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PeAcE WiTh GuNs

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

National Shame vs. National 'Who-the-hell-cares' in Mangalore

The newspapers, websites and channels are full of the nauseating news - 'Women in pub attacked' and there are women's rights groups up to their now-familiar act of protest marches and such. When I saw a clipping on the news channel, I noticed that the hooligans broke into the pub and severely beat up a few men before pushing and slapping a couple of women around. Quite notably, there is nothing in the news about the poor boys who suffered. This seems like a major national issue 'only' because women were slapped around. Indeed, it is an unforgivably shameful thing to do but could we please have some neutrality in the reporting? Slapping the boys is as much a crime as is slapping the girls. Could we please hear more about the entire story and not just the five second clips showing a man pushing a girl?

Oh and these women's rights groups need to take a break. Who the hell funds them anyway? Grow up and protest against the wrongdoing which in this case, has happened against members of both genders. If your agenda is to garner publicity by standing up for the women and degrading all men in general, I have two words for you. I'm sure you don't need me to spell them out, do you? I believe gender equality is a basic right for every human being but in all ways. This kind of nonsensical "Women-are-holy, men-are-filth" mentality needs to be shot down and replaced with simple practical thought which judges things reasonably.

There can be no justification against such acts of invading the right to freedom of any person. We are a sovereign nation and everyone has a right to do things according to their own understanding as long as they are not breaking any laws.

On the same lines though, possessing and using drugs is illegal in India. Hang on a second, let me put that in capitals - ILLEGAL. Oh and for all the "dumber-than-a-lamppost" men and women out there, ILLEGAL is NOT cool. This trend of doing drugs and late night drag races, speeding on the highways with fancy cars etc. just has to stop. Its time the youngsters acted more responsibly and found more productive ways of utilising their energy. It would be nice to see some young Indian faces in voluteer activities in India. I met many people in the UK who have spent time doing volunteer activity like building schools or permanent housing for flood affected in India but sadly, no one I know in India has done anything of that sort. I feel ashamed to admit that I haven't done much myself and therefore would not claim to hold the moral high ground here but I am committed that I will do something. Where, what, when... these questions just seem to jump back and bite everytime I see another kid begging on the street.
We've had college students on the third floor of our building having a birthday party and dancing and playing loud music upto 1:30 in the night and when people protested, they got abusive and got into a fight. A number of police complaints later, they moved out and are now probably terrorising another peace-loving building society somewhere. For the record, these folks threw garbage out of the balcony, spat gutkha on the building walls, parked their vehicles haphazardly and generally misbehaving with everyone. If the youth is going to abuse their freedom of expression to cause nuisance, maybe there is some need for censorship of this freedom. Take the alcohol ban after midnight for example - it was probably caused by a minority of people who drink and then spill out into the streets causing nuisance. As always, the general rule-following population suffers only because of the abuse of a few who break rules.

Feminists reading this blog and planning to spew venom on me for being reasonable and supporting equal rights for men, please take your placard somewhere else. If you are short of ideas on where you could put them, let me know; I can offer suggestions.



  • Haha this was fun to read! I winced when i saw the image of the girl being hit, if it were a guy I probably wouldn't but I'd oppose the act just as much. It is the moral policing that everyone is opposing. People should mind their own business and let others be. Moral policing should stop.

    And if you are suggesting that it was wrong for those people to be in that pub, that they should have rather been helping the poor etc, then that's just stupid! (I know you don't say that not in those words at least, I am just saying IF)

    By Blogger FlyingHigh, at 2:29 pm  

  • hmm ... I know I'll sound weird, but I'm okay with the occasional thrashing of 'pubsters', girls or boys!!

    with reducing parental control and more youngsters moving out of home, some societal correction is necessary.

    By Blogger Balaji, at 3:21 pm  

  • Flying High : So nice to see you here again. :) You don't need that 'IF'. I am not against people going to pubs at all. Heck, I've been to many myself. I am definitely against drug abuse though and if you're smart enough, you'd know that it is quite rampant in pubs here.

    Balaji : LOL Balaji... thrashing? You wouldn't want to get caught in the crossfire during your walk along your favourite road which is coincidentally lined with pubs, would you? But seriously...what a bunch of dingbats!

    By Blogger GuNs, at 4:49 pm  

  • oh, I go to pubs only if its on company money and that too only for the food :)

    i don't know whats the fuss is about. i remember an occasion from middle school in my town, when i was speeding in my cycle (?!) and almost hit a girl crossing the street. someone promptly came by and slapped me. i think i was better for it.

    we all know where this 'freedom' culture is gonna land some of those pubsters in. drunken driving, drugs, rave parties, unsafe sex, date rape, teen pregnancy, abortion, young parents and their screwed kids ... a whole chain of nuisance, a country battling poverty can do well without.

    thrashing those girls on TV seems like a cost effective public campaign. thats what we do in villages and small towns. and it works.

    By Blogger Balaji, at 5:52 pm  

  • Good to read your post. Some of the comments are funny. Actually quite valid point -why nobody paid any notice to the boy who got slapped around....!!
    Hitting is a very negative emotion and most of the times it's used just to show the power.

    BTW , may be since you have been out of India for sometime , thats why you are not probably aware that many youngsters are doing active volunteer services - do go through www.jagritiyatra.com also there was this campaign by TOI to teach 1 person...!! If you are really serious about this , you can join there.
    Check out if your zone has "Salaam Balak trust".Hope this helps....!!

    By Anonymous bendtherulz, at 9:00 am  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger ~RAUL~, at 5:34 pm  

  • aha...the angry young kid is back...with all his venom out in a single post...
    jokes apart, very well written...I never saw any videos of the scuffle or heard any news but from what I've read I think it seems a one off incident(hopefully) that has been given a lot of coverage because this time there were women who came in the spotlight. A lot of this happens in the pubs/shady bars who do not have license to remain open after certain time and when they do, the police sometimes does the same to people there. I mean it might be not at the same level but still a slap is a slap !!!

    I loved the bit where you've mentioned students partying in your building. Reminds me of my hay days !!!

    By Blogger ~RAUL~, at 5:35 pm  

  • Balaji : Company money, pubs... lol, all that sounds like a long-lost mystery novel now. Recession's put a spanner in the works, I suppose. No thrashing\bashing for me, really, except for the terrorists and the rioters.

    Bendtherulz : Thanks for the links. I shall definitely check them out. Its good to know there are some people in India too. In fact, I know there are many - its just that I havent met anyone yet which just probably means that there aren't enough of them around.

    Raul : You're the one who's back, mate. Your hay-days were that bad? You got beaten up by half the building? Chee chee...shame on you. LOL. Hows it going man? Where are you lurking now? Still in the UK?


    By Blogger GuNs, at 6:03 pm  

  • Completely agree on the irrational boy girl divide- equal footage of slaps being doled out to both sexes was needed.

    However Balaji,

    Its sad that u dont reliaze whats all the fuss about. Getting slapped for almost hitting a girl while speeding on a bike, u completely deserved that dude.

    Getting slapped, pushed around, beaten, provocated for going to a place where you want to go, for doing something that you want to do is unfair, barbaric, dogmatic to say the least.
    Heck! Every party hopper is not a walking talking ecstasy popping, hallucinating, body abusing, rich spoilt kid.

    While we are at it, with freedom comes the freedom to abuse it but saddled inconspicuouly with it comes knowledge. "Free", "Educated", "Aware" "Party Hopping" people like me are better placed to talk about substance abuse, what type of alchohol, consumed in what quantity, amalgamated with what substance and proove lethal and therefore to steer clear from it. Unlike the bucolic millions living in villages for whom hash, hashim, is a part of life, for whom night cannot be welcomed without the local liqour, whose women after a hard days work do not hesitate to consume alchohol, where promiscuity is part and parcel of the hard life you lead, where women are not beaten for roaming in sarees without blouses, who will never tell you about the evils of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, rape, drunken driving, unsafe sex, abortion and other like evils because its a way of life for them.

    Tell me, where should "societal correction" according to you be headed?

    The 600 million who are not even aware of our sanskriti, sabhyata, sanskar, culture, heritage, 600 million who are downtrodden, fucked to the core, poorest of the poor,saddened enouigh to be apathetic.... versus a handful to children trying to have a good time...

    On whose welfare/correction should our resources, energy and time be concentrated?

    By Blogger Kamana, at 1:38 pm  

  • Kamana,

    I think u missed my point. I said govt will be better of spending time battling poverty than fighting nuisances that come from pub culture.

    It would have been better if the parents of these kids had disciplined them. When thats not happening, neighbors/society can and shud step in.

    And no, drunken revelry is no way of having fun in a country plagued with so many ills. Thats signature middle class apathy and self-centeredness.

    And I really doubt "educated" and "aware" people know about substances. I lived in LA and know how ppl behave when they are drunk. I'm sure the girls lying on the street at night were working on their doctorate by the day.

    By Blogger Balaji, at 6:26 pm  

  • Kamana/Balaji : Thats a nice debate you folks have going on these. Please continue. You both make interesting observations.

    From my side, I personally know this girl in UK where I lived. She's doint her Ph.D. and she admits to having spent nights boozing on the beach, puking her guys out, trying out drugs etc. There's even a picture on her Facebook where she's sleeping inside her friend's toilet after a boozed out party. Of course, its all her personal choice but you would be surprised to know that the government of Britain has recently recognised binge drinking as one of their foremost social problems and a number of laws are being thought of to counter it. You might also note that in the UK, you are not allowed to take a drink and walk outside a pub with it. You are also not allowed to consume alcohol in a place like a bus station or a train station etc. Most importantly, these rules are STRICTLY followed regardless of how drunk people are.

    We are all aware of the civic sense of the general population in India, I'm sure. So alcoholism is a much bigger threat to our peace and law & order in India than it is in developed countries. I can bet my bottom dollar that more than half of the kids who get drunk at pubs come out and drive home. Heck, I've never ever seen anyone at a party, office or personal, who has refrained from drinking just because he/she is driving.

    There was a statement against the pub culture by Ramadoss. A lot of the young crowd probably dismiss him as yet another of the moral police but if you look at his statments, he is a very mature guy who quotes concrete figures in his statments. A 60% rise in the number of people who drink alcohol in the last 5 years, 40% accidents recorded involve drunk driving, a large percentage of this 40% are kids in their twenties or below.

    My stand on this issue is simple. People have a moral right to freedom but only as long as they do not abuse it. When there are no restrictions and people stay within limits, there is no problem but when people start abusing their freedom, it calls for the freedom to be curtailed. I mean, as Indians, we need to first learn about using our freedom correctly - stop at traffic signals even if there isnt a cop forcing you to, behave with politeness with your customers, be polite and ask for permission when you smoke or drink near a non-smoker/drinker, not throw trash on the streets or out of train/bus windows etc. Once we all learn to do that effectively, I think, only then we have the right to ask for freedom.

    If I was the lawmaker, I would allow people to go to pubs as and when they like to. At the same time, it would be mandatory for all pubs to check their customers on exit for alcohol consumption and if found over the limit, disallow them to drive. A good way to implement this is to ask customers to hand their car/bike keys over at the gate before entering. Being perfectly realistic and not cynical, I am sure a majority would then turn to parking a short distance away from the pub and walking in. We just keep trying to find ways to break rules and its disgusting. These people are almost arguing to be declined all right of freedom and be consigned to a prison cell all their lives. I mean, every single day, I try to see if there is even one damn traffic signal where all vehicles have stopped before the designated STOP line. I am yet to have found one.


    By Blogger GuNs, at 5:36 am  

  • forgot this thread. and yeah i agree with you.

    By Blogger Balaji, at 6:04 pm  

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