In a typical case of a much revered social icon turning into an anti-social element, the famous IT couple from Kochi — Rahul and Reshmi — who had hogged limelight last November with their anti-moral police campaign called “Kiss of Love” that triggered nation-wide attention and protests dividing the public opinion.
But beneath the brouhaha was a couple selfish enough to manipulate the public opinion for a larger-than-life size commercial cause of running a sex racket. Just like Indian gullible public were targets of misleading beliefs and faith for several centuries, these techies have manipulated the publlic opinion for open kissing against the moral police in society that caught the attention of many youngsters and followers quickly.
The actual life-story of the couple was entirely different that has come to life on Tuesday night when Kochi police arrested the woman Reshmi, 27, at a five-str hotel in Kochi on charges of sex trafficking. While her husband Rahul Pashupalan dropped her at the hotel, their seven-year-old son was sleeping in the backseat of their car.
Trailed for some time, the couple were under investigation by the police who tracked their links to one Abdul Khader, 31, of Kasaragod, who had promised ‘women escorts’ for rich travellers to Kochi for a high fee. Reshmi was one of his women contacts for the service, according to the Kerala police, who led the operation code-named ‘Big Daddy’ for over few months before swooping on the couple famous for their "Kiss of Love" campaign advocating open kissing in streets.
After arrests, the couple reportedly told the police that a failed film project had led to their downfall to resort to what they are doing now. But more than that, the arrests strengthen the moral policing entites further and defeats the very purpose of anti-moral policing campaign in India.
Driven by Valentine’s Day spirit, the open kissing campaign has gone a step further to take western roots in a traditional society that has attracted many Hindutva elements to foray into the public life with violent means to end the so-called ‘bad influences’ of the West. While the antipathy generated to moral policing is natural, the way it was used on Facebook by sex racketeers to cash in on is another tragedy and lesson to our gullible youth.