A group of women, who are out for the evening at a pub, get thrashed and sexually molested. This is filmed and flashed on T.V., so all of India sees. And nothing happens?
One would expect a fleet of police cars to rush into action, lights flashing, sirens blaring, to arrest those baboons, the T.V. cameras still rolling, so a clear message is sent out to all those other baboons watching in India: This is criminal activity. And it will not be tolerated.
But No. With women in prime positions of power, – the President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Patil, and the mother hen of the majority party, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the government and its agencies tip-toe gingerly around the case like cats on a hot tin roof, hoping things will cool down, so they can go away and pretend it never happened. Why?
What is it that brings the government so close to selling the constitution to the raddi-walla (the waste-paper seller)? It is that oceanic mob of Indian men who vote — 70%in the villages, another 10% in small towns, and another 10% in the urban areas, who at this very moment are standing up and cheering their baboon brothers, “Right on ! Show those arrogant bitches just exactly where they belong!” Indeed this national pep band has a healthy membership among the women too, nodding and wagging their tongues in unison. “What do you expect? As women if you don’t have self-respect, going out like that, at that hour, alone, dressed like that — who will respect you? What did they expect – that the men would worship them like devis? Of course, these women have brought it on themselves. They had it coming!”
For long India’s vastly illiterate and semi-literate male bastion has seen it as its moral prerogative to put the women in their “rightful place” by openly (read publicly) subjecting them uncensored violence. Women are raped and beaten and often killed by their own husbands, by upper caste men, and by religious fanatics seeking revenge. They are branded as whores and witches, and paraded naked around villages and towns, humiliated, and often hunted down by mobs and killed like wild animals. And the police, the courts and the public just stand by and twiddle their thumbs. Why? Because in all likelihood many from these sections are either doing the same or silently concurring.
What was different about the Mangalore pub was that for the first time in India – the class boundaries were crossed. Men in villages and towns freely and openly went around moral policing women and violently subjugating them, but always within their own class precincts. But it is no secret, that the real rub for this collective male ego is that class of elite women they think are beyond their reach. These are the nation’s middle and upper-class women, a slim 10% perhaps of the population, but nevertheless driven by their burgeoning belief in the freedom and independence of their gender, however they may pursue and express it as individuals. Not only is this class of women beyond the reach of the baboon brotherhood, but thinks it is above them too! What a shudder of joy must have reverted around India when a group of renegades broke that class barrier with the Mangalore pub attacks!
The Mangalore pub incident and the pathetic response of the administration to it could in the future prove to be an incentive for other such crimes of perhaps an even more horrendous nature. Think of it like this – the saga of the Muslim women in Gujrat during the religious riots, could become the saga of the elite, educated, liberated woman in this battle of class and morality.
It is now time for that section of Indians – women who think they are free and liberated, and men who think their wives, and mothers and daughters are so, to wake up and smell the trouble that’s brewing just outside the high walls of their posh neighborhoods. Yes sisters, you might have a tall earning capacity, occupy high offices in politics and business, wear Gucci and sip Chianti. But look over your shoulder – that ain’t a revolution that’s coming up from behind!
The 50 Million Missing Campaign