What’s in a name? Shakespeare said. But there could well be something in it after all.
India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, has set up “anti-Romeo squads,” which they say will ensure women’s safety on streets.
However, many cry foul and see this as moral policing. More importantly, they are upset that their beloved Shakespearean hero is being maligned for no fault of his.
“I thought he was quite a charming guy. UP cops need a new villain,” tweeted one user.
But what are these squads? And why are they called “anti-Romeo?”
The squads consist of cops stationed outside schools and colleges and they pick up young boys if they suspect them as “Romeos” — men who are sexually harassing women (known as eve-teasing in India).
However, people want the authorities to clearly “define” a Romeo. Because the fear of being caught has started to affect young couples in the area.
Hindustan Times reports that the number of couples in a popular park has come down to five from 200 within a week of the squads’ existence.
Also, why Romeo? He had a consenting partner. Really.
@AJEnglish These Romeos in India are a slur on great love of Shakespeare’s Romeo—-the vagabonds on streets.
— Nasim Siddiqi (@NasimSiddiqi1) March 28, 2017
Anti-Romeo squads HARASS COUPLES & media is posting their photos. Anyone supporting this, has probably never had a relationship with a woman
— Samyak Jain (@samyakofficial) March 26, 2017
It is colonial mindset to name anything on British Characters. Why Anti Romeo squad, and not, say, Anti Krishna Squad?
— Joy (@Joydas) March 23, 2017
So Anti Romeo Squad is against molesters and eve teasers or couples consensually hanging out? I’m confused
— Kalyani Adhav (@KalyaniAdhav) March 24, 2017
Seriously though- this Anti-Romeo squad shouldn’t be a call to action for our ‘Men’s rights activists’? Can they please speak up now?
— Aditi (@awryaditi) March 24, 2017
Anti-Romeo Squad is an apt description for campaign against all things bright and beautiful. Love, literature, the arts and culture.
— deep halder (@daipayanhalder) March 24, 2017
If breaking up couples is what Anti Romeo Squad going to do, then they should launch an app called Hinder.
— Poonam Khatri (@poonamkhatri) March 24, 2017
An app called Hinder? LOL.