Indira Park bans unmarried couples: Indira Park in Hyderabad recently put up a banner stating that unmarried couples are not allowed inside. This regressive move left netizens infuriated. While the banner was removed later, following social media outrage, it leaves us with so many questions. Are couples are now required to carry around a "proof of marriage" to spend some quality time together? Why does society feel this compulsion to police love?
Indira Park bans unmarried couples: Twitter outrage
The banner gathered much criticism from Twitter users. A user named Meera Sanghamitra, who had shared the image in question on Twitter, rightly pointed out that this mandate was 'unconstitutional'. "New low & new level of moral policing by Indira Park Mgmt in Hyd! A public park is an open space for all law abiding citizens, including consenting couples across genders," she said. The user further added, "How can 'marriage' be criteria for entry! @GHMCOnline & @GadwalvijayaTRS this is clearly unconstitutional."
New low & new level of moral policing by Indira Park Mgmt in Hyd! A public park is an open space for all law abiding citizens, including consenting couples across genders. How can 'marriage' be criteria for entry! @GHMCOnline & @GadwalvijayaTRS this is clearly unconstitutional. pic.twitter.com/4rNWo2RHZE— Meera Sanghamitra (@meeracomposes) August 26, 2021
I fail to understand the stigma surrounding unmarried couples in our country. We glorify toxic and unhappy marriages but never support a couple who spread the message of love and consent. Is it because marriage apparently gives us a 'license' to exercise our 'right' on our partners? A marital relationship can be 'legal', but a third party has no authority to pressurise young couples to first get married and then enter a park.
Is the ban an 'anti-working class' move?
Noting that most couples visiting the park come from lower and middle income categories, Sanghamitra called the restriction 'ridiculous' and said that is was an 'anti-working class move'. She further added that working class young couples have every right to access the park. "Also, this is clearly an anti-working class move. Most couples who frequent Indira Park belong to lower, middle income categories. They cannot access hi-fi pubs & other costly spaces. Working class young couples have every right to access these parks. End Ridiculous Restrictions," her tweet read.
Another user supported her saying that it was "anti-working class, anti-personal freedom of movement and social engagement," adding that it's "a straight out moral repression by society and law enforcement agencies."
True! Anti-working class, anti-personal freedom of movement and social engagement; a straight out moral repression by society and law enforcement agencies.— Dem 101 (@duxFortisIndia) August 26, 2021
Some users supported the ban
A user commented that another park in the city had became a "hotbed" for couples and got "decayed". Only after being converted into a children's park it got "rejuvenated". According to the user, unmarried couples look for opportunities to cross the limits of decency. They go beyond holding hands and sitting next to each other.
Well, if that is the case, I have an important question. Won't married couples do the same? Or is it their right to do so simply because they share a "socially acceptable relationship"? We may find it uncomfortable to be around couples because we've never been taught to normalise romantic relationships. Therefore, greater attention must be paid to educating the public that love and sex can exist outside of marriage too.