Don’t be Loose

India’s religious right has been taking a public relations beating this past week. The newly formed Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women (which, by the way, is the greatest name for a group since the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice) has organized the Pink Chaddis Campaign to oppose the Sri Ram Sena’s despicable actions last month and their impending Valentine’s Day protests:

The group says it will give the pink underwear to Sri Ram Sena (Army of Lord Ram) on Valentine’s Day on Saturday.

[SRS] was blamed for the bar attack in the southern city of Mangalore last month.

Pramod Mutalik, who heads the little known Ram Sena and is now on bail after he was held following the attack, has said it is “not acceptable” for women to go to bars in India.

He has also said his men will protest against Valentine’s Day on Saturday. [Link]

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p>Let’s just hope that the SRS leaders don’t have a fetish for women’s underwear or this campaign will not have its intended effect.

In other news (perhaps not entirely unrelated) the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India’s Hindu nationalist group, has decided to start marketing a soft drink that contains cow urine. They see it as a refreshing alternative to Coke or Pepsi. I am sure they would rather young women kick back with a six pack of these instead of be loose at a bar with a beer:

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called “gau jal”, or “cow water” – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched “very soon, maybe by the end of this year”.

“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins.”

The drink is the latest attempt by the RSS – which was founded in 1925 and now claims eight million members – to cleanse India of foreign influence and promote its ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness. [Link]

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I am curious, does anyone know how the cow urine aftershave splash has been doing in sales?

159 thoughts on “Don’t be Loose

  1. 158 · Ponniyin Selvan said

    I was hoping to see atleast one editorial in a major newspaper or some statements from leading “secular” intellectuals about the arrest of an editor for offending Muslims, unfortunately looks like as far as they are concerned, nothing happened. Imagine, if Gujarat government under Modi arrested editor for publishing what Karunanidhi said about Rama. All hell would have broken loose. :-)

    I have honestly been disgusted by the media silence on the Statesman issue. The media does not do itself any favors as a neutral reporter on society by behavior such as this.

    That, however, does not change the facts about Muthalik or the place of these events in a larger trend. The facts about Muthalik and his association with the Hindu right, and the revolving door he’s enjoyed over a long period of time, are all matters of record, not opinions. Also, as I’ve said before, a movement that radicalizes a (hitherto relatively peaceful) 85% majority religious community in the one relatively reasonable democracy in the subcontinent – the place I call home – is a poison that I feel compelled to speak out against.

  2. Also, as I’ve said before, a movement that radicalizes a (hitherto relatively peaceful) 85% majority religious community in the one relatively reasonable democracy in the subcontinent – the place I call home – is a poison that I feel compelled to speak out against.

    Sure, Actually it’s 80.2% according to the 2001 census.

    Ideally I’d like the so called “secularists” to speak out against Hindutvadis and so called “communalists” to speak out against Islamists and missionaries so that I get the full picture and both sides of the story. :-)

  3. Billy, thank you for your interest in an actual discussion in good faith. Please understand that the entire gujarat tragedy distressed me very much. I have gujarati muslim friends who were personally affected, so trust me, its brutality is not lost on me; however, the notion that the killing of 58 innocents (primarily women and children) could be superseded somehow, I find a little insensitive and invalid. How do you tell the husbands, the mothers, the sons and daughters of those victims that their loss doesn’t count because of subsequent reprisal rioting?

    All life is valuable. Those who tried to justify their actions with notions of collective punishment for a previous crime are categorically wrong. Should I reach back to the myriad of riots where more hindus died to justify or obscure the gujarat riots? No. Any given crime at any given time must be uniformly and categorically condemned. But again, the deaths of 250 innocent hindus in the rioting was just as tragic as the roughly 700 innocent muslims. Please at least remember their lives as well when you recount the Gujarat riots. They after all did not magically disappear either.

    Fundamentally, this all boils down to the one factor: the breakdown of government in India. Under the UPA especially, it has become a kakistocracy (rule by the very worst people). Crimes are always looked through the prism of political benefits and order systematically and effectively neglected. A guilty terrorist isn’t executed in spite of his open statements of guilt because a political party doesn’t find it politically beneficial. What’s the message to others like him? India’s a soft state that plays favorites. Just make enough noise, misinform enough people, and you too can get away with murder. India doesn’t even seek to fight the maoists on its own. It created the Salwa Judum, a group of tribals dedicated to fight the Maoists’ brutal insurgency in India’s Red Corridor. Guess what happened? The populace in that region (primarily chattisgarh and jharkhand) is now doubly oppressed. Yet another group of vigilantes was injected into the system. This outsourcing of the fundamental duties of government, politicization of the CBI and now CEC, and rank duplicity and treachery in the prosecution of the guilty (irrespective of which side or religion) is ultimately what is hurting the country.

    Billy, thanks again for reaching out to politely discuss. I hope now you understand why I think neither crime should be forgotten.

  4. 131 · rob said

    My delicate feelings would be devastated by this barb, if I wasn’t completely flummoxed by its irrelevance.
    It’s not irrelevant at all–it’s why India-trained historians are treated with such (deserved) disdain in the US–they’ve just been taught a bunch of left-tard nonsense.

    rob on historians? now that’s one for the ages :)

  5. “I was hoping to see atleast one editorial in a major newspaper or some statements from leading “secular” intellectuals about the arrest of an editor for offending Muslims, unfortunately looks like as far as they are concerned, nothing happened. Imagine, if Gujarat government under Modi arrested editor for publishing what Karunanidhi said about Rama. All hell would have broken loose.”

    absolutely, there has been chilling silence on this issue. vote bank politics has meant that extremists of every ilk are appeased unabashedly by politicians, which is why media and law enforcement have lost their teeth to deal with issues like these. and since every party is falling over itself to court extremist/fundamentalist muslim organizations, secularism has become a joke. as extremist muslim organizations acquire more power and political capital, moderate muslim voices get sidelined and progressivism stalls (do not want to go into this here, but see the recent tug-of-war on madrassa modernization and funding proposals).

  6. since every party is falling over itself to court extremist/fundamentalist muslim organizations, secularism has become a joke. as extremist muslim organizations acquire more power and political capital, moderate muslim voices get sidelined and progressivism stalls (do not want to go into this here, but see the recent tug-of-war on madrassa modernization and funding proposals).

    The Indian version of secularism is a joke. But it is not just now, the history runs deep. Ambedkar in the late 30s (or early 40s) ridiculed the attitudes of folks like Gandhi et. al in matters related to Muslim communalism. We can see the progressive deterioration from 1947. I don’t think there is any hope on that front.

  7. Ponniyin,

    Great point about Ambedkar.

    I have recently started reading (some re-reading) of Ambedkar’s works including his speeches in the Constituent Assembly.It is a pity that Congress has successfully painted Ambedkar = reservations for SCs and STs, and nothing more than that.Ambedkar’s ideas about various aspects of Indian society have not recd much publicity at all. May be the devious Nehru and other Congress stalwarts are to be blamed for this.