A photo of two people kissing is not a problem, but sex crimes are
We wow at the sight when we see couples in a gallery locking lips when their team wins a match. We consider it heavenly when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss openly in their wedding ceremony.
For ordinary humans, the above circumstances may look normal, and we tend to accept them as part of our nature, but the problem begins when we Bangalis see a couple kissing or hugging each other openly. We immediately come to the conclusion that this is an act we must stop from happening. On the other hand, we don’t think of preventing the millions of sex crimes that are taking place across the country.
A photograph of two lovers kissing went viral on social media, giving rise to a flurry of points of views against kissing openly in a Bengali atmosphere.
The moment when they started kissing each other was also fabulously romantic; it was raining at the time at the Dhaka University campus.
The photographer who had captured that moment was reportedly beaten up by some people, who couldn’t accept the kiss in an open place.
Allow me to remind you of another incident in Kolkata, in April this year. A couple was seen hugging in a crowded train compartment.
The boy said he was trying to protect the girl by attaching his body with hers in an extremely crowded train.
However, there were, of course, some who could not take the seeming comfort that the couple was enjoying by embracing each other. They beat up both the boy and the girl for, in their words, committing such a “crime” in a public place.
This violent act by those who beat up the couple was protested in that Indian city. A hugging campaign was started in order to protest against the violent acts in the metro-rail station. Similarly, in Bangladesh, there were thousands who expressed their solidarity with the kiss by posting comments on Facebook.
But there were also thousands who didn’t like this kissing episode in an open atmosphere. Many claimed that kissing one another publicly would encourage rape in our society.
Really? We South Asians usually don’t kiss our partners openly, but there are countries where people do. Is it a fact that the rate of rapes have increased in those countries? Do they have more incidences of rapes than in the countries of South Asia?
But I’m sure this incidence of kissing wasn’t a planned one; the boy and the girl had kissed each other after being guided by a sudden impulse. If you ask them now to stand in the middle of the road and kiss each other again, they won’t probably do it.
Kissing isn’t alien in our society. We kiss our parents, we kiss our siblings and children, and since childhood we know that kissing is an expression of love and affection. Remember the upside down rain kiss between Spider-Man and Mary Jane? Remember the kiss that Rose and Jack share on the bow of the Titanic?
There are hundreds of Bangla movies where we show kissing and hugging as an expression of love and affection. So, since childhood, we learn the importance of kissing.
If urinating in public by displaying the male organs isn’t condemned, why should we condemn kissing as an incidence of vulgarity? Many have argued that kissing is a very private affair, and that no one should do it out in public.
Agreed -- our society is not yet ready for accepting two people kissing or embracing openly. But when someone does this, they are considered doomed in the eyes of the society.
On the other hand, society doesn’t seem to have any headache regarding the horrific rapes that are being committed across the country. Why do we fail to condemn these sex crimes?
Ekram Kabir is a story-teller and a columnist.