Indians, I have long worried, have a strong tendency to be against individual freedom. In the past, many assaults on liberties have taken place, some even enshrined in the Constitution.
Today I learned that Delhi University, including its Student Union, has banned smoking within its campus. Students will not be allowed to smoke in colleges, and on roads or anywhere else. Anyone caught smoking will be considered to be breaking the law, and fined. I suspect the laws also have imprisonment as one of the consequences for repeat offenders, but am not sure about that.
I was taken aback at the virulence on the faces of some of the students campaigning for the ban. It seemed that all of their life’s problems would be over once smoking got banned. There were hardly a couple of feeble voices crying out for individual liberty and freedom.
Of course, I have discussed the issue of non-smokers’ rights in the past, maintaining that only the owner of a private property can declare his area off-limits for smoking. Otherwise, in public places, there have to be designated areas for smokers.
In this case, students are going to learn early in life the importance of cheating, of concealing truth, and bribing as a way of ensuring their self-interest. The police will benefit financially, of course, as will the media, with new stories to cover.
I can only wail at yet another bastion of individual freedom falling to the continuous onslaught of the control freaks, the Nazis of Correctness. Smokers are the new Jews.
The use of force to implement what is construed as the public good characterises every stormtrooper of righteous intent.
(pic credit: http://www.nyu.edu/socialwork/ip/news/archives/2007)