Hyderabad: An initiative by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to get on to the moral policing bandwagon along with the city police, ended up as a short-lived exercise with the GHMC hastily removing a small banner it hung outside the entrance of Indira Park proclaiming ‘Unmarried couples are not allowed inside the park’.
An image of the banner posted on Thursday morning on Twitter, caught the attention of many citizens who questioned the moral policing by the GHMC in a public place and within an hour of the image going online, the GHMC responded saying that the banner has been removed and the police will be asked to keep an eye out on people’s behaviour in the park.
A tweet with an image of the banner posted by Meera Sanghamitra in the morning, not only sparked outrage among people who objected to GHMC taking a stand on only married couples being allowed to enter the park, but also resulted in a meme outburst mocking the civic body and its decision on banning unmarried couples from the Indira Park.
A repurposed cartoon of a priest conducting a wedding ceremony was one among the reactions where the priest is seen saying ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now enter Indira Park now.’
Another showed a wedding picture of actors Ranveer Singh and Deepaka Padukone juxtaposed with the image of the ban order banner with Ranveer Singh saying ‘Let’s go to Indira Park and chill’.
Yet another showed a man selling fresh coconut water with a photoshopped banner of his own with an offer to sell ‘park entry marriage certificate’ for Rs 50.
While there was silence from the Mayor Vijaylakshmi Gadwal, Minister KTR and others whom Twitter users tagged on the issue, the instant backlash was enough for the GHMC to hastily walk back on its decision. The civic body’s zonal commissioner for Secunderabad posted a fresh picture of the entrance with a board of do’s and don’t’s for visitors to the park but this time with the banner removed. In the post, the GHMC official said ‘banners removed by DD UBD (deputy director urban biodiversity). Inconvenience regretted. Informed local police to keep vigil by regular visits to maintain serene atmosphere in the park’.