When men are stripped off their rights to sporting long hair and wearing studs in an embryonic democracy, it is time for us to question whether democracy is practiced right. Today men are being forced to keep their hair short, tomorrow all citizens will be asked to revert to our traditional dresses, then gradually we all will get inside the burqa and make our nascent democracy something comparable with the Taliban regime. And, meanwhile, all protestors may be behind the bars or shot at the head.
Who needs a good sucker-punch actually is the Nepali Police. They first imposed the MaPaSe law, which for some reasons, many women and family people found rather appealing. However, this rule aimed at curbing drinking and driving was imposed in the crudest form possible. There is no basis, such as the allowable limit for alcohol consumption. Everyone is faced with the same charge, be this person taking a peg or a few bottles. People are not even allowed to drink socially, and, funnily, rumor has it that some have been arrested for consuming chocolates, with some minimal concentration of alcohol.
The police, along with its supporters, need to dig their heads inside the history books and legends, where mythological as well as legendary kings, princes and heroes sported long hair and earrings along with other accessories. According to many cultures and traditions, sporting long hair and piercings or tattoos are a must and this is not a deviance in any form. Conforming to own cultures and traditions is in no way linked to being westernized either.
Judging people on their looks or attires is what we have inherited in our society. And judging men with long hair as drug addicts, criminals or hooligans is what we always do as we have learnt it from our elders. We are trying to open up to obscene language, dressings, texts and movies but we will not open up to individualism. We will never learn to respect people for being different or for being free and liberated. If people do not fall onto a certain mindset of ours, they are immediately to be laughed at.
Seems to me like the Nepal Police has nothing better to do than to make lives of Nepalese citizens difficult than easier. Chopping people’s hair for invalid reasons is a sheer torture and this violates the right of every free human being in our democracy without a constitution. From a long time it has been always advised never to argue with a Nepali policeman. Perhaps they take it for granted they can do and impose whatever they feel like doing. This needs to be changed. We should argue and fight for what is wrong and unfair, be it on being forced to cut hair or being subject to verbal or physical abuse. Just because they are police, with the backup of their jobs, does not come the liberty to do what they want to our hair, ear studs or clothes. If today we don’t ask them to stop cutting our hair, tomorrow they will take our clothes off. If we don’t wear them, will they approve? Instead of meddling with lives of normal people, they should go catch the bad elements that are ruining the nation!
And as for the Nepali youth, we are very quick to respond to laws as petty as this; to protest on the streets, to whine and curse all over our blogs. Where is this energy when it comes to issues at a national scale? Why not protest against long hours of load shedding that never seems to have a solution, for rising prices, unemployment, poverty, unstable parliament, and corrupt people running the nation? It is our voices that may change issues because that is what getting what we want in a democracy is all about.