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It is important to remember that this ban isn't directed at women. It is actually meant to strike a blow at the patriarchal oppression of women. France wants no part in this systematic inequality and is also wary of the influence that these orthodox attitudes can have in pushing their own society back in time.
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On the face of it, the life trajectory of my depressive barber Mustaqim Ahmed and the deaths of Shaista and Danish in Srinagar are unconnected. But, look deeper, and a connection emerges. The connection stems from the inability of the state in India to stay true to the dictum of "life, liberty and happiness"-- the cardinal tenets of a liberal democracy.
Last week's arrest of more than 40 couples by the Mumbai Police for 'indecent behaviour' is an example of this conflict between society with its changing values and our farcical laws. Enforcing Section 110 of the Bombay Police Act-1951, the police dragged young couples out of private hotel rooms and detained them for hours in the police station.