Yogi Adityanath and Anti Romeo Squad

Slide1Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has taken many decisions after assuming office. Some of these included, removing beacon from official vehicles, inculcate work ethics in  bureaucrats, banning tobacco / paan masala / gut in office and so on. Yet, decisions that have been discussed to a great length are formation of anti-romeo squad and banning illegal butcher shops in the state.
Outside schools and colleges in small towns and cities, that have female students in attendance, boys and men hangout. Intention probably is to befriend a member of the opposite sex. Nothing wrong with the behavior and may be considered normal hetero sexual tendency of the age group. Problem starts when a girl does not show interest and men do not take no for an answer. 
There are many instances, when a girl is followed all the way to her home. Many a time lewd comments are passed against her. Girls have reported in appropriate physical contact like groping.  Many girls cannot got to school or college fearing harassment. These people want to get on with their lives with some dignity. Eve teasers take that away. Definitely this is a problem in many states in India, Uttar Pradesh is no exception. When BJP had undertaken pre-election survey to understand key problems affecting people, the issue of harassment of girls came up. BJP had promised to form a squad to curb the menace and Yogi Adityanath did it. May be it was easy to do.
The act of forming anti Romeo Squad was looked with a lot of scepticism and derision in main stream English language media.  English language media has looked at the decision from the angle of moral policing. Focus has been more on instances of harassment of innocent citizens by police and/or moral police. For example a video of a young man whose head was being shaved has gone viral, or instances of cousins being harassed and released after extracting bribe have been reported. By contrast vernacular media have been more supportive of the move. While English language media may be more concerned with broad human right violation, small inconvenience of small town people do not fit into big canvas of National Media. Story of a girl, writing how she was inappropriately touched while riding home in her scooty, does not find mention in National Media. Many probably consider her to the rightwing propagandist. 
Allahabad High Court has not found anything objectionable with creation of anti-romeo squad, may help the issue settle down. Court has observed, that anti-romeo squad is a kind of preventive policing. Based on court order, guidelines have been formed and strict instructions have gone out not to harass ordinary citizens.


indianexpress.com › Opinion › Web Edits

 anti-Romeo squads: Don’t harass consenting adults: Brass to cops …

timesofindia.indiatimes.com › City News › Meerut New

 Cops On ‘Anti-Romeo Drive’ Harassed Cousins, Took Bribe – And …

http://www.ndtv.com › All India

 Anti-Romeo squads get Allahabad high court’s approval – The …


8 thoughts on “Yogi Adityanath and Anti Romeo Squad

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    1. It is important that girls and women feel safe moving around. Change of mindset is needed in long run. Active policing plays an equally important role. At the same time innocents should not be harassed.


    1. It appears that Vernacular media welcomes the move. English language media did not. I read that people seem to support the move. It is early days though. I think it is very important that women felt safe in India.


  1. I am thrilled to hear that this issue is being addressed. Even here in America, we hear about the indignities (and much worse!) that some Indian women and girls endure. Please know these things are reported here, though not as much as they should be. Thank you so much for blogging about this. I am very happy to “meet” you.


    1. I am glad that I stumbled upon your writings. It is important to get humor back in our lives. Regarding indignities meted out to women, I think it is attitudinal problem. I think in addition to policing, which is current approach, there needs a mindset change. That comes from family upbringing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Changing mindset take time. Things are changing in cities and towns. As women go to study, go to work, they demand safe environment. As people ask, things change.


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