How girls pissing in their pants protect Hinduism

Much to the delight of its perpetrators (and their puppeteers), the Mangalore pub incident has petered out into a shrill slugfest on “pub culture”, as if the rights of women to have a good time can be decided by goons and goondas whose chief source of livelihood is protecting “traditional Indian norms of decency”.

What has gone unnnoticed—what has indeed been airbrushed out of the video grabs of the girls “being grabbed by their hair, thrown on the ground, molested, slapped and beaten”—is that the incident was, above all, a brazen attempt at “social re-engineering” that Karnataka’s west coast has become a theatre of.

In a part of the world where “jasmine flower grown on a Christian’s farm [used to be] bought by a Muslim trader and sold to Hindu women”, a grand, multilateral project to divide communities is being executed with clinical precision.

Boys and girls of different communities are not allowed to mingle, make friends, fall in love, hold hands, travel in a bus, live as partners, dance with each other, etc. Different communities that have lived together for centuries are being driven out, ghetto-ised, “to teach a lesson”, for past sins, real and perceived.

To that grim and inglorious list, add the pub incident.

Prasad Attavar, the deputy convenor of the Sri Rama Sena, was quoted by The Hindu, among other newspapers, as saying that the attack was prompted because “these women were Hindus who dared to get close to Muslim men“, as if, again, somehow the Hindu hooligans had been automatically vested with the authority to decide who their womenfolk should hang out with.

But the mainstream media has been happy looking at the wrong end of the animal.

***

Johnson T.A., the Bangalore-based correspondent of The Indian Express, attempts a brave course-correction to the debate in today’s paper. Johnson talks to Pravin Valke, a 40-year-old, fifth-standard drop-out, who was suitably qualified to be a “founding member of the Sri Rama Sena”.

Valke drops these gems:

“‘These girls come from all over India, drink, smoke, and walk around in the night spoiling the traditional girls of Mangalore. A girl from Punjab was drugged, raped, and killed last month. There was no hue and cry then.

“Why should girls go to pubs? Are they going to serve their future husbands alcohol? Should they not be learning to make chapattis? Bars and pubs should be for men only.

“‘We wanted to ensure that all women in Mangalore are home by 7 pm’.

“According to Valke, the pub attack and assault on girls were intended to send a warning to youths in Mangalore, especially those who come from outside to study in city’s colleges and other institutions, and to tell the people of the city that the local culture is “well protected”.

One of his associates boasts of an incident where they made some girls urinate in their pants after threatening to beat them up for going around with boys from other communities.

“No one dares to tease girls. No one plays loud music in cars around colleges,” he says.

“Nearly 70 per cent of Mangalore lives in small, traditional middle class homes. Everywhere women are telling us that the Sena boys did the right thing. Only those who live in flats seem to be upset.”

Johnson also talks to the 76-year-old Muslim writer Sara Aboobacker, one of the first educated women from the Muslim community, who has lived in Mangalore for the last 50 years:

“There is Hindu Talibanisation and there is Muslim Talibanisation. Fundamentalism is on the rise among the Muslims, especially after the arrival of the Jamait-i-Islami. Muslim boys go around forcing girls to wear burqas. These are individual decisions. Who are these people to dictate what should be done? It is the Indian Constitution that should be followed…. The only communication these days between communities is among the very rich and the very poor and not among the middle class.”

Read the full article here: Mangalore’s metamorphosis

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Girls drinking beer not Hindu?

‘Let the moral police stop going to bars first’