Indians need to learn to respect their adult children for who they are and what they want. In our country, parents lose all legal authority over their offspring once they reach the age of 18. This applies to women as well as men. Unfortunately many people don't seem to like this idea and it's extremely disturbing that the courts are encouraging them.

More Proof that Many Indians Don’t Like the Concept of Adulthood

Indian law and Indian society is uncomfortable with the idea of adulthood – and specially that of women. We’ve seen time and again that the law refuses to treat grown women over the age of 18 as full fledged adults capable of making their own decisions. Whether it is courts “protecting” them by forcing live in couples to marry, or charging men with rape for voluntary intercourse with a major, it looks as if we’re terrified at letting our kids grow up and take responsibility for their lives.

But a regressive judgment from the Kerala High Court is really too much. The court has pronounced that parents have the right to interfere in the love life of their adult children “in their best interests”. There was a period of time when the courts were the last bastion of sense in India. When politicians tore up the Constitution and when religious nuts were going berserk, we could always look to the courts to restore sanity and remind people of the basic principles of our democracy. Now that faith is being repeatedly shaken. First the Supreme Court refuses to pronounce Section 377 unconstitutional, and now the highest court in the state throws the concept of adulthood to the dogs.

Here’s one of the most absurd comments ever to pass the mouth of a judge:

Ours is a society which has recognised freedom to every citizen. But then, these changes that we proudly talk about, and the liberties that are guaranteed to our citizens, cannot be stretched beyond limits nor can such freedom be made weapons to destroy our fundamental values or social establishments like families, which, undoubtedly, concede authority on parents to advise and guide their children.

Where do I even start? Let’s start with the Constitution. Does it talk about “social establishments”? No. Does it talk about “fundamental social values”? Are these values defined? No. Where in the Constitution does it say that parents have the authority to “advise and guide” their adult children? Well to be fair, there’s no harm in “advice” as long as it’s just words. But in this case, the parents illegally detained their adult daughter and instead of putting the parents in jail, the court is defending them!

Wanted: Judges who have absolute loyalty only to the Constitution and the law and and don’t give a flying fuck about “society” or “social values” or whatever the hell the great protectors of India culture pull out of their asses. This judgment is illegal and there are no two ways about it. I think the Supreme Court should take suo moto cognizance of this absurd case and punish the judges involved. A judge who introduces his or her own prejudices and mindsets that go against the Constitution has no place on a bench. Especially one that is as powerful and authoritative as the High Court of a state.

Dear Judges,

The only thing that matters is the Constitution. If a law or act goes against the basic structure of the Constitution, it is illegal. End of story. Anything outside it doesn’t exist and you have no right to make up your own laws. There is no “society”, there is no “social structure”. Adulthood – which means that people are responsible for their actions – is a core value of our country. It means people can vote, they can drive, they can have their own children and yes…they can choose their own life partners. After 18, there’s nothing parents can do but sit back and accept the choices of their children.

And don’t give me the “oh, parents sacrificed so much” line. Every animal on this planet does its very best for its offspring, even to the extent of giving their lives for their young ones. I expect no less from humans. It’s not something awesome and noble. It’s normal. Children pay it back by doing the same for their kids. The favor is propagated forward, not backwards.

In the end, this is all about control. Indians are insecure with the notion of freedom, which is odd considering that we fought tooth and nail to get it. But then…it was never really about freedom. We wanted freedom from the British. But lots of people didn’t have any objections to being subjugated by our own countrymen! No wonder even our courts don’t understand what it means to be free.

Five Months to Learn “The Portrait” on the Piano

I've always wanted to play "The Portrait" from Titanic on the piano. This time when I came back, I decided to learn it no matter how long it took. And after five months, I finally did it. This is the original score from James Horner. It's played when … [Continue reading]

Many people justify unfair laws on the basis of

Marriage Laws Shouldn’t Cater to “Social Realities”

India's laws are deliberately imperfect. Many of them do not adhere to ideals of our country and in fact actively work against them. I've long had  a difference of opinion with certain people when it comes to lawmaking - and marriage and divorce laws … [Continue reading]

If you assault someone for wearing one of these, you are a thug. No excuses, no justifications. The arguments of people defending those who attack Google Glass wearers are the same as those used for rape victims. No amount of

Shocking Responses to Attack on Woman Wearing Google Glass

Looks like attacking people wearing Google Glass is the new "cool thing" to do. The excuses are familiar. The attackers were "provoked", the girl wearing the glasses "had it coming", why was she wearing them in a bar, blah blah blah. New … [Continue reading]

A lot of Hindus have a love hate relationship with Islam. On the surface, they hate it and accuse it of destroying India. On the other hand, they secretly admire its intolerant nature and are eager to remake Hinduism in its image. To them, getting offended and threatening others with violence is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Many Hindus Secretly Admire Islam

On the surface, it may seem that the Hindu right dislikes Islam to the core. They talk about how their great past was ruined by invasions, and how Muslims are taking over India etc etc. But the response to the removal of Wendy Doniger's book suddenly … [Continue reading]

If you have to resort to banning a book, you've already lost. If you're the kind of person who wants to shut down someone else's freedom of expression, then Tom and Jerry cartoons are the only safe medium for you.

If you Can’t Tolerate Books, Stick to Nursery Rhymes

Book burning is alive and well...in India. If not burned, then shredded and pulped. This ghastly imagery comes courtesy of hindu right wing groups unable to tolerate Wendy Doniger's 'The Hindus: An Alternative History'. Ironically, the organization … [Continue reading]

It's because of

Isn’t it Time we Got Rid of Our Traditions?

Anupa and I were watching "The Butler" last week. The opening scene where a white foreman at a cotton plantation casually destroys the life of a young black worker by raping his mother and murdering his father in cold blood (in that order), made me … [Continue reading]

What prevents someone from just

Do People Still Care about Caste?

This is an honest question - do people still care about caste in today's world? A person I know was asked about their caste recently from an otherwise well educated, "progressive" seeming person. The question came out of the blue from nowhere! … [Continue reading]

No guy ever really

“He Lost Control” – Why that’s a Bullshit Excuse

Underlying most of the victim blaming that goes on when a woman is assaulted, is a scary and rather offensive assumption. That men "can't control themselves". Apparently not a tiny number of people think that we are these slavering, foaming at the … [Continue reading]

I do NOT live in a country whose Constitution allows for discrimination against people based on their sexual preference. That Constitution is defended by the Supreme Court to protect and to strike down laws that are unconstitutional. The SC is failing to do its JOB by letting illegal laws stand and by passing the buck to the legislature.

Dear SC – We Want you to do your JOB!

How easy it is to lose faith in an institution you respected. When it comes to finding Section 377 unconstitutional, it's one whammy after another. After the Indian Supreme Court failed abysmally in its duty of protecting the fundamental rights of … [Continue reading]