understand the reasoning behind this regulation at all. Not only is it vague and arbitrary, it is probably unconstitutional. Article 19(1)(c), read along with Article 19(4) says that:

    All citizens shall have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms. Nothing in the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order or morality, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause.

    Requiring a license for EVERY gathering of 15 or more and then putting it through a highly arbitrary test without any actual judicial oversight does not strike me as ‘reasonable’, specially since there is no real justification. Parties do not cause ‘disturbance’ in themselves.
    I can see the merit in regulating, say high-wattage sound systems, but there is simply no good reason to regulate gatherings in this way.

    As far as conservatives hating fun is concerned, I agree. Even at work, a lot of people (especially younger people) seem to think that a pilgrimage, for example, is a better excuse for leave than a family vacation. Most people who actually approve holidays do not sympathize with that sentiment, in my experience, but the fact that a religious vacation is seen as more virtuous or superior to a purely fun vacation says a lot.

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  13. Basically this culture encourages people to sacrifice, do their duty, obey elders and not question authority. One is made to feel guilty if they are having fun.

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  14. @ Bhagi
    Precisely. Which is why as an atheist, I often get derided for being ‘immoral by default’ because I wouldn’t submit to a god whose religious diktats should be the ‘guiding force’ of my life. The idea that an irrelegious hedonist could have very high personal ethics and value integrity is anathema to South and South-East Asian people. It is all about staying in a hum-drum life in the name of ‘duty’ and ‘selflessness’.

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