Monday, February 23, 2009

The Pink Brigade

I was pleasantly surprised at how popular the “Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women” had become on the internet forums and Social Networking websites. “Pleasantly” not because I advocate the cause, but because it shows that the Indian Woman has finally come of age.  She is not afraid to express herself on a public forum, even if it means she has to abase herself as “loose”.

Many of my women friends, from academic and professional circles, have been very vocal in their support for the cause and have proudly proclaimed that they went to a pub on V-day and got themselves drunk silly. And that they sent a clear message to the Shri Ram Sena (SRS) that Indian women are not going to be confined to the age-old traditions of Hindutva by sending their “pink chaddis” to the SRS. That they are no longer a homely,  demure and soft-spoken tribe. As opposed to that, they are now a pub-going, loose and forward tribe. Cause for celebration..yippeee!

On a more pragmatic note, the Shri Ram Sena may have been wrong in their methods. They had no business to raid a pub and drive out the women inside. Most of us educated folks do drop in to a pub occasionally, along with our lady friends/partners. That does not make us any less civilized or anti-hindu. And if they are making such a generalization about all pub-going people, they deserve to be chided. And banned,  probably. However, based on what I have read, they were targeting the particular pub as it was known to be a popular drug–cum-pickup joint. And despite complaints to the police, no action was taken.  And therefore, SRS decided to take the law in its own hands.  These are two sides of the story, and therefore, opinions will always be divided.

The media, however, just reveled in yet another opportunity to prove just how bad the Hindus are, and how they are “Talibanizing” India. And the BJP government in Karnataka also had to receive a lot of flak for letting organizations such as SRS flourish in its regime. The public, and more specifically the “Intelligentsia” (you know the educated, pseudo-secular types), came out in support vociferously, asking for the SRS to be banned, among many other demands.

One of the other demands, of course, was the “Consortium blah blah”. And the pink chaddi campaign that followed thereafter. Interestingly, a couple of years ago, an author of international repute, a lady at that, was abused, attacked, molested and threatened with dire consequences if she ever dared to step in India again by a Hyderabad based political organization that works for the betterment of a “minority” community. The Indian government, led by the mighty Congress, cancelled her visa and asked her to leave the country immediately since her presence was disturbing the otherwise peaceful life for this “minority” community. To my knowledge, there were no such Consortium of Pub-going or Pink-chaddi throwing women that raised any voice against this episode.

What’s my point? Well, it is easy to raise a voice against a community that is civilized. Quoting from a recent Life Insurance ad, “Safety hai to sab hero”! But when it comes to standing up against a militant community, Ignorance is bliss. And inaction is a sign of protest, maybe?

Well, the Indian Intelligentsia has always baffled me. But then, I was never very bright.