Moral Police on the Offensive in India

Just came across this article in Indian Express. In Mangalore, a college city on the south-western coast in the state of Karnataka, some young women who were having drinks in a bar were assaulted and made to flee the business. The author of the article writes:

On January 24, a part of the moral police in Mangalore, the Right-wing Hindu outfit known as the Sri Rama Sene, with a sympathetic BJP Government in power, put fear in the hearts of pub-going students with a violent attack on girls at a relatively new lounge bar, Amnesia. Television images of the attack are still fresh in everybody’s mind.

Girls, aged between 19 and 20, were grabbed by their hair, thrown on the ground, molested, slapped and beaten by a group of young men, claiming allegiance to Hindu culture and accusing the girls of dancing with boys at the bar.

This is an obscene act of sexism and intolerance. It is a select group of fundamentalist forcing their archaic world view onto others. It is what Benjamin Barber writes about in his book Jihad vs. McWorld. Western modernism brining about social upheaval and confusion to more traditional communities who respond in a violent manner.

The author has written a lengthy article discussing the history of the rise of the BJP in this area of India and the factors involved that have led Mangalore to this low point. One man is quoted:

“Many of the traditional ties that existed in society have broken down. In the past, jasmine flower grown on a Christian’s farm was bought by a Muslim trader and sold to Hindu women. The breaking of ties has created a vacuum for exploitation by groups that indulge in divisive politics,” says Vidya Dinkar.

It seems that Mangalore is facing a serious test of it multi-cultural tolerance and ability to accept a changing world. Hopefully the men who participated in this horrendous act will be put to trial and the community will respond in a responsible manner. Here is youtube footage.

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