Hyderabad: This was a ban that did not last long. An attempt by the Indira Park management to stop unmarried couples from spending time together in the peaceful environs of the park boomeranged with a severe backlash, with many pointing out that the ban smacked of moral policing overtones and was unconstitutional.
From memes that depicted priests declaring a couple man and wife and saying ‘You may now enter Indira Park’, and pushcart vendors offering a ‘Park entry Marriage certificate’ for Rs.50, the response to the park management’s strange move was hilarious and at the same time, stinging too.
Many pointed out that the move marked a ‘new low and new level of moral policing’, asking how could marriage be a criteria for entry into a public park. The reactions on social media even took discussions to the level of concentrating on sex education in schools, and also questions on what was the guarantee that married couples wouldn’t do “inappropriate things” in parks.
There were some who joked it was a move to ‘monetise the chowkidar’ post since the management was finding it difficult to find gardeners, while some joked about the stench in the park and that no couple would stay for more than two minutes in the park.
Some even poked fun at an earlier board in the park, trolling the spellings like “shottel” for shuttle and “vally ball” for volleyball.
The backlash had its impact, before the unmarried couples rushed to get married, with the Zonal Commissioner, Secunderabad tweeting that the banners banning unhitched couples were removed by the Urban Biodiversity Division. The ZC, apologising for the inconvenience, added that the local police was informed to keep a vigil to “maintain serene atmosphere in the park”.