Social networking - the new pressure group in India
My Goan colleague Frederick Noronha, a happily-married Indian man, to my surprise recently joined the Facebook group “A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”. Now the reason why has become clear…
This excellent post from Swati Prasad on Inside India:
On Feb. 6, I received an invitation from a friend to join a group on Facebook—A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women. The group had been created a day back and had garnered a few hundred members. I instantly recognized what this movement was all about and decided to join it.
Here’s the group’s description: “Join us on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, the day on which Indian women’s virginity and honor will self-destruct unless they marry or tie a rakhi. Walk to the nearest pub and buy a drink. Raise a toast to the Sri Ram Sene.”
The group already has nearly 16,000 members and is growing by the minute.
Sri Ram Sene is a “right-wing” organization that calls itself the custodian of the Indian (read: Hindu) culture. They view the growing popularity of the Valentine’s Day, the rising culture of going to pubs and discotheques (by young boys and girls) an organized conspiracy of the West. In an interview with a TV station, the Sri Ram Sene’s chief Pramod Muthalik, termed these trends an attack on Hinduism by Christianity (and all these years, I thought Valentine’s Day (V-day) was the perfect marketing gimmick greeting card companies, hotels, bars, jewelry brands, etc, had stumbled upon).
On Jan. 25, members of the Sri Ram Sene had barged into a pub in Mangalore and assaulted girls who were there. Their reasoning: the pub culture isn’t Indian, and this was needed to keep the mothers and daughters safe from the onslaught of Western ideology. Go to her blog to read more