So finally, the most significant Valentine's Day in Indian history is over. There were indeed incidents of violence, which is shameful to say the least, against couples professing their love in public places across the country, but the focus seemed rather on an initiative called the Pink Chaddi campaign which was followed by its adversary, the Pink Condom campaign.
Like mass mobilization movements of the pre-Independence era, the two campaigns have picked up like-minded members and proceeded full steam ahead to promote their ideologically-leaning theories. In fact, that is what is common between the two - ideology.
The Pink Chaddi campaign and the Consortium of Loose, Pub going and Forward Women were hysterical in the promotion of the liberal mindset and their attack on conservatives is apparent, along with veiled potshots aimed at Hindu culture(read comments on their blog). It also forgets that fundamentalism of all religions needs to be fought against, not specifically Hinduism. Indeed, there were many fundamentalist groups that had threatened couples on Valentine's Day.
Now what happens with the Pink Chaddi campaign - anyone even remotely conservative and loyal to his/her culture is 'backward', 'un-progressive' and has trapped the country in an inertia of medieval theocracy. Let alone that the person might be a commoner, a wage-earner who has a family of many to feed. But the elitist disregard for the Indian poor is clearly on display with the Pink Chaddi folks.
It is indeed disappointing that the BJP did not do enough to bring the Sri Ram Sene and Pramod Muthalik to justice. "But they did arrest him before V-Day?", the quintessential Rightist may ask. Well, preventive custody is not justice. It is aimed at avoiding a repeat of the past events for public interest during that particular period when the threat looms large. What about the Mangalore pub attack? Where is justice for that? What was required, if at all, was a protest outside the Sene's office and the state legislative assembly in Bangalore and calls for ban on such fundamentalist groups.
But we are too happy sending pink chaddis to be bothered about a protest that makes an actual difference and doesn't just hog all the headlines. The attention by the media is blinding and the Consortium is on the brink of victory. Once the pink chaddis reached Muthalik, the Consortium's job was done and life is back to normal.
Congratulations Pink Chaddi folks, Mangalore's victims have justice. Maybe, overflowing boxes of pink underwear will flood the SRS office, block the exits and its members will be prevented from coming out and orchestrating another attack.
The Pink Condom campaign and the Consortium of Assertive and Proud Hindus hasn't been all over the papers, but only a look at their website is enough to understand that they intend to form a shield against those maligning Hinduism. The Pink Condom campaign conveniently forgets that there may be religious Hindus in the Pink Chaddi campaign who have nothing against Hinduism and are plainly intent on embarassing Muthalik and the SRS.
The Pink Condom initiative also fails to consider the fact that there may be many conservative Muslims and Christians(read comments on blog) who echo similar feelings against the liberal West. After all, if Indian culture is conservative - then it means Hindu, Islamic, Christian and all other conservative religious cultures, doesn't it?
It hails itself as secular while also specifically defending Hindu interests. Sure, pseudo-secularism is prevalent in India and practiced by many, but to use labels like 'sickular' is quite irresponsible and ignorant of the sentiments of the ill-advised members of both campaigns and people all over India in general. Especially, when the fault lies primarily with fundamentalist Hindus like Muthalik & his SRS.
End result - liberals celebrate the success of the Pink Chaddi campaign, while conservatives are up in arms against pub culture and similar anti-cultural theses. Next time the stupid SRS is out there marshalling pubs and attacking women, liberals will bury themselves in the paranoia of hysteria once again(aided by the media) and conservatives will brainstorm and ponder over erosion-of-Indian-culture and blame pub-going girls for 'provoking' the mad fundamentalists.
As soon as incidents like these phase out of public memory, Muthalik will walk a free man, the SRS remains as it is and although they must have learnt their lessons, does just teaching a lesson count for justice?
Welcome back to square one.
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