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Mangalore has recently gained international notoriety- as the battleground of "great Indian culture war" according to the esteemed New York Times. This must be the culture clash between the primitive Hindu India and the liberated pub drinking iconic Westernised India. Krishna"s galantry in saving Draupadi has been razed to the ground by Muthalik"s men who forcefully stopped the modern maidens from their right to drink and dance in Amnesia. This news was followed by that of alleged kidnapping of an MLA"S daughter from a bus, in the same city. The confident watchdogs of human freedom claimed this to be another egregious violation of a Hindu damsel"s secular right to be with her Muslim male consort. The fact that the perpetrators were Marxists (and not Ram Sene as claimed), hardly mattered, once the concocted story had enough momentum to achieve its objectives. The Mangalore trilogy is now complete with the press report that "Moral Policing" led to the death of a 16 year old girl -the same report describes the Hindu girl"s father lodging a police report against a Muslim youth for raping this poor 16 year old. The press psychologist concluded that the trauma of "moral policing" that led to the police report is what led to the suicide and not the trauma of the rape- the rape itself must be harmless, being of a secular variety. Ms. Renuka Chowdhury (the minister for Women and children) could not let these opportunities of ministerial glory slip by and pointed to the rise of "fascist" (Ram Sene) forces reflecting ongoing "Talibanisation" in Karnataka ruled by BJP. Mr. P.Chidambaram , the Harvard educated Home minister said that he had been "watching" the activities of Ram Sene and considered the outfit to be a threat to "India"s Security". It follows that, protection of pubs and occupants of their right to enjoy themselves is a security issue for India. An investigating member from the National Commission of Women (NCW) opined discordantly, recommending that the pub be closed down for unauthorized activities .Since the freedom to drink and dance, legally or not, must be more important to guard, than the moral policing of misguided Ram Sene activists -the world of free lunatics is focused on getting rid these puritanical beasts. Inconveniently, a recent survey points out that 80% of pub drinkers in Delhi, the bastion of freedom and culture, happen to be underage (below 21) and hence illegal.The country"s law in its capital is a non issue for the home minister, the emancipated minister of Women and Children or her illustrious daughter, Tejaswini spearheading a national "Pub Bharo" drive. The home minister, enthroned in Delhi, disinterested in LeT or Al Qaeda, or the fact that Delhi is the Crime capital of the nation, seems satisfied at the expected progress of the "Jail Bharo" drive to put the Vanar Sena of Shri Ram safely behind bars.Delhi did not like the initial report from the NCW and sent an independent second team under the dependable leadership of a career beaurocrat from Delhi. The Gulf Times now reports that the alleged victims of this atrocity or their families, have refused to talk to this trusted central govt.team. Perhaps the victims are unwilling to face such publicity in their tender years or "dishonor" their prominent families, despite being the cause célèbre of the emerging feminine freedom movement in India..Nor is there any outrage or legal action from the victim"s parents, to defend the civil rights of their freedom seeking daughters, out to broaden the horizons of Indian culture. No injuries on any pub occupants have been described and the details of the incident have been artfully revealed in the manner that they needed to be. The RSS is too mindful of elections to examine the issue dispassionately and has no objections to joining the chorus for banning Ram Sene.
Our vigilante press and our brilliant ministers have expressed enough umbrage to encourage a mass campaign against the brute forces of Rama Sena. The west worshipping youthful sophisticates have decided to send the eastern heathen, Mr. Muthalik, a thousand Pink Chaddis on Valentine"s day - after adequate press coverage is obtained. In this unique Pink Chaddi campaign, one is tempted to inquire, if Ms Renuka Chaudhury has added hers and if Mr.Chidambaram wears one. Unfortunately, since our civilizational focus and the symbol of our feminine freedom is currently enshrined in the Chaddi, one cannot disregard the importance of the symbol itself. It seems now, almost redundant to inquire, if any laws of the land related to drinking or lewdness were broken by our Divas of Mangalore. Certainly, presenting a thousand Pink Chaddis to a hapless, prudish,elderly bachelor hardly confirms to grace, culture or public decency -even if considered artful revenge by our sagacious ministers and human rights champions led by Ms Nisha Susan and Ms.Tejaswini Chowdhury. As far as cultural freedom is concerned, the Chaddi cheerleaders might like to establish their broad based support base by asking chaddis from their senior family members too apart from their peer group. Not to be neglected (for the sake of being secular) is the opinion of their Muslim sisters -both with respect to the right to drinking and dancing in pubs and sending Pink Chaddis to a man to celebrate Valentine"s day. How about a visit to a few villages to ask women if they might actually prefer a campaign for the right to clean water over beer in a pub ? Once they have successfully completed their juvenile campaign , Ms Tejaswini Chowdhury and Ms Nisha Susan may ask Ms Renuka Chowdhury and Mr.Chidambaram, why Soumya Viswanathan"s murder in Delhi led Madame Sheila Dixit to opine that it was not "proper to be adventurous by travelling at 3:00 AM in Delhi - a city that is regarded as unsafe".Ms Dixit was right about Delhi but is this post mortem moral judgementalism or the regretful result of absence of real police or moral police in the capital? The latest data from 2007 (National Bureau Of Criminal Records) reveal the following : Among 35 mega cities, Delhi led by far in crime. In crimes against women-the city reported 29.5% (524 out of 1,775) of total Rape cases,31.8% cases (1,021 out of 3,207) of Kidnapping & Abduction of Women,15.6% cases (111 out of 711) of Dowry Deaths, 14.2% cases (1,711 out of 12,031) of Cruelty by Husband and Relatives and 21.5% cases (744 out of 3,463) of Molestation. In crimes against children the Capital led as well- with the highest crime rate (12.1) as compared to National average (1.8). Wouldn"t it be proper for our cheerleaders to next launch a wet -chaddi campaign to honor the same leaders who are concerned about security of citizens and Talibanisation elsewhere?State wise ,the incidence of Violent crimes was highest in UP (12.8%) followed by Bihar (10.7%)-both states led by strong allies of UPA while Andhra, a state led by a friendly Christian Chief Minister led in overall crimes against Women with rapes being highest in BJP led Madhya Pradesh. Westernised Goa just reported the rape of a fourteen year old German girl by the son of Mr.Monsarrate, its education minister. India reported more than 37,000 murders in 2007, the highest in the world. Terrorism currently claims more lives in India than any other country in the world except Iraq.
In Bihar we just heard reports that eight members of a groom"s family were beheaded by his rich bride"s family for the crime of love and marriage - a tragic attestation of the region"s lawless brutality, even if sidestepped by our refined social activists, media and our ministerial royalty from the UPA .Taslima Nasreen faced attack from Muslims and was expelled from the country of the Chaddi cheerleaders and now the editor of the Statesman along with another has been arrested for offending the Muslims through unsavory free speech. Public vandalism by Muslims against The Statesman has injured twenty innocents at Kolkata despite the paper"s apology. Where is the media defense of free speech and where are our ministerial defenders of freedom and Pub rights? Right to free speech, right to live or function without fear and right to have basic needs must be trivial -compared to the right to drink - for our media, ministers and neo urban elite Divas. Though the culture of Hindus is reputedly flexible, their forefathers had no opportunity to learn pub drinking and dancing . A social more or habit takes time to adopt, cultivate and pass it to successive generations to become a part of culture. It seems unlikely, that this particular social refinement is sought by the vast majority of India"s billion plus people still living in villages or small towns seeking clean water, basic healthcare, electricity, education, two square meals and the means to raise their children.The real issues of human deprivation, degradation, suffering and violence in India are of no interest to our outraged Pink Chaddi rebels for whom the right to drink is a preeminent component of personal freedom .The press and media, pub going youth, their supporters and ministerial protagonists, cannot and will not rise to face real issues -their moral bankruptcy is matched by their intellectual dishonesty and both are exceeded by their lack of righteous valor. The gutless and dishonest cannot be free, nor can freedom be sought in bits and pieces when politically useful . Which women are being represented by our press, our ministers or the Chaddi brigade? Right to drink in public is not a benchmark of personal freedom to the average Hindu or Muslim woman ,or man- dwelling in villages or small towns. The Mangalore pub crusaders are the arrogant spineless controlling minority of neo-urban elites,of a Judeo -Christian disposition- the kind that constitutes our media and apex leadership. Therefore, this "mass movement", devoid of mass, is merely deceptive politics, that the Sena of Sri Ram does not have the finesse to counter. For those, interested in promoting the sovereign right to drink, including our ministers, and Chaddi cheerleaders a look at the following passage from the Indian constitution is necessary :
The Indian Constitution in its Directive Principles of State Policy, article number 45 states:
Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health-The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health
Finally, What should one do about the Mangalore pub fiasco? Encourage the parents and the victims to seek redress through the law and punish the activists of Ram Sene if they violated the law. Examine if the Chaddi campaign violates laws relating to public decency or modesty of Indian citizens, and take appropriate action. Launch a campaign against the media and the ministers for purposeful and selective slander of Hindu organizations and take action permissible under law. Determine if the pub occupants were of legal age and within the bounds of law in their actions- if not prosecute them. Last, but not the least, determine if the pub had the requisite licenses for all its activities and met all conditions related to such licensure -if not close the pub down and punish the owners. On the issue of our youth, our respect for them and acceptance of their changing culture would never have been a problem -if they had risen up to take headlong the real challenges of their own India. This chaddi rebellion seems shallow, politically motivated and disgracefully devoid of substance.
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References & Notes:
1.Talibanisation is happening in Karnataka: Renuka
2 KSHRC takes up Mangalore pub case
3 NCW wants Mangalore pub licence revoked
4 "Hindu Taliban" behind Mangalore pub attack: LA Times
5.CM Sheila Dixit does a flip-flop over Soumya Viswanathan"s Murder
6 Goa minister"s son charged with rape of German girl
7 Sri Ram Sena a threat to the country: Chidambara
8 Poor boy marries rich girl, family beheaded in Bihar
9. 20 HURT as protestors clash with police
10. Pair held for "offending Islam"
11. Mangalore pub attack victims refuse to meet central team
http://www.gulf-times.com/ site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=270255&version =1&template_id=40&parent_id=22
12. Attack at an Indian bar intensifies a clash of cultures
13 . Moral policing: Girl commits suicide in Mangalore
14. Two women raped in India every hour