I don’t know what Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury’s trip is, but it sure is a shaky one. She has suggested that the only way to tackle the moral police in Karnataka - they went on a rampage last month in Mangalore beating up women in a pub and warning them against wearing noodle straps or tight jeans and celebrating Valentine’s Day - was to launch a “pub bharo” andolan.
This is a ridiculous way for the youth to make a point.
Going to pubs is a personal choice and trying to make this agitation reminiscent of the “jail bharo” of the freedom movement is making a mockery of both the situations. Pubs are one of the offshoots of urban life and limited to certain sections of society. Has the good minister ever asked people to do a “call centre bharo” when there were instance of exploitation there?
I wish she would not simplify the matter and do her usual drum-beating.
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Of course, the attitude of organisations deciding how people ought to behave socially has no validity. Just read the quotes of Sri Ram Sena chief Pramod Muthalik (and my comments follow):
On attacking pubs:
"We are totally against alcoholism. There are traditions, like in Kodagu where parents and children sit together and drink. But why come to the streets to drink and behave in an obscene manner? (Arrack is banned and now) We want the government to ban 'foreign' liquor. Liquor lobby is behind all these incidents."
Hmm, so is it possible that a certain Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher brand will make hay?
On Valentine's Day:
"These would turn our boys and girls into perverts. They will lead to misuse of women who are our sisters and mothers. Last year, 38 girls committed suicide in Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi during VDay. We oppose not just V-Day but all celebrations having a Western touch, including New Year. By creating awareness, we are safeguarding our boys and girls."
One hopes that rapes and battering and abuse in the workplace all stop. We should ban Holi where it is a free-for-all then…and ragging in colleges, and sexual exploitation in remand homes. And, that the mothers and sisters are asked what they want.
"We will submit memoranda to the governor, CM and home minister seeking a ban on these celebrations. We will also seek help from the police chief. Moreover, all colleges, hostels, hotels and greeting card stalls will be requested not to support the celebrations. On February 14, our volunteers will go around parks and hotels carrying mangalsutras and accompanied by priests. If anybody is caught 'celebrating' love, they will be taken to a nearby temple and married."
The moron does not realise he is living in a multicultural country; he may have his issues with the influx of western commercial interests, but not everyone gets married in temples and wears a mangalsutra. Does he realise it may end up costing much more than those Hallmark cards? Who will pay for it?
He says his organisation has many volunteer donors. I believe him. We are becoming a society of totally shackled herds who will buy our way into anything that claims to make us feel ‘proud’ of our roots, even if the tree is plastic and merely stuck on the soil with adhesive.
Welcome to India blinding.