Stares, obscene comments, and harrassment by the police are some of the things that couples in the city have to face, should they even hold hands or exchange a hug in public. And now, a video of couples getting intimate on board the Delhi Metro (footage allegedly captured on CCTV) has been leaked on a porn site, thus bringing to the fore one big question — Are Delhi’s couples so starved of privacy in their own city that they have to indulge in intimacy on public transport?
Delhi Metro passengers are escorted out of a train compartment at a metro station during a mock drill conducted by the Delhi Police and Delhi metro authorities in New Delhi. AFP Photo/Sajjad Hussain
“I don’t see anything wrong in two people getting cosy in a secluded place. Go abroad and see how openly couples display their affection. It isn’t considered a big deal,” says Rohan Sehgal, 25.
However, Delhi, feel young Delhiites, has never been open to couples. “Forget kissing, I get stared at while holding my boyfriend’s hand in public. Just because some people have a certain kind of mindset doesn’t mean a couple can’t show some affection in public. Can one prove that all such couples aren’t married or engaged? There’s no freedom in this so called democratic country of ours,” says a young girl who doesn’t want to disclose her identity. She says girls who are seen displaying their affection in public are labelled as ‘too fast’.
A lot of youngsters feel that the time has come for the city to change its mindset. “The person responsible for making this video clip should be questioned and put behind bars, instead of blaming the couples,” feels 30-year-old Sachin Wahi.
In fact, psychiatrists agree with the need for a mindset change. “We are a conflicting society. We are going through various transitions and have global dreams. But unfortunately, we are not coming out of societal pressures and taboos. We have always had double standard for sex-related issues. Everything happens under wraps but if a girl dares to kiss in public she is seen as loose. It’s time we evolve and stop having a moral take on sex. Parents have a very big role to play in this,” explains psychiatrist Deepak Raheja.
Parents however feel that there is a long way to go before this change happens. “As parents we can only advise our kids to be careful in public places,” says Poonam Goyal, a mother of a teenage daughter.
It also happens in Mumbai
In Mumbai, a city known to be more tolerant towards PDA between couples, media professional Kuber Sarup (26) was booked for ‘indecent behaviour in public’ for merely hugging his friend and giving her a peck on the cheek while saying goodbye, sometime last year. It took him 14 months and several rounds of the court to finally get an acquittal.
Should public display of affection (pda) be a big deal? Delhi reacts...
We have double standards. If a girl is wearing sindoor and walking hand-in-hand with a man people say ‘oh! they are married!’ and so it’s ok. If I hold my boyfriend’s hand, I am judged.
Forget kissing, I get stared at while holding my boyfriend’s hand in public. There is no freedom in our so called democratic country.
A young Delhi girl
The person responsible for making this (Metro) video clip should be questioned and put behind bars, instead of blaming the couples.
Sachin Wahi, Delhiite
A lot of crimes against women in Delhi happen because of the way women are viewed. As parents we can only advice our kids to be careful in public places.
Poonam Goyal, mother
We are going through various transitions and have global dreams. But unfortunately, we are not coming out of societal pressures and taboos.
Deepak Raheja, psychiatrist
I don’t see anything wrong in people getting cosy in a secluded place. Go abroad and see how openly couples display their affection.
Rohan Sehgal, Delhiite