Of Pink Chaddis, Pink Condoms & Naked Hypocrisy

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.

Reality check.

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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25 thoughts on “Of Pink Chaddis, Pink Condoms & Naked Hypocrisy

  1. As I always say – resilience is ok but amnesia isn’t… I hope this moral policing stops… this is in true way – talibanization of out freedom

  2. Totally agree in sentiments.. Infact… my pet theory is that.. this was an advertising gimmick to promote Vday.. with recession and all no one wud have celebrated with this much enthusiasm if it wasn’t for ram sena.. besides the free publicity was worth the humiliation no ?

  3. Enough of this extremists!! All are causing social damages without able to do anything sensible. And media is also shifting the attention of the people. Let us stop this unworthy discussions and focus on the major issues of our nation. Taliban & US attack on Paksitan, 26/11 post actions, Coming general election, economic strength etc..

  4. TB, I think this is an apt post to conclude this issue and to focus on the basic problem underlying it (and as PN Rao said, other more serious issues as well).

    I’ve read a few posts completely against the PCC but this is the one that actually makes some sense after all. (I personally still feel that this outrageous campaign was required)

    Actually, I’ve also given this link on another blog where I was posting a comment. Expect some traffic… 🙂

  5. As you have rightly said, this PCC campaign was a media circus with its participants in it for publicity and little else. It is easy to shout from Delhi and pat yourself on the back for getting great press in the West with shocking antics. Are these guys serious about meaningful social change? Ha! They probably have never even had a one-night stand, Rahul Gandhi style, in the other India which, for them, is probably on another planet!

  6. Just went through the Pink Condom website . What a squabble ! Mr. Muthalik might get some political mileage out of this campaign .

  7. @Dewdrop
    Yes. The word is ‘Amnesia’.

    @Winnie the Poohi
    I wouldn’t tread on that path. The initiatives had purposes and the intent was to achieve them. A V-Day gimmick? I dont think so.

    One just wonders what purposes will be achieved. And whether there are better purposes. The problem, hence, is with their purposes and not their intent.

    Any peaceful mass movement does no real harm.

    You said it.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I dont think the disconnect with the ‘other India’ is as bad as you term it, Mr.Sharma. The media is more at fault than the people behind these initiatives.

    You bet.

  8. Anything for free condoms! At 5 bucks apiece, they’re bloody expensive for someone who has a lot of fun! 😀

  9. @MirrorCracked
    Simple, send a pink chaddi to the SRS and in return get free condoms delivered directly at your doorstep.

    Better than many special offers I’ve come across.

  10. Thats a wise post !
    I now actually feel pity for the supporters for PCC. An empty vessel makes much noise. Perhaps this is the case with them, the people are so much desperate to show off their love to the world that they became that much cheap. Perhaps their partners are in so much communication gap that they cant even tell them that true love is not boastful.
    All these things seem contradictions to the definition of Love in the name of Itself !!

  11. @Rakesh
    Yeah of course. Even the difference between the cheapest chaddi and the most expensive condom is minimal.

  12. Hmm. I am just happy they conservatives weren’t able to do anything in Bangalore as they threatened.
    Justice for the Mangalore girls is a distant dream.. that was one minor incident in which a few girls were beaten up.
    People affected by religious riots involving mass murder still haven’t seen justice.

  13. @Trailbrazer.. I didnt mean pink chaddi campaign in itself.. but this mangalore incident and the response to it..

    May be I am wrong… but all seem too connected too coincidental

    For even in bangalore few ppl tried to turn it into hindu muslim thing as they did in mangalore too..

    Also, they didnt follow up to their claims.. which makes one wonder if they ever really planned to!

  14. Ravan is supposed to have abducted Sita in retaliation to his sister Surpanakha being insulted and repulsed by Sri Rama and Lakhsmana when she, angry at the rejection of her amorous advances by Rama and Lakshmana attacked Sita.

    The girls who were supposedly attacked by SRS have not registered any complaint with the police.

    But some Surpanakhas of the modern world feel insulted because their right to live freely as they please have been attacked.
    Perhaps for them Ravan is justified in abducting Sita as rightful revenge to the insult suffered by his sister.

    It would be good if these modern day Surpanakhas take time to consider that Ravan is nothing but their own feelings of inflated-ego and revenge that is abducting their good sense, decorum and propriety represented by Sita based on perceived injury and insult suffered by their wayward and wanton desires represented by Surpanakha.

    It is for their own feelings of Righteousness and Commitment to Righteousness represented by Sri Rama and Lakshmana to trounce their over-inflated ego and revenge feelings (Ravan) and save their good sense, decorum and propriety (Sita).

  15. Hey Trailblazer. Sorry for commenting after such a long time….
    I really think that you are right here but partially.However, any campaign be it named anything has a right to start in protest against what happened in Mangalore. Public memory is always short, campaign or no campaign…but these efforts atleast have sensitized the public to the situation….
    There is no harm in protesting si there?
    If they can attack, a little protest won’t hurt either!
    and as for this being a marketing gimmick, I think VDAY itself is the biggest marketing gimmick in the country. Every festival infact is a marketing gimmick in it’s own right-someway or the other..But people celebrated it before and they will o so now. Marketing gimmick therefore-out of the question!

  16. @Mithe & IHM
    Read my reply to the first comment by Winnie the Poohi.

    @Mithe on V-Day: Even if it is a marketing gimmick, there are many couples who choose to marry on the occasion and hence the auspiciousness of V-Day has enhanced. It's a different thing that business minds want to make the most out of days like this. Even that doesn't really hurt.

    V-Day should remain Valentine's Day and not become Violence-Day.

  17. if u insist that sending pink chaddis is just a gimmick aimed at media attention, then I would like to differ. In my opinion Indian women and men are at least standing up and shouting ‘look dude, we bloody disapprove of your policing and will continue doing what we want to.’ Which I think in itself is a big step.

    As for doing justice to the victims, trust me there is so much to be done on that end, starting from our citizens in the east who randomly get killed by various militant groups on a daily basis. At this rate, I would say even Mumbai terror attacks were a media hyped event. Don’t people die in other parts of the country due to naxals etc every single day?

    I would not condemn the pink chaddi campaigners. At least they told the sene on their face that they disapprove of them.

    I hope you are a part of some sort of protest that will help in getting some sort of justice to victims. I hope your views on justice are not limited to your blog and have some actionables.

  18. @Jinu P
    First of all, I have not insisted one bit on the Pink Chaddi campaign being a gimmick. I just said that the media has picked up the campaign and given it the attention. I never said the Pink Chaddi folks demanded for it.

    In your opinion, Indian men and women are standing up. What ‘standing up’ can do is probably(and maybe not) avoid another such attack. But what about justice to the victims who were directly affected by the Mangalore attacks?

    The Mumbai attacks were not a media hype. It was an attack on the country as a whole, as is Naxalism in the east. As is militancy in Kashmir. As is border infiltration. As is the LTTE in the south.

    If you said “I would not condemn…” while indicating that I may have condemned them, then please revise your opinion on the post because I have not *condemned* the campaign anywhere. I have, in fact, in a reply to a comment above stated that the campaign’s intent is great, but the purposes are meek.

    Telling the Sene on their face of disapproval does not mean justice for victims. It’s only a people’s movement. The Jessica Lal movement had the right intents and the right purposes and the overturning of the court ruling was an example of people power in a democracy. Not so with the Pink Chaddi people.

    I am NOT a part of any protest that ‘calls’ for justice, and ends up making no real difference or helping gain any particular ‘justice’.

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