Friday, January 13, 2006

Matters Of Morality

Via PTI, Ban family planning, abortion, says Puri seer

Is this what India needs to further fracture our society -- a US-style politico-religious fight over abortion? We think absolutely not.

This is not to say we do not appreciate the complex moral issues on the matter of abortion. Personally, we have a pretty dim view of the procedure. In our ideal world, abortion would be extremely rare -- self-limited by mothers only to situations where their lives are at stake.

But, given the extraordinary complexity of the issue, we are loath to imposing our personal morality on others through legislative dictat. Clearly, the seer thinks otherwise. This is rather unfortunate.

There's a great deal of intolerant morality imposition that's going on in India these days. This is hardly emblematic of a healthy and free society. We may disapprove of certain lifestyles and public conduct, but our tolerant social heritage and our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms require us to live and let live.

If we absolutely must condemn certain practices, fine -- that afterall is an exercise of free expression -- but there should be no expectation that the Government will use its machinery to follow along.


froginthewell said...

If banning abortion amounts to imposition of personal morality why is banning murder any different?

Xfile said...

I think there is a bit of misreading going on here. There is also some background to this. His intention is not for anti-abortion legislature, but to highlight the highly unbalanced implementation of family planning measures by the government on different communities. There is extremely high resistance on ideas of family planning by certain people who happen to be of the Muslim persuasion and the government of course does nothing about it (whether they should or not is a separate discussion, i guess). This selectivity is increasingly perceived as a threat, hence we have people like RSS and this Shankaracharya asking Hindus to 'go forth and multiply'. Many regular folks easily get bought by this type of talk and can you really blame them? All they need to look at are our dear neighbors and countries like Malaysia changing for the worse right before their eyes. There is enough extremism of all kinds to make it v easy to get paranoid about it.


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