Not every member/ supporter of the saffron brotherhood, it seems, wants to turn the Mangalore pub disgrace into a predictable, boilerplate, caveman discussion on the threat to Indian/ Hindu values.
At least, not yet.
Former external affairs Jaswant Singh, currently the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, makes the following points in an interview with Mail Today:
“It [the assault on women in the pub by goons of the Sri Rama Sena] is an obscenity. Who gives them the moral right to police our society? It can only be possible in the absence of any understanding about our culture, ethos and liberal values.
“I cannot countenance efforts to Talibanise the Hindu society.
“If the minister [Renuka Choudhury] has objected to it, good for her. I am opposed to the government entering people’s bedrooms. And if women want to relax and have a drink, whose business and right is it to object.”
Pointing at beautiful paintings depicting female dancers in a spiritual trance and another of Menaka and Vishwamitra hung in his office walls inside Parliament House, Singh said the moral police are a “ killjoy”.
Extending his support to M.F. Husain, he said:
“ What do they have against beauty and art? Hinduism is not even a religion. It is a way of life that celebrates diversity, different views and ideas. Look at our ancient temples, our cave paintings and the wonderful depiction of different aspect of human existence. I cannot understand why Husain is being hounded. Have these so- called moral police seen the paintings and murals in our temples?
“Indian society is now being subjected to a Victorian, puritanical onslaught which was never its natural essence. We celebrated love and music. We did not frown upon alternative ideas of human existence. I don’t know where these moral guardians have sprung up from.”
Cartoon: courtesy Keshav/ The Hindu (digitally altered)