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Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Valentine's Day Politics

'Valentine's day' has always been the 'big-bad-thing-there-out-to-sabotage-our-Indian-culture-and-why-don't-we-celebrate-Dushyant-Shakuntala-diwas-instead' for several years now.

As the day approaches this year, a group of men and women are forced out of a pub in Mangalore. A bunch of 'party workers' run after the women hitting them. Two women are casually walking out of the place when this herd of men start attacking them. One of them slips and falls on the floor. Two men continue battering her while she is struggling on the floor.

Then comes the 'declaration' of sorts from the leader of the party - "Couples dating in Karnataka will be forced to get married on Valentine's day."


If someone or some party does not like Valentine's day, it has all the right to protest. I am all for processions and marches. If someone had to protest against the Valentine's day, they could have gone this way. Or maybe been innovative and thought of some other intelligent way of protesting.

But sadly, beating women (and men, we should be talking about the attacks on them too!) mercilessly or breaking down shops that sell Valentine's day cards is on their agenda.


All the political parties, sadly, can't do much about the whole thing. All of them have self-alloted for themselves certain topics - one party safeguards equality (by providing reservations to the minorities. Reservations are in a majority now, but that's another issue.) while another party stands up for Indian culture (by throwing things around and causing damage to public property).

Now that this party has chosen this 'issue' of 'Valentine's day' for themselves, they have to follow it up and keep doing this year after year, don't they?!

Happy Valentine's day to all of you!


  1. issue of Valentine's Day is really "Valentine" of most of indian political parties!!

  2. Hi this is Tej Vohra. You write well and relevant.
    Just for the benefit of all others who visit this comment section A movement called the " Pink Chaddi" movement was started by a group of women. These people sent pink chaddis to the leader of the concerned political party. Soon the movement gained momentum and everything from pink chaddis, thongs of all colours, flowers, cards to condoms wre sent to the leader. The result: Valentine Day protest called off.
    So here i will like to support Aditya, processions, marches and peaceful protests are indeed way better than protests registered through destruction.

  3. yeah...well said..
    i am not a fan of valentine day either...but this violence...molestation of women urges me to celebrate the valentine day just to protest these kinds of incident

  4. Recently came across a couple of articles on the Mangalooru Pub issue. Excerpts :

    1. "Liberty is not libertinism" - Kanchan Gupta (Sunday Pioneer) [http://www.dailypioneer.com/155693/Liberty-is-not-libertinism.html]

    How blithely we abuse the Right for anything and everything that offends those who promote and practice unrestrained libertinism and are appalled that morals and scruples are still valued by the vast majority of the people of India.
    The Consortium of Pubgoing, Loose and Forward Women — this Facebook group also has men as its members — would consider women who don’t consume alcoholic beverages or smoke cigarettes, wear saris and are not necessarily long-suffering wives who spend their lives as home-makers but in building successful careers, as ‘backward’.
    a woman with the pallu of her sari firmly placed over her head will be sneered at as not only ‘backward’ but also a ‘conservative’ who is preventing society from moving ‘forward’. But a woman forced to clad herself in an all-enveloping burqa will be seen as being true to her ‘faith’ and ‘culture’, which only underscores the amazing ignorance of those who do the tagging.
    For those busy collecting pink chaddis would be blissfully ignorant of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s pioneering role in championing women’s emancipation and promoting widow remarriage.


    2. "Why are women always the target of these social disciplinarians?" - Tarun Vijay (rediff) [http://www.rediff.com///news/2009/feb/02-why-are-women-always-the-target.htm]

    But while everyone would like to condemn the incident, the media's attitude must also be analysed. The media blew the incident as if a national calamity had occurred, instigated by the Hindu right and related its thread to Malegaon.
    I am strongly opposed to those who create a meaningless fuss over Valentine's Day or create a nuisance like they did in Mangalore. But the selective memory loss of the secular moral preachers is intriguing when anything of the same variety involves Muslims.

    Last month, some zealots in a Mumbai mall beat up a Pakistani Muslim girl. A news report read: 'A Pakistani national, Saba Najam, 22, was roughed up at Hypercity Mall in Malad last Monday after some people spotted a tattoo in Urdu on her back. Some women suddenly approached her and assaulted her over the tattoo, which read 'Shukr Alham Du Lillah' meaning 'Thank you, God.'

    'Riyaz Ahmed Talukdar, a member of Jan Seva Sangh, a local NGO, had first spotted the tattoo on Saba's back and informed his mother, Shabana Talukdar. Riyaz said, "When I saw the tattoo I was furious as holy words from the Quran were on her back." Shabana, along with a few other women, then came to the mall in the next 15 minutes and slapped the girl several times before the mall management intervened. The incident scared the girl so much that she left for Pakistan on Friday.'

    Did you read anything about it in your newspaper? Or a discussion on television channels? Were any of the Muslim clerics or the so-called liberal voices who came to Delhi in a trainload complaining why they were being labeled as 'terrorists', interviewed on the treatment meted out to a girl from a neighbouring Islamic republic by Mumbai's 'moral police'?

    It is this attitude that also encourages some fringe elements like those whom we saw at Mangalore.
    Some time back a protestor informed the media about his self-immolation bid in Chandigarh and the media faithfully recorded the event without even once trying to save the guy, who died within minutes before cameramen and correspondents. This is an issue involving media ethics, if they have any or believe they should have them. News or the call of human values?
    Those who claim they are the followers of Mahtama Gandhi or Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, must respect the law and Constitution of the nation. They have an obligation to lead by example.
    How many of these moral preachers understand the reality that the place of a woman can't be different than that of a man? Please give us clean drinking water, good primary schools, functional and caring public hospitals, a corruption free administration and enforce the law to save genuine cultural moors.