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India’s Taliban on a rampage

January 26, 2009

Two  incidents which happened in the last couple of days disturbed me very much. Both incidents concerned violent politically motivated tactics of small-time Hindu Taliban-like parties. Both incidents created a law and order problem which was not handled by the police with alacrity.  In the first incident the delay on the part of the police to act was only too clear.

The first incident concerns a threatening letter that MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) members sent to the owner of a shop called Karachi Sweets in Mulund, with a demand to change the name of the shop of “face the consequences.” MNS has indulged in this kind of behavior often, it’s almost routine for them. The fact that they do this regularly clearly means that they have no fear of the police. The writer of this letter, Rajendra Deshmukh, dared to write this threatening letter on an MNS letterhead. This could only be possible if he knew he would not be prosecuted, if he knew that the police were on this side. And indeed, the police brazenly supported him this time. They had the cheek to suggest a new name for the shop – Mumbai Sweet House! They should be punished for supporting this unlawful behavior. If the police cannot uphold the rights of citizens they do not deserve to be wear that uniform!

Recently the MNS had threatened a book shop which stocked books by Pakistani writers. Even here they were supported by the police as the police had advised the owner of the bookshop to cooperate with the goons! What’s wrong with our police? Are they depressed? Are they afraid? Are they lazy? Are they secret members of MNS? Or are they being bribed?

True, after the violent tactics of the MNS and the cowardly behavior of the police was reported by the media, the state home minister and senior police officers did intervene and promise security to shop-owners who have shops with names of Pakistani cities. They have also apparently arrested some people. But many shop-owners don’t want to take chances. The owner of Karachi sweets could finally change the name of his shop. Sad, as most of these people are from Sindh and Punjab (now in Pakistan) and have fond pre-partition memories of the places.

These claims of MNS to represent the Marathi people is rubbish. Here is what a “marathi manoos” has to say:

…asking ‘Karachi Sweets’ to change their name is stupid! So will Karachi Society at Juhu be the next victim? Should we stop using ‘Multani Mitti’ in our ayurvedic facepacks? How about banning Afghan Snow? Drop the word ‘Sindh’ from our National Anthem? Stop eating Chicken Peshawari @ Khyber? Shiv Sena has already vandalized ‘Baluchi’ restaurant in Intercontinental The Lalit 2 days ago… so it need not be on your list!

Not just stupidity, these actions on the part of the MNS  show their total lack of education and culture. We cannot deny our history and try to forget it! That’s what the Taliban did – by destroying Buddha statues in Afghanistan. They wanted to wipe out any sign that there were once Buddha’s devotees in Afghanistan. There are also Pakistani textbooks which distort history and deny the richness of the Hindu roots of many Pakistanis. And as we well know hundreds and hundreds of Hindu temples have been razed in Pakistan. History is being systematically wiped out. The MNS has started this too.  The MNS is simply the little brother of the Taliban and we should always remember that brats grow up. If this party is allowed to flourish they will become the Hindu Taliban. The police need to wake up and the ruling Congress government thrown out for allowing MNS to take root.

And MNS could soon have the support of other Hindu radical parties from all over India. These parties could form a coalition and perhaps call it the United Front of  the Hindu Taliban.

Another instance is one where 40 members of a group called Sri Rama Sene attacked a few defenceless girls yesterday in Mangalore, a coastal city in the state of Karnataka. They beat them up for “violating traditional Indian norms.” Can you imagine what sort of mentality these men have? What “Indian” norms they themselves have? People like these should not be called the “moral” police, that term is too good for them! And as is the case in almost all such incidents, extortion is suspected. I won’t be surprised if a few of these potential rapist goons were desperate to touch these girls.  There are allegations of molestation too.

The ugly incident has a murky dimension also with leaders of Sri Rama Sene and Bajrang Dal, another pro-Hindu organisation fighting to take credit for the attack in the name of punishing those going against “traditional Indian norms”. Mangalore police said the girls had suffered minor injuries.

The fact that some time after the incident, the leader of this Hindu Taliban gang came on a respectable news channel to take “credit” for the attack and justified it, shows that these people were not immediately arrested. Also the fact that this was filmed  shows that the media had been told to be there. So if the media knew, could the police not have known? Sure, these men have now been arrested, but why was this allowed to happen in the first place? It is believed that the “attackers have good political links and are a part of an extortionist gang” and “the attack is an attempt to spread terror amongst restaurant owners in the city”.

(Added later: Immediately after the attack the Chief Minister of the state, B S Yeddyurappa, said that no one should allow goons to take the law into their own hands. Has he lost his mind? What law is he talking about? I have not heard of any law which bars women from entering pubs or sitting with the opposite sex. So does this mean that the CM believes that the women should not go to pubs and sit with men? No wonder people are taking the law into their own hands!!)

If the police drag their feet, not just in arresting these people but also making out proper charge-sheets and prosecuting them, we will soon have a United Front of the Hindu Taliban on our doorsteps.

Related Reading: Will we ever get used to seeing flesh?
Fake publicity stunts by political parties
Violent protesters should pay for their misdeeds
Attack creative freedom – that’s the mob’s job
The impending ban on women working night shifts is a symptom of the poor status of women
India’s “moral police” have political backing
The moral police clamp down on couples
SIMI and Bajrang Dal – can they be compared?

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91 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2009 9:55 am

    Nita I found this news so depressing. It seems none of these acts are being seriously punished …
    What’s going to become of this country? Are we going to step out of our homes with our own armed body guards, the way it happens in some parts of Bihar and UP?

    This was not even shocking just extremely saddening. I feel so hopeless.

    It’s best to be angry, not feel sad or hopeless. We have to scream out that these people are nuts and need to be locked up. Lets just scream out guts out and I must say you are doing a great job with your blog! – Nita.

  2. January 26, 2009 10:26 am

    I was about to write,we need to work together to do something about this…but of late,thanks to a few things,I can’t see people really caring about any of this.Today is Republic Day and constitution can’t do give person ,help.I bet the same B*******s watch hindi films and “indulge” in so many other things.
    It is bad to see your country being scarred like this and when you want to do something about it you can’t because you are single person…

    Sure you can do something Vishesh. Men and boys should write about these things too. As Nimmy said, this is a human rights issue. – Nita.

  3. January 26, 2009 12:19 pm

    Nita, shocking instances, yes and they shocked me too. While the first instance clearly displays how desperate the MNS is getting to hog the limelight ahead of elections, I begin to wonder whether the man on the street finds this heroic or stupid? Is there a disconnect between our thoughts and the ordinary Marathi manoos on the street? Can they not see through this pseudo-activism and can they not stand up and condemn raking up such non-issues? Can they not demand some real action on issues that matter us most? If you do read about such issues, do post something about them! I am longing to read such stories of late.

    • January 26, 2009 4:15 pm

      Gopinath, I know several supporters of the MNS and they are all poor people working fr a pittance. They are uneducated and one of them is jobless. They told me some time ago what MNS is all about and what its supporters want. These people cannot compete with the aggressive and hardworking immigrants. I don’t want to go into the morality of it now, suffice to say that these people form the backbone of the MNS and they are least bothered with “issues” as we see them. They are from a different India and our issues are not their issues. These people will support almost anything the MNS does, because they see the MNS as their saviors. They care less for “freedom” and “liberty,” they simply want to put their kids through to college and be able to buy nice clothes for their wives. I wrote about this (post here) just as MNS had started to hog the limelight and I can say proudly that I was the first person to write that this is a working class movement. Not a single newspaper had written this when I wrote this then, and I am proud that in a way mine was a kind of investigative journalism. The mainstream publications and mainstream tv channels all misunderstood this to be a movement of the well to do. Sure, some of the leaders are the educated and well to do, the articulate ones, but this movement’s cadres are all working class and a few uneducated business people (chaiwalas, paan walas, small shops etc) who have been marginalised because of the influx from the north. The MNS offers them one thing: Survival. If it means that they are told to attack a cinema hall or stop a woman wearing certain clothes, they don’t care because these are not their women anyway. The only way the MNS can be stopped is by the police.

      When it comes to real issues, it is the various NGO’s and educated middle class citizens groups in Mumbai who do this kind of work. There are many such organisations and yes I do plan to write about them soon.

  4. January 26, 2009 12:32 pm

    Sorry, Nita I had more to say on the first instance in Maharashtra – you have rightly pointed out the role of the police – what are they here for to protect us or to warn us? I suspect they are depressed, afraid, lazy, supportive of MNS, bribed and more at the same time.

    While the first instance has been for sheer publicity, the second seems to even worse and intriguing – what was the protest against? The report does not spell out and one wonders what we have come to?

    The link that Nimmy has provided is more in detail. The protest is againt women going to pubs. They feel that only men should be allowed to drink and make merry! Remember Manu? If you have read IHM’s latest post, you will get a reminder. – Nita.

  5. January 26, 2009 12:57 pm

    On one hand we are progressing as a nation and on the other hand these fanatics pull you so down that you feel pitiable.

    What are they trying to achieve by this fanaticism? Where were these saviors of Hindusim when Mumbai was burning? All they can do is to torture poor, innocent working class.

    How do these goons go unpunished? Sadly! Looks like I only have questions with no solutions.

    Why you say they go unpunished? You choose – out of fear, ignorance or lure of the money! – Nita.

  6. January 26, 2009 1:34 pm

    What is Sri Rama Sena

    Sri Rama Senais a pro-Hindu apolitical organization based in Hubli and promoted by Promod Mutalik, who floated the organization after parting ways with the BJP a few years ago. The organization is known for celebrating all Hindu festivals on a grand scale. But is infamous for creating communal tensions and moral policing. It claims to be a “protector” of swadeshi ideology and Hindutva.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4029791.cms

    That says it all..Just the same way Taliban believes that they are appointed by gos to preserve modesty and justice in their land,these guys too belive that God or Mother India appointed them to make all indians walk along the so-called lines of modesty..

    People of both these groups should be lokced together in dark rooms and keys thrown away in deep sea..

    Trust me,these kinds of things will keep on increasing..why?Bcoz we are impotents that we just keep watching the show..This has been happening here and there since many years and no action was taken..What did happens to sena guys who were moral policing there?Extremists of all groups are gainging strength bcoz we (read government..am i wrong?)are not keen in setting things right..

    I had a great laugh today morning bcoz responses against this incident came from Women leaders alone..From Renuka and from NCW..lol..Is this just a feminist or whatever matter of concern alone? Where is the law and order spokesman responding??

    As long as these type of dramas continue,goons and mullahs like this will regin..We can just keep complaining..It is our fault that we have choosen bad leaders..

    Nimmy, locked in a dark room you say. I say that’s a mild punishment for these people! They need to suffer more. I think hard labour for the rest of their lives (breakign stones in a quarry) would rid them of their excess energy which tries to touch women and hit them. And yeah, I wish moremen would speak up. This is not a women’s issue alone. Even some guys were beaten up in any case. – Nita.

  7. January 26, 2009 3:47 pm

    I think these perverts are like rabid dogs who should be “taken care of” as soon as possible. I may sound inhuman but this is what they deserve. They won’t reform themselves because their beliefs have become embedded in their minds. Its their life support.

    You say “the ruling Congress government thrown out for allowing MNS to take root.”

    You are right but then who will take their place? Will BJP have the guts to stop these MNS and Ram Senas? I think at this point of time Judiciary should step up and do something about all this and our Police should stop being such cowards (I have a better word but then I refrain to use it) and do their jobs. For heaven’s sake if they will fear these small groups of perverted men then to whom will the public go for help?

    I am just too angered by this incident.

    Rabid dogs who should be put down. Agreed! I feel the same kind of anger too! As to whether the BJP will be better, I don’t know. I just know that a government comprises of people and the people in the ruling Congress now in MH are weak. Fresh lot of people need to come up. Maybe a coalition will help. – Nita.

  8. January 26, 2009 4:22 pm

    hi nita
    really well put.

    when i read graphic novels like Persepolis, or talk to friends from Afghanistan, i realise that this is how they started too… a bunch of lunatics ready to commit violence and silence by the majority. i realise how close we are to becoming that way – simply because we keep quiet.

    Absolutely! This is how it starts. It starts with a lunatic fringe who get more and more powerful by bribing those in power, by slowly infilterating the police force. We all need to protest strongly against any attack on freedom. For that is all that we can do. – Nita.

  9. vasudev permalink
    January 26, 2009 5:02 pm

    we can no longer tell the muslims how bad they are! what a tragedy!

    All societies have their extreme religionists, and I believe there are such people in America too nowadays. They dont believe in evolution! – Nita.

  10. January 26, 2009 5:21 pm

    I think just blaming the police will not sort out things. They are pawns and the victims of a much bigger game. This is the result of our disregard of the law. This is just exposing our ‘culture’ of making exceptions of the rules and dilute the law and order situation. As long as we give ‘donations’ to admit our kids in educational insts, as long as we pay bribes to the traffic police when our insurance is not renewed, these things will keep happening. When we take such blatant exceptions and make a mockery of the system, what rights do we have to blame others when they do the same?

    Destination Infinity

    Ofcourse, it’s not just the police, it’s the politicians too. But I do believe that without a strong law and order machinery crimes like these will never stop. As Mavin said, such crazy people exist in all soceities and if they flourish, the blame is on the police. We as law abiding citizens cannot fight these goons or start hiring hit men and security guards to protect ourselves. – Nita.

  11. January 26, 2009 5:36 pm

    Nita,

    In a society as large and diverse as India, fringe elements are bound to exist, whatever their logic or motivation.

    Re: Sri Ram Sena. As long as they celebrate festivals on a grand scale there is no problem.

    If they feel that Hindus have lost discipline and need to go back ten centuries to preserve culture, they can practice all these rigidities in the confines of their homes or within their groups. I guess nobody will object to that.

    The minute they cross this Laxman-Rekha, it is time for the police to come down on this swiftly and ruthlessly.

    There should be no democracy here. It should be hard labour for a couple of years. Exemplary punishment is necessary to put an end to public violence.

    Hard labour for just a few years? I would want them to do hard labour for at least a decade! That may sound harsh but these people need to be stopped. If there can be harsh punishment for a drug offence why cannot there be for rioting? As for fringe elements, yes they will always exist, but if the police don’t act, these won’t remain at the fringes anymore. – Nita.

  12. wishtobeanon permalink
    January 26, 2009 6:08 pm

    Nita, they are real cowards, aren’t they? – because they choose to target innocent people! What a shame! I am shocked that such incidents continue to happen and they are only increasing as the days pass. Why are people not protesting? Why are these people not behind bars? It is a shame!

    Yes, these incidents are increasing. People do protest and thank god news channels make a hooha. But at times I think this is what the perpretrators want! Unfortunately the only think that will stop such incidents is if the police cracks down. We citizens cannot take the law into our own hands. We can only yell from the rooftops! – Nita.

  13. January 26, 2009 6:37 pm

    my blood boiled when i came to know about both of these..

    MNS call themselves ‘Maharashtra Nav-nirman Sena’ so does that mean they have to destroy the whole of what is now to create a new one..?

    Sri Ram Sena- should they call themselves that? theirs was the most unhindulike behaviour. molesting, dragging & hitting women, is that the ‘hindutva’ they are trying to potray or preserve.? had they protested against drinking in general would have been a cause. still ‘hindutva’ is about non-violence.. what they displayed was atrocious behaviour. if they are let loose.. not sure what future has for us to see…!

    oorja, these men are the type who would treat their wives, mothers and sisters in a similar fashion, drink heavily themselves, go to prostitutes etc even when they are married, and I won’t be surprised if they do some perverted things like raping women in their spare time! They are the dregs of society, the worst of the lot. That’s why they join these organisations. No decent man, whatever his education or class will ever walk into a pub and manhandle women. – Nita.

  14. January 26, 2009 7:15 pm

    A few more thoughts.

    I do not think there is any public support of any kind for the Mangalore incident and therefore it is easier to handle a small group which has crossed all limits.

    MNS is a tricky issue. I understand they have this evening disrupted a Bhojpuri music programme at Nashik. All that MNS does is to gain prominence and political legitimacy.

    MNS has played the economic and discrimination card and used violence against targeted groups. This has serious implications as MNS has a sympathetic ear amongst an ever expanding group of supporters.

    The “discrimination” card is dangerous and can fan wild fires. Assam and Punjab problems flared up because of similar perception of discrimination and lack of resources allotted to the region.

    It is also possible that MNS may gain legitimacy at the polls and the moderate voice may be drowned. This may also be positioning for power and things change once power is gained.

    MNS people hardly seem torch bearers of culture and can hardly be called the Taliban. They are political outfits whose vision ends in making a neat percentage of every project in Mumbai or Maharashtra. Raj Thackeray himself dabbles in real estate and various businesses.

    Well, the MNS venerates Hitler and perhaps the term Nazi would be more appropriate? :) In any case, the MNS does do moral policing, like they are against homosexuality and couples and valentine day celebrations etc. Not that this makes them any harbringers of culture! Right now they are concentrating on the north indian issue, and their hysteria is bound to increase with the polls nearing – Nita.

  15. January 26, 2009 9:43 pm

    And just when you begin to think the idiots can’t get more asinine, they’ll go ahead and prove how badly you underestimated their stupidity.

    Boils my blood. But sadly, I realize that much as it does anger me, I’m less and less surprised the more they do this. I think I’d be more incensed if a credible entity did this. Cant expect any better from these *expletive*s.

    Wonder if that makes me callous.

    -g

    I guess now that you are outside India, this seems like a different planet now! :) – Nita.

  16. January 26, 2009 11:06 pm

    I wonder how much money do these people get to do all this. They should be paraded naked and shot dead like a dog in the middle of the street.

    They get more than money. They get thrills when they slap women around and pull up their skirts! I guess these perverts can’t do it right otherwise. – Nita.

  17. January 27, 2009 12:00 am

    I am feeling soooo angry!! feel like shouting at those people , beating them with all the strength I have got!!!
    Awful!
    I dint know this news till I saw IHM’s post just now!! Arrrrrrrrghhhhhhhh

    How about making them stand on a pandal and have a chappal throwing session! – Nita.

  18. January 27, 2009 6:11 am

    And what happens to all the Chinese restaurants? Call them “Indian noodles”? I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry.

    About the women, God Nita, you are so right. Anger is the only way. If there is one time that intolerance is a virtue it’s now: this assault on individual freedom cannot and should not be tolerated.

    I will surely blog about this. Will send you the link.

    And congratulations on your investigative reporting! That’s the beauty of the Internet. We have so many more perspectives and some factual ones like yours.
    Keep it up!

  19. Nil permalink
    January 27, 2009 6:11 am

    They are just a vicious mob of thugs who can’t think rationally. Shameless! Anarchy and lawlessness.

    That said, I am disappointed that NDTV et al have jumped on the “Hindu” hatred bandwagon again. Does it MATTER which religious groups carry out such attacks? It is wrong regardless. Funny, after Mumbai blasts, NDTV and CNN IBN wanted to denounce religion in such acts of human loss, etc but when Hindu mobs/groups do it then that principle is out of the window.

    Sad. Most Hindus are decent, tolerant people but it doesn’t help labelling them like they’re evil, when the media doesn’t do this to any other group. I respect all religions, but this treatment of Hindus, when Hindu fringe groups do reprehensible acts, is unfair.

    • January 27, 2009 9:12 am

      Nil, true most Hindus are decent tolerant people. But it is also a fact that these groups claim to be religious type parties. Look at the name of party, Ram Sene. It is an insult to Lord Ram. We need to speak out against the talibanisation of our own religion. Maybe I am selfish but I care more about what Hindus do to Hinduism than other religions! And you are right, the media does not do this to other groups, and in fact I got an email saying exactly this! My stance is that we are lucky that we live in a country where we are allowed to protect and rant against our own religion. This will work in the long run to get rid of the bad elements. If say Muslims are not speaking out strongly against their own Mullahs for whatever reasons, I think this will harm Islam. We need to slam those of our religion who behave like this, slam their heads against the wall. The fact that we can do this shows how liberated and free we are!

  20. January 27, 2009 6:11 am

    And what happens to all the Chinese restaurants? Call them “Indian noodles”? I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry.

    About the women, God Nita, you are so right. Anger is the only way. If there is one time that intolerance is a virtue it’s now: this assault on individual freedom cannot and should not be tolerated.

    I will surely blog about this. Will send you the link.

    And congratulations on your investigative reporting! That’s the beauty of the Internet. We have so many more perspectives and some factual ones like yours.
    Keep it up!

    About the video: Do you know if the media was there? It seemed like it was shot on a cellphone.

    Thanks SS. :) We need to stop this happening to our religion. And while some people may have shot it on a cell phone, the media too had shots. They were there. Probably told in advance that something was going to happen. – Nita

  21. January 27, 2009 6:24 am

    Nita,

    Your blog serves as an excellent commentary about what’s happening in the country. Thankyou!

    Extremist ideologies gather support from peculiar categories of people and be it Hindu extremists in India, Jewish in Israel or Christian extremists in USA, they exist everywhere. It is impossible to get rid of extremism and the struggle between sane and insane will drag as long as the society exists.

    The only question we can address is the tipping point. Will the voices of common people like you and me will prevent the talibanization? It will, till the point these groups are denied political support.

    But which parties do we depend on? If Indian Union Muslim League is an ally of Congress for years (even winning seats from Kerala), what right do they have to call others communal?

    cheers,
    Priyank.

    Thanks Priyank. We common citizens need to shout out in protest when these things happen, particularly those things that happen to our religion. If the Taliban in Afghanistan is so powerful today it is because at first people said nothing. If one is silent, these things go on. As you pointed out, if we speak out, politicians will know that the public won’t tolerate it and these political hoodlums will die out. Tomorrow if some other “religious” group does it and the common people of their own religion tolerate it, their religion will get more radicalized. I will NOT let it happen to MY religion. I will not let it happen to MY religion. I will not let goons hijack my religion. – Nita.

  22. January 27, 2009 6:27 am

    I too share the sentiment.

    There is no way such behavior should be tolerated in a secular democratic republic, which our constitution tells us we are.

    Though i am not sure if MNS should be called a Hindu outfit. They act more like a regional organization out to protect and promote Maharashtrian interests (apparently). They don’t beat up people in the name of Hinduism but that of Maharashtra.

    AD, it’s true the MNS is right now more into the politics of MH and that is their main plank. But the majority of the members of the MNS are backward thinking who suppress freedom, liberty and women’s rights. They are certainly a “Hindutva” type party. Remember they are an offshoot of the Shiv Sena. – Nita.

  23. January 27, 2009 6:27 am

    MNS’s claims to be the voice of Maharashtra. I haven’t heard their stance on issues like development of Konkan or irrigation of Marathwada. Who exactly do they claim to represent? Not me for sure.

    Priyank, they represent, or claim to represent the working class in MH. Umemployment is rising and MNS is capitalizing on it. – Nita.

  24. vivek mittal permalink
    January 27, 2009 9:53 am

    It’s surprizing not to find a mention of Shiv Sena when it comes to “moral policing”…They are far ahead of MNS, and are on par with Bajrang Dal in becoming Taliban of India..

    Yes ofcourse. I agree. The Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal are worse when it comes to “moral policing”. However, this was about two recent incidents. – Nita.

  25. January 27, 2009 10:23 am

    Nita,

    I am writing the same issue on my bog and searching for more details. I found this act of inability of people with power to think.

    Youths in India are all charged up and looking forward to do work for country and betterment is being dragged by dirty politics in anti-social acts.

    Yesterday in another instance in nashik, MNS activist raided a bhojpuri function, in honor of martyr. They wiped out the entire function, only to notice the original cause. And when issue went public, Reasons/excuses were given that they were misguided and failed to understand bhojpouri.

    We should follow up such situation and make sure that they are not repeated again.

    Yes, I read about that after I wrote this post. These MNS people are crazy and this party should be barred from contesting elections. – Nita.

  26. ruSh.Me permalink
    January 27, 2009 11:18 am

    “Sri Ran Sena” would actually mean Monkeys who helped him construct the ram setu to rescue Sita.. Well, these are MONKEYS alright, albeit the rogue ones…

    I feel Police can not do much in this case, because, the people who actually indulge in this vandalism and hypocrisy, are just paid goons… Its not their fault, per se.. They will be arrested, only to be taken out on bail by “the Masters”… To capture and punish the leaders (MNS & Sri Ram Sena) is what is required.. The leaders are the one, who sit at their home, under the Z+ security and give orders to be followed by the jobless and desperate men…

    Everyone is quite aware of the Judicial and Police handicap in the Indian Civic System.. So its pretty easy to create/find loopholes and take advantages of them…

    If the Victims (girls & boys) do file a complain then its not even sure when the perpetrators will be arrested!! (Ever heard of Anticipatory bail & Non-Bailable Offense!!) There should be a proposal to make each and every crime against a woman a non-bailable offense…. Ya, I know, I know, I am being selfish here, but I am more angry to be rational!!

    Just tired of writing, blogging, reading, commenting on Indians, their worst habits, manners, hypocrisy, double standards and what not!! I feel following the above mentioned traits would make me feel among the rest and not feeling left out!!! :(

    Even I am feeling pretty pessimistic about whether these people will be punished. I hope the media follows this up as that is the only way these goons will be punished. – Nita.

  27. Naveen permalink
    January 27, 2009 12:30 pm

    Thomas Friedman in an interview said – India is a miracle accomodating so many different kinds of people with the least issues. I think India is sure a miracle but since each Indian has so many identities -like religion, caste, community, state, region in a state, language, north/south, rich/poor etc. that most of us don’t have a strong group identity.

    I have an observation to add. Conflicts generally occur when people believe (or made to believe) that their group identity is threatened. Looking generally, all conflicts in the world seem to have different reasons. But I tend to see that all racial, ethnic, religious and lingo-cultural conflicts have the same characteritics and the same process. Puported leaders of the majority community always try to associate its identity with nationalism- like Aryan White supremacy=Germany, Simhalese Chauvinism=Sri Lanka, Hinduism=India. There will be propoganda
    and historical basis (generally biased), quotations from historical leaders to their false claims. Then there will be a strong propaganda to frighten the majority community that their rights/livelihood/morality/future are being threatened because of the minorities. They use the viewpoint of a few chosen minorities to represent it as the community view to flare up emotions. These kinds of stuff fly so fast from person to person. Hatred spewed!

    Meanwhile, the minority community tries to stay away from the mainstream (again primarily to save its group identity) loosing opportunities that the other population has access to. Their social and economic standing always less compared to the rest of the community. In a Democracy, the only thing Government knows well is to ‘subsidize’
    problems not to solve them. So they keep throwing money (giving fish to the poor than teaching them how to fish) only to push them more into poverty. Purported leaders make the minorities believe that the government managed by the majority individuals are the only reason for their failures and their present state. This slowly creates a stronger Us vs. them divide. Group settlement patterns, individual instances, charismatic leaders and the state’s concern to a single group can lead rational actors to escalate a dispute to violence. When things really go out of hand, the only outcomes of these disasters are violence, refugees, genocides or partitions.

    So I believe that the culprit is ‘Group Identity’. It is a fact that some Indians too take a single identity very seriously over others. Hopefully, it is not true for the majority of Indians. So, having multiple identities is indeed an advantage to us. It only strengthens our true identity- being Indian. I wonder what if we are divided only by a single attribute? – say religion. Will things be as worse as it is between Sunnis and Shias in Pakistan- I will have to say -probably yes.

    Thanks Naveen for that analysis. Great points raised! True humanity is if one sees oneself as a human first, and a man, woman, Hindu, Muslim, etc second. In fact even Indian is a group identity if one is outside India. But then most people find it difficult to see themselves as human first! Ironic, isn’t it. – Nita.

  28. January 27, 2009 12:39 pm

    @ Nita : Extreme right wing parties should be constitutionally banned as in many other places. I have always said that. In a country where Mein Kampf is openly sold I think we have still to learn about the dangers of this kind of politics.

    Look at the similarities between the Nazis and your very own Shiv Sena and MNS. I say ‘your’ because this cancer is mainly limited to Maharashtra at the moment but will spread I guess. They both had hooligans to begin with. Then they had their own private armies, next stage they will come up with ‘full employment’ policies and then ride on some ‘development and progress for our own ethnic’ people tag line. Finally they will dismantle the very same constitution they used to come to power. They need a nipping in the bud now, not later.

    • January 27, 2009 1:34 pm

      Odzer, I think so too. MNS should be banned. And so should all right wing parties like the Shiv Sena. Their methods to achieve their goals are burning, looting, assaulting and I am sure they will “progress” to worse things as you said. However I think there is one such party in Madhya Pradesh as well, but yeah, their brand is not so strong as that of MNS and Shiv Sena! And there is the BD and VHP which are UP based. I wonder why these things have started to happen in Maharashtra. I think every state goes through a cycle. We were up there once and now we are sinking right down. MH will soon become a state of lawlessness and hooliganism, full of cavemen who club women to death. MH banned dance bars and guess what. The very same people who banned it started to call these girls to their own houses! And you can imagine, it wasn’t just for dancing. I think where the Shiv Sena and MNS are concerned, the psychology that they are preying on is this “group” identity as Naveen so rightly pointed out. MH has seen a lot of people from other regions of India settling in and this has created insecurity amongst the poor and the unemployed here in MH which the political parties are exploiting

  29. openlight permalink
    January 27, 2009 2:05 pm

    Both the incidents are different in perspective but have been clubbed by you is a bit surprising!

    Both incidents have one common agenda – to hit on the sensitive nerve issue for the upcoming election which are just round the corner.

    In MNS case no doubt they are moving on hate politics, instead of demanding of more schools and facilities for marathi manoos especially in rural areas, they are indulging in hate politics an sure shot and quick way to power.

    Hence, after marathi card got subdued in mumbai attacks, they have now targeted the anti-pakistani feelings which are reverberated by all.

    No doubt India has been too liberal with pakistan like MFN status (on cost to our own cement industry), which should had been reviewed and updated till now. How long politicians will play vote bank politics for pity gains ??

    Hence, MNS should had targeted these lines instead targeting weak to garner publicity. Then I personally should had supported their action.

    In case of Manglore same line was followed to target weak spot to garner publicity. If the sri ram sena would had given this treatment to the pub owners in the city then something positive would had emerged out.

    Pubs are places to wind up but of late due to western concept are resulting in drunkards and drug addicts as well as dens for sexual satisfaction. The situation is akin to junk food addiction and popularity, McDonalds or KFC have popularized their junk stuff as the only way to satisfy hunger. And our urban middle class and upper class follow this new found ‘tradition’.

    They are symbol of materialistic outlook to be savored upon for enjoyment as glamorized by media (films,ads). People having access to them are loosing the true meaning of enjoyment which in India was about community welfare.

    But, in this fast paced ever eating world a moment’s pleasure is what our new generation is going into at least, those who have the access to it.

    Even though India boasts of such rich culture, it is surprise to observe that west is following more of indian tradition of yoga , veg diet and ayurveda than we indians.

    Whatever people follow is their business. Also all kinds of violence and intimidation needs to be stopped. We are a democratic country and I pray we remain so. – Nita

  30. January 27, 2009 3:58 pm

    Nita you are right when you say, ‘I won’t be surprised if a few of these potential rapist goons were desperate to touch these girls. There are allegations of molestation too.’

    Yes, that must have been the incentive. Normally they fear at least some criticism for such acts now they are free to molest (or worse) so long as they remember to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’.
    Why aren’t orthodox Hindus protesting against this misuse/insult of our God’s names?

    I have never felt such anger or horror in my life. Now each time a girl steps out in Mangalore there will be this worry of being assaulted for walking, talking, eating, drinking, dressing according to these perverts and extortionists demands.

    They aren’t protesting probably because they too feel that girls should not drink! Also why don’t these so-called “religious” men beat up men who molest women in public? I’ll tell you why. They are molesters themselves! I have personally been molested by a “sadhu” in a public bus. – Nita

  31. January 27, 2009 4:50 pm

    When we hears of such incidents again and again, I feel helpless; what can we, ordinary citizens, do about it?

    Also, openlight, you have every right to detest pub culture, and of course the most powerful thing you can do is not go to a pub and thus vote with your wallet. I don’t know why you think the sriram sena should hit pub owners. They are after all running a legal business.


    We can raise our voices against it. – Nita.

  32. January 27, 2009 5:19 pm

    Rightly said Nita!

    Yo! :) – Nita.

  33. January 27, 2009 6:29 pm

    I think calling them the Indian Taliban makes it worse! What a bunch of retards – that assault on the girls was horrendous!

    Taliban too good a word for them eh. Yeah I guess!! – Nita.

  34. January 27, 2009 9:40 pm

    //I guess now that you are outside India, this seems like a different planet now! :) //

    No, that’s not true. Every time we read about these things and call home, and the folks are like “oh these things keep happening and nobody acts on it.” It’s just that I don’t expect any better from these, as Nikhil above puts it, retards. (Thank you, nikhil!)

    After a point you wonder if these @#@%^s will ever learn. No matter how angry people get and write about it, how much will it affect them, unless they’re actually arrested, and met with some form of corporal punishment? May I suggest public flogging?

    -g

    Public flogging is a good idea. But I think all of us shouting about this makes a difference, a huge difference. Things would be much worse without it. We are a democracy and as someone mentioned, if people don’t like it,politicians listen. Today these Hindu radical parties have come up because the poeple are silent. They think they have the support of the people. They don’t! Lets all speak out! – Nita.

  35. Captain Sharks permalink
    January 27, 2009 9:56 pm

    i too felt very distrubed after hearing the incident about the BEATING!!! of the girls in mangalore….i don know wat culture exactly they want to save or make,to me it seems they just want to be highlighted…BAN ALL THESE BLOODY CONSERVATIVE VIOLENT ORGANISATIONS…even that too i don think is d solution,govt must act severely unless it bcomes too late.we don need any lesson from these unemployed goons abt how we should live,wat we should wear n all…we don want goons to decide our future.

    Exactly! And all those men who secretly believe that girls should be stopped from going to pubs, wait and watch, these goons will come for men too! – Nita

  36. vasudev permalink
    January 27, 2009 10:07 pm

    so many hindu voices raised in anger at hindu extremism! if only the muslims too had done that, maybe there wouldn’t have been any talibans to follow the example of..

    We need more voices. More men’s voices. we are a patriarchal society and men’s voices matter. – Nita.

  37. January 27, 2009 10:14 pm

    Nita, I dont think banning these parties is practical, because a lot of the time the violence is carried out by groups associated but not directly part of the party. It is very difficult to prove anything. Also, like you have pointed out before violence is used by all parties in India, including the left wing ones in West Bengal. And banning them will have little effect anyway, we have banned the Indian Mujahideen a long time ago but they still go around wreaking havoc.

    It is interesting you mention UP, right wing extremism peaked there in the early-mid 90s and now has mostly disappeared from the mainstream. Same can be said of Maharashtra, the situation was a lot more tense in the mid-90s, now the stupid MNS just goes around with sporadic nonsense.

    The best answer to these parties is through the ballot itself. This is what happened in UP. If the MNS comes up empty handed in the upcoming elections, then they will be gone for good. So it is your and mine duty to vote anti-MNS and consign them to the dustbin.

    True, banning the groups may not work. And will simply drive them underground. About MNS, it’s not just the Hindutva plank they have. They are now banking on the support of a whole lot of jobless Maharashtrian youth. Youth who want jobs on a plate. Its a difficult situation and MNS will certainly not be wiped out. In fact they could grow. You and me can’t do much about it as we are not their vote bank. The government and law machinary can do something to stop the unlawful activities of the MNS though. – Nita.

  38. January 27, 2009 10:21 pm

    I too felt really disgusted…not to mention extremely helpless….there was a huge fear lurking at the back of my mind…however looking at this today with a more calm mind….I want to fight back and give these two bit goons hell!No way are they going to make me feel unsafe…in my country!
    and the Shri Ram Sena chief/founder has been arrested today evening…one hopes that the law will take its own course….

    I too was really angry seeing those images. I jsut hope the people who are arrested are not let go after some time! -Ni
    ta

  39. January 27, 2009 11:32 pm

    It’s time this country is ruled by Communists. The law is useless

    I guess the communists have one advantage – no religion!! – Nita.

  40. January 28, 2009 12:28 am

    This is terrible. Imagine if the affected uprise and start attacking the Fundamentalists and Moral Police, we will be in a Civil war!!!

    Well, that would be better than having these fundamentalists take over! However, I do not think those who are against fundamentalists will become violent. – Nita

  41. January 28, 2009 12:41 am

    But aren’t we at fault when we sit quietly, or softly criticize other similar incidents in India? I can cite at least two: Taslima Nasreen was assaulted by MLAs of Majlis-e Ittihad al- Muslimin in Hyderabad, and an art exhibit on Aurangzeb was vandalized by some goons with the help of police in Chennai.

    I could be wrong, but the decibel level of outrage was quite muted then, in comparison to this incident, and inconsistent response for similar incidents sends confused signals. I doubt that the media, commenters, bloggers as well as ministers like Renuka Chowdhury spoke out against those two other incidents of breaking of law-and-order. If anyone (feminists?) called for those male MLAs from MIM to resign for ganging up and attacking a woman, please share some links.

    So as long as we keep looking at incidents that involve breaking of law-and-order through lenses of ideology, religion or partisan politics, they will keep happening, as it’s human nature to play favorites. Once we start treating all such incidents as a law-and-order issue without playing favorites, maybe we’ll make some progress.

    Well, I guess you are right there was less outrage then but there was a lot written on this, by bloggers too. If I am not mistaken Prerna wrote on this. But whatever the situation, it is always when we can identify with the victim that we feel most outraged. After all we are but human. I think activists were very much into the fray when it came to Tasleema, but in this case it is the common citizens who are enraged because this happened to a common citizen. A random attack on random people, like terrorism. These kind of incidents instill a lot of fear into people, whether right or wrong. Your last paragraph is spot on! It’s time we stopped looking at incidents that involve breaking law and order through tinted glasses! If only!! – Nita.

  42. Ravi permalink
    January 28, 2009 1:00 am

    Regarding Mangalore incident – It was so sad to see armless women attacked by a bunch of losers who fit for nothing. I think those men are sex starved and realized that they would never get hold of women like that in their life and made them to commit such a heinous activity only out of sheer frustration!

    Regarding Pak – I have always hated some muslims who happened to be religious fanatics but I m not surprised to discover my self as a big fan of AR Rehman and Abdul Khalam (greatest indian ever), moreover in Hindi pop I appreciate music from paki artists like Fuzon, Strings, late Nusrat Fateh ali Khan (my fav). Its plain dumb to categorize, generalize and hate people or culture based on what it is.

    I m glad that these moral police didnt stopp AR Rahman from doing his work other wise india could have missed a golden globe and I m not sure how many years we need to wait for the second I bet it should be at least another 100 yrs.

    Yes I too think that sour grapes played a part here. These youth would love to be at the pub with pretty girls but these girls will not look at them. – Nita.

  43. Ravi permalink
    January 28, 2009 1:03 am

    India is not safe for women . . If I ever get married and have a daughter then the last place i would let her stay is India.

    This is exactly what my daughter tells me. – Nita.

  44. wishtobeanon permalink
    January 28, 2009 2:56 am

    Hi Nita, how can we make our voices heard by people who are responsible for law enforcement? Would a PIL help? We can’t let such incidents continue to happen.

    Ofcourse every little bit helps. NGO and womens’ rights groups do this and this time too they will. – Nita.

  45. January 28, 2009 3:12 am

    Nita
    i thought that u were an atheist, that in response to ur reply to priyanks (very valid) comment.

    i agree with mavin and naveen. I don’t think that u can equate them with the taliban.
    Such groups will increase in number in this country, thanks to nehruvian/indiran economic policy and the recession which will start to hit full on in the coming months and more people get jobless…

    I dont see any iron hand being used to lets put it to crush them as there is no denying
    that they are as much a tool of the sucularist politicians as the so called hindu nationalists who in essence… are the two faces of the same coin… each pursuing their own lobbys and selfish interests

    Prax, I am not an athiest, but an agnostic. I do believe, although my idea of God may not be Lord Ram. So why am I calling him Lord? Because I respect others’ beliefs and if you read my Ram Setu post you will know what I mean. And also being a sceptic, I also do not believe nonsense like Lord Ram never existed. I believe he could have existed. And about these groups being used by all parties, that is the tragedy of our politics today. – Nita.

  46. raghav permalink
    January 28, 2009 5:32 am

    Such forces are well kept in check when the democratic govt. is strong. When not, India would always be under threat.

    Prime example is talibanisation of the entire SWAT region of Pakistan where 185+ girl schools have been destroyed n girls have been banned from going to school. The music on public transport has also been banned.

    I hope we don’t allow anything in our society which would become so horrible that leads to such a situation like the above one.

    Vandalising properties and calling themselves ‘custodians of Indian culture’ is a joke far from being funny.

    Raghav, thanks. Like you I too feel this is the talibanisation of hinduism. This is always how it starts, little by little. – Nita.

  47. Vivek S. Khadpekar permalink
    January 28, 2009 6:47 am

    @Raghav:

    //The music on public transport has also been banned.//

    REALLY ??? Then the Taliban can’t be all bad! :-) :-) :-)

    Because of either the absence of clearly laid down laws on noise pollution or the lack of their enforcement, this is one torture long-distance travellers in many parts of India have to routinely undergo. First it was in buses run by private operators. Then some state road transport corporations started it in their so-called “luxury” buses. Now even the Indian Railways are following suit.

    Mild protests are no good, because the majority of passengers seem to want it.

    We need very strict laws under which, if at all such “in-flight entertainment” is to be provided, there MUST be individual headsets issued to each passenger. If this is not acceptable, let’s have the Taliban.

    Vivek, much as I appreciate your humour (particularly as I do not like the luxury bus music myself) I am finding it difficult to laugh this time! This Mangalore incident has got under my skin. – Nita.

  48. January 28, 2009 8:56 am

    Nita, Happy Belated New Year to you too.

    This article is very sobering. It’s seems to be a worldwide trend toward fanaticism and intolerance that is spreading. It seems counter-intuitive, since at the same time there are groups who grow in their acceptance of others. Why are some groups prone toward atavistic behaviors? What are they afraid of? It exists in the US too.

    You are brave to post this article. I admire you for it.

    Thanks Christine. Yes I have heard of conservative parties in the US who are into this sort of thing. I have heard they don’t want kids to study evolution! All of us need to scream out against these extreme right religious groups or they will grow. I hear they are spreading in the US! I think the US is being far too tolerant and before you know it these people will become the majority! – Nita.

  49. January 28, 2009 9:29 am

    Nita, if I was a Marathi, having voting rights in Mumbai I will be very confused, who to vote for? I can’t decide who is a bigger culprit here, the Congress government for being a silent spectator or MNS for creating all this mayhem. Mumbai has gone through so much in the last couple of months and being an eternal optimist I thought that the 26/11 tragedy has resulted in unifying India and Mumbai. Unfortunately Raj Thackeray and his brand of politics has surfaced once again.
    About Karnataka, the leader has been arrested and after the Sangh parivar has distanced itself from the whole thing he seems apologetic also. I hope he and his goons don’t go unpunished. Let us wait and watch.

    Prerna, as you rightly said, I am in a dilemma. I am against the present corrupt Congress govt. and was lookign for some good BJP candidate. But after this mangalore incident I realised that under no circumstances should any Hindutva party come to power. Sure, the BJP is not extreme, I really believe that, but the problem is that it could partner these small parties. No way I want to go back to the dark ages. If you want my opinion, no woman should vote for any saffron party and that includes the BJP. Frankly I prefer to vote for an independent. – Nita.

  50. January 28, 2009 10:08 am

    Such incidents of violence can mean only one thing – elections must be around the corner and it’s time to start rallying people one way or the other. :)

    Elections are round the corner alright! I just hope my name is on the electerol rolls! I gave my name in, but last time a lot of names had disappeared! – Nita.

  51. vivek mittal permalink
    January 28, 2009 10:44 am

    Once i said a similar thing here sometime back..

    Though we dont support them, though we hate them, but if they continue to do so in the name of “Hinduism”, that’s not good for the image of the religion..

    As someone said above, extremism exist in all the religions, and i would add that in India extremism is not just linked with religion, It has to do with Regions and Caste too.

    True Vivek. All of us should make sure we do not vote for parties which might collaborate with these Hindu extremist parties.- Nita.

  52. January 28, 2009 11:01 am

    Bloody hell!!! :( x(

    Me too! – Nita.

  53. ruSh.Me permalink
    January 28, 2009 2:03 pm

    India Uncut just updated, so thought would share with all you guys…

    Ila Bhat writes in…

    Someone I know was ill-fated to be at both the Oberoi on 26/11 and the Intercontinental last week, when the SS attacked the hotel. He recalled breaking out in a sweat thinking it was happening all over again. he thought he was the ultimate resilient Mumbaikar and was most gung-ho after 26/11, but after this latest incident landed up having to visit a shrink. He recounted the horrors of those first minutes when the Sainiks started their assault. He is a 3rd generation Marathi Mumbaikar and has voted in the past for the SS. Never again, says he.

    Then Amit Varma continues on “The Systematic Use Of Terror”

    “The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.”

    What else do these loony right-wing groups, the Shiv Sena and the Bajrang Dal and their offshoots, do if not this?…….

    If you and I go and vandalize a hotel lobby or beat up women in a lounge bar, you can bet we’ll be thrown into jail, and rightfully so. But if we do it under the pretext of defending our culture or our religion, then anything goes. The rule of law, in such situations, is a joke….

    It has become clichéd to talk of the ‘Resilience’ of Mumbaikars. I think that’s the wrong quality to speak of. Shall we talk ‘Apathy’ instead?

    Thanks rushme. This is how all terrorism begins. No terrorist party suddenly becomes a terrorist party, they start somewhere and soon they get out of control. – Nita.

  54. openlight permalink
    January 28, 2009 2:34 pm

    Yes, people should follow what they think is right, as it is their business.

    But don’t you think that by gratifying or glamorizing subtle encouragement to these things is going on.

    I am not against pub culture but, the way it is going down in its sense of an unwinding place to drug and sex shop, is what government should stop.

    Smoking can also be thought of in similar fashion, even though educated people (even doctors) are aware of it’s ill effect, are indulging in it as they are now habitual to it.

    And reasons pushing youth towards this habit lies essentially to be ‘cool’ , ‘hard’, ‘big grown up’ stuff as depicted by media.

  55. locutus83 permalink
    January 28, 2009 7:49 pm

    I think those hooligans in Mangalore were badly frustrated chauvinistic morons who badly wanted to paw girls and also were desparate for some
    attention (maybe political).

    In my view, their violence also stems from the famous insidious deep-rooted patriarchial gender power equation existing almost all over India (and this is more feudal and socio-cultural, NOT religious)- that girls and women have no right to be independent, free and enjoy themselves as normal people, without being viewed as sex objects. Education and employment has unfortunately not been very effective in edroding
    this mindset amongst many men in rural and urban India.

    Their actions and views are light years away from “Hindu Dharma” or “Vedic culture”.. “Protecting Indian culture” is just the superficial justification to claim legitimacy and attention for their barbaric acts..

    These sort of guys should immediately be taught a hard lesson..maybe a few dozen hard knocks down under between the legs as punishment! (ala in the brain-dumbing MTV Roadies 6 :-))

    *With regards to openlight’s comments – I personally abhor and am strongly against smoking and consumption of drugs as they are slow poison; but am not against ‘light’ social or personal drinking (‘light’ means when you drink without getting high or losing self-control).
    That does not mean I will smash pubs and beat up smokers, drunks and drug addicts; I shall at most try to push for legal banning of smoking and drugs through government channels and perhaps shall try to educate people about the ill-effects of smoking and drugs; but won’t forcefully impose my views on someone who doesn’t listen unless it is made illegal.

    But I differ greatly on sex and sexuality. Sex is an expression of love and desire and is a physical need for most adults, and is NOT unhealthy unless practised in an unsafe manner. Adults above the age of 18 should be free to have intimate relationships with whoever the want; their only personal responsibility is that they should indulge in safe sex with protection to avoid diseases and unwanted pregnancies. (And that’s LEGAL in India)

    I don’t see why the government and society should interfere in and bother about the private sex lives of people.

  56. January 28, 2009 9:42 pm

    Thanks Nita

    Rushme it is not just senas that do it
    its all partys , take the dravidians like dmk and pmk take the communists in bengal , the ncp and some fractions of congress, the owaisis in Hyderabad and the iuml in kerala, the fractions in assam, the samajwadis and the bsps and the rjds , everyone wants to use their goons… so lets be honest here
    the sena people get more coverage….
    Ps im in no way defending them

  57. vasudev permalink
    January 28, 2009 10:03 pm

    last saturday, alongwith my wife and my daughter, i was waiting at the vegetable section of ‘hypercity’ to weigh my vegetables. patiently i waited (behind a ‘phirangi’) in the orderly que.

    suddenly this middle aged man (alongwith his wife) came with his trolley and stood parallel to me, though a bit forward. despairingly because this wasn’t right., i spoke to him civilly (in english because i expected educated gentlemen to frequent such exotic places)…’sir…you may wait behind me because i am the last in the que’.

    while his decent wife quickly slid behind me in the que, this guy turned to me and shouted in english: ‘ i know. you don’t have to teach me. i will take my turn.’…so far ok…but he added something more (probably for the benefit of the english looking phirangi and the southie looking yours truly)… ‘i do not understand english well. it is time we taught you guys marathi or kicked you out’

    being a righteous guy myself and somewhat given to giving a bloody nose to an offender i gave one on his ego. said i (in english):

    ‘sir! if you meant me please be informed that i was uprooted quite unwillingly from my own country (kerala) and dumped in your country (maharashtra) by the central government simply because i have certain technical abilities which they thought could benefit mumbai more than cochin. there has been no extra compensation for the expenses i incurred or the troubles i had to suffer due to this relocation. now if you think your leaders can chuck me out of your country you are more than welcome to try because, i would sooner be in kerala and be happy than be in mumbai ever cursing my fate.’

    the guy got it right between his eyes. i got an appreciative nod from his wife (though).

    • January 28, 2009 10:40 pm

      Vasudev, I am so sorry to hear this! Crazy people like these are frequenting all kinds of decent places nowadays. This goon probably has not heard of queues, and quite likely has no idea as how to talk properly. He probably also shouts at his wife, and molests women on the street and hates women going to pubs. I bet this man is a an ardent follower of “Indian culture” and ensures he speaks pure Marathi! These uncouth people have an inferiority complex when they come across anyone speaking English! This is the typical profile of a Raj Thackeray goon which he probably was. I wonder how much this disease has spread! I am glad you put him in his place!

  58. vasudev permalink
    January 28, 2009 10:33 pm

    nita…on your comment regarding my previous submission (that india is a patriarchial society)…be informed that till the last generation (mine):

    indian men were ruled by their mothers.

    indian men rued their romantic inabilities because of their mothers.

    indian men were ruined by their mothers.

    so what are you complaining about?

    look within yourself and you shall find the strength to change (this as well as future generations)!

    remember…it was draupati who wanted blood…draupati did not want to forgive and all that led to ‘mahabharat’!

  59. January 28, 2009 10:35 pm

    Hello Vasudev

    After reading your comment, i felt very sand. I am a maharashtrain and I feel utterly ashamed by the rampage of MNS and strongly detest MNS. Every time, I read such news and I question myself –

    1. Being a Marathi, what happens if someone bans me from visiting Taj Mahal as it is in “UP”?

    2. What if I am asked to relocate to some other state by my employer, will i feel safe there? Do i have to pay for what Raj Thakre is doing? If someone vandalizes my house in other state – is Raj thakre going to provide me the protection?

    3. Shall i stop worshiping Lord Ram as he was from Ayodhya in North India?

    4. Is MNS going to scrap our history books which contain details about many non-marathi freedom fighter ?

    The list is endless. All these mushroom political parties are playing petty and juvenile politics of parochialism and gaining themselves a limelight in national media. they say that – there is nothing like a bad publicity. So MNS is disparate to hog the limelight by everyday vandalism. election commission should ban MNS from participating in election as they are destroying public property every day.

  60. January 29, 2009 1:06 am

    “But whatever the situation, it is always when we can identify with the victim that we feel most outraged.”

    Nita, but then this ‘identifying with victim’ doesn’t explain outrage at what happened in Orissa a few months ago, since the victims were Christians.

    Also, in the case of Taslima, I’m not sure why you as a woman wouldn’t identify with her when she was attacked by men, very similar to what happened in Mangalore.

    Amit, I had no idea we were talking about me, but generally about the reaction. when it comes to me, I only write about stuff which I can add to, I do not write about all the things I feel about (or I would be writing three times a day!). I write either because I have an analysis to present, or it’s not written before. I never repeat what others have written. If I have nothing new to say, I don’t write. Somehow from your comment I did not get that you were saying that I should have written about Taslima or I would have replied differently. By the way in this incident too the victims were Muslims…didn’t the media didn’t overplay that, thank God! The point was to stop Hindu-Muslims mixing! And by the way I didn’t write about Orissa either. The amount written on that topic was amazing! I had nothing to add to that! Interestingly, even though I feel very strongly about the Kashmir issue (for personal reasons) this is the first time I write on it (yesterday’s post) and the reason was because I did not know what to say that was different. I hope that answers your question – Nita.

  61. January 29, 2009 1:18 am

    Nita, Bob Altemeyer is a Canadian professor and psychologist who has spent 40 years studying the mentality of people inclined towards authoritarianism. Although his studies have focused on Canada and the US, his results seem to apply as much to the Taliban as they do to the American Ku Klux Klan. Consequently, his research has revolutionized how I’ve come to understand the actions of groups like the MNS and the Sri Rama Sene.

    Professor Altemeyer has a free online book that I think contains a lot of information about the kind of people who would join a Taliban-like group and then carry out attacks on defenseless people in the name of “traditional values or culture”. The book is written for an American audience, but seems to be universally applicable. It can be found here.

    Thanks for the link Paul. I guess these type of poeple exist in every society, and are the offspring of authoritarian parents! One needs to examine the psychology of these people and in fact I have been thinking of this for some time, to delve into their mindset! – Nita.
    p.s. after I checked out your link I went to my blog drafts page because I remembered I had written a draft post on this subject about a year ago after my dad sent me a link to a book! And I found the link to the same book! I guess this means I should now read the book! :)

  62. January 29, 2009 4:13 am

    I haven’t been here in a long time, but I just had to come to see what kind of reactions Nita’s post would have (I was sure that you would write about this incident).

    Surprisingly there haven’t been a lot of comments blaming the women in this. I say surprisingly, not because that is the correct reaction, but because I was expecting much more, considering the group is more vocal, and obviously, the incident did happen and was NOT isolated.

    I don’t think I need to say that the incident is appalling, but what I do think I need to mention, is that people that are coming up with excuses for these groups need to be castrated as well. There is no excuse for the “circumstances” of the incident; I don’t care how threatened hindus feel about their religion getting sidelined, or any other asinine reasoning.

    As for Americans not believing in evolution, that is not a recent phenomenon. The difference between the US and the third world is that the US is (probably) moving to a slightly more progressive and open-minded view (however slow it may be) while India is moving backwards, from what used to be a progressive society to one where jingoistic old farts are running our country and religious views are increasingly imposed and cited as moral authority. If there is a greater delusion, I am yet to come across it.

    DD, as you said this incident is not isolated. These incidents of moral policing, which started almost unnoticed some years ago and now becoming very common and I am sure that every minute some incident of this sort is happening somewhere in India. In this case there were tv cameras and it happened in a town like Mangalore and so it got so much publicity. But overall, the moral police has become very active in India. I guess beating up their own women is not satisfying enough for them, they want to do it to strange women too. Molesting them is not enough. The government turns a blind eye, believing that the cause is a good one!! The same reason why rape, domestic violence and dowry taking goes on in India. Our society is anti-women. That fits in with the “Indian culture” so I guess these retards are right. Beating up women and preventing them from enjoying themselves like men do, is a part of “Indian culture.” – Nita.

  63. January 29, 2009 4:26 am

    @Nita: There is a reason why society is patriarchal.

    Bill Maher – Politically Incorrect, Women/ Feminism-Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw9Q6GTEPYw&feature=related

    @Vasudev: I don’t think a woman demanding to be treated with decency (as in the fictional scenario you illustrate) is quite the same as being a matriarchal society. In fact, as a patriarchal society, I see nothing wrong in defending our women when they are wronged.

    And we are going to be a patriarchal society for a long time to come, if only in essence because of our culture of political correctness. I choose not to clarify my stand, since Bill Maher does so sufficiently in the clip I have pasted.

  64. vasudev permalink
    January 29, 2009 8:20 am

    @ rashmi and nita: thanks for your concerned replies. btw…i wasn’t even expecting anyone to read my post and reply…just thought i would post the incident here since the topic was on similar lines.

    the reason why i wrote about that minor incident is: from small drops does an ocean become and the drops seem to be getting larger and larger everyday. it is becoming more and more apparent every day: on the local train/at the panwalla/in the bus stand.

    jab billi apne aapko sher batati hai to choohe bhi garajne seekhte hain.

    @ the depressed doormat: couldn’t understand the relevance of your comment to the incident i posted (not a fictional one but factual…your reaction shows how much we do not expect that these things should happen to us…i think you do not want to acknowledge that we have fallen out of grace as indians)

  65. locutus83 permalink
    January 29, 2009 11:16 am

    off topic:
    @Paul Sunstone: Thanks a lot for the link!! I guess that is a comprehensive analysis by Prof. Bob Altemeyer and should help us understand root causes behind such violent authoritarian behavior. And maybe help get us started on what to do to prevent such mindsets from the very childhood.

  66. January 29, 2009 7:48 pm

    @Vasudev: I was not talking about your experience at the store. I was talking about the “fictional” narration of Draupadi. I was justifying the fact that a woman who is “taken advantage of”, like in the case of the fictional work (this is of prime importance, since it is only a work of fiction and hence does not reflect the attitudes of women from that era in entirety), then it is up to the men to do something about it. The fact that draupadi had to ask (that is what I gather from your own comment) for someone to avenge her shows that the pandavas were spineless, and therefore the very foundation of “Indian culture” which some chest thumping zealots ascribe to, is that of cowardice and guile.

    I for one do not care for the mythologies of indian culture, because they are narrow-minded and archaic in their world view. It is one where men don’t think twice before betting their women off. You will forgive me if I choose not to take my moral guidance from such obviously peccant sources.

  67. vasudev permalink
    January 29, 2009 8:09 pm

    TDD…i see your point.

  68. rags permalink
    January 29, 2009 11:06 pm

    India is going to go back to the dark ages because of these sick hypocrites who assume that only men can have fun while every aspect of a women needs to be controlled : how she dresses, where she socializes and who she sleeps with. I’m sure there is a huge section of the population who actually support this kind of attack on women, they are happy that women have been shown their place in this sick society of ours but they don’t want to be seen openly supporting these parties. That’s how “indian culture” and “Indian society” has always worked. Different rules for men and women all the time with rampant sexism everywhere. Infact if a women gets treated as an equal that would be because of the generosity of the people around her and not becuase its her birthright.
    And those goons. They would be the first ones lining up to see prostitutes and molesting women on buses and trains. Sickos!!

    • January 30, 2009 6:15 pm

      rags, I agree with you. I too believe that these “moral” police would be the first ones to go to prostitutes, molest (and rape if they got the chance) women and cheat on their wives. They are frustrated sickos. They are the ones who beat or intimidate their family members if they “disobey” but that is not enough for them now! The reasoning behind their molesting is that the women who roam around freely deserve to be molested! If this is what they call Indian culture, the degradation, humiliation and controlling of women, I would want to get rid of the any semblance of Indian culture sticking to me. It’s a shame to be part of this “Indian” culture.

  69. vasudev permalink
    January 29, 2009 11:33 pm

    nita…i do not believe anything or anyone anymore!

    mujhe har jagah sajish dikhayi deti hai!

    maybe i need to go meet a shrink.

  70. alwayssaynotoracism permalink
    January 30, 2009 12:43 am

    Real Talibans of India – Media
    When a female journalist called Soumya Vishwanathan was killed in India’a national capital, the Chief Minister of Delhi Smt Sheila Dixit blamed the dead female journalist for her own tragedy by saying that she was too adventurous. The Media wholeheartedly supported Mrs Dixit and went gaga over her shortly afterwards, when she won the Delhi Assembly elections.

    When Scarlett Keeling was raped and killed in Goa and the needle of suspicion pointed to a strong nexus between the Goan Ministers, the drug mafia and the sex racketeers, the media played it very safe by conveniently choosing not to pursue the leads from the investigation.

    When a 14-year-old German girl was raped by Rohit Monserrate, the 21-year-old son of Goa Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate who is also a powerful political figure in Goa, and the girl’s mother was repeatedly harassed and their lawyer was grievously injured in order to coerce him to withdraw from the case, the Media didn’t find anything extraordinary in that.

    When Taslima Nasreen’s press conference was rudely disrupted and chairs and all sorts of dangerous objects were thrown at her in full glare of the cameras by the “secular” muslim jihadis of Hyderabad lead by the MLAs of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the Media didnt at all find anything amiss in that.

    When Laxmi Oraon, an Adivasi woman was brutally thrashed and paraded naked through the streets of Guwahati, Assam, with the whole police paraphernalia and official state machinery in tow, the Media chose to downplay the episode since, the victim was a hapless adivasi woman from the lower strata of society.

    The Media felt that since all the above unsavoury incidents had occured in the states lead by Madam Sonia Antonia Maino’s puppets, it is all perfectly legitimate and absolutely secular and progressive.

    Kudos to the Media who are the Real Talibans of India.

    http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=8098&SKIN=B

  71. rags permalink
    January 30, 2009 11:52 am

    I read somewhere that this might be the handiwork of the Congress to scare voters away from the BJP and other Hindutva parties. What do you think? Is this only a conspiracy theory or maybe there is some truth to it…

    rags, one never knows, but I personally do not think so. The majority of voters might actually like what the Ram Sene is doing. How many of us lead a liberal lifestyle anyway? These people have the masses, the masses who cannot afford to go to pubs and malls, as their vote bank. The fact the the Rajasthan CM (Congress) has jumped on the bandwagon proves it. – Nita.

  72. January 30, 2009 6:27 pm

    Nice post, Nita. The recent Ram sena episode was an extremely ugly incident and these people need to be curbed immediately and effectively, with whatever means necessary. If this “outbreak” is not quashed down, soon we will have atrocious outcomes. The stupidity of these people makes me cringe. I don’t have much patience with such dolts and hooligans who get away due to protection from politicians and religious leaders.

  73. Ravi permalink
    January 31, 2009 1:31 am

    Looks like the mob involved in the incident wants to touch those girls so bad that they planned and executed in the name of Ram and hinduism… :((

  74. Ravi permalink
    February 1, 2009 12:00 am

    @vasudev
    Regarding your comment on January 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm I can only say this “ You are the man!”

    @Nita
    You wrote on January 28, 2009 at 10:40 pm
    “This goon probably has not heard of queues, and quite likely has no idea as how to talk properly. He probably also shouts at his wife, and molests women on the street and hates women going to pubs”.
    I don’t know if you really meant all said but your assumption of that guy (goon..lol) made me laugh :))

  75. rakesh permalink
    February 4, 2009 2:26 am

    I am ashamed to see all this happening in india . Actually this is the country where everything is just to speak and nothing is there to be done . this is the country where it is said that its the biggest democracy of the world but people are being beaten up on the national television and the chief minister says whatever the gundas did was right . Actually in this country , there is no organization to support youth and adultery . If we are democracy how can any ban exist here ? specially in terms of nudity, whatever we like is not liked by old men but who should decide it ? they say they will not let us go with it and we say we have to live with western countries and whatever we enjoy in we will do . It started from ftv ban . first ban on ftv then ban on all video albums , then shiv sena woke up and started beating up people who were enjoying valentines day then they went ahead and started assaulting christians . the ultimate limit they broke when they on national television brutally beaten girls who were in pub in mangalore . Even i got mails from some hindugagruti or something like this to support them but i snubbed them saying i would like to kick at your ass.
    These men say its the country where women are respected so all obscenity or exposing shouldnt be allowed but when it comes to them they dont hasitate in beating young girls who are about to get married and who are like their daughters how shameful it is .
    I feel we should come forward and oppose the govt to abolish all kind of bans because we live in democracy and we are the ultimate person to decide what we want . We should also take an oath not to ever elect any BJP candidate or its alliance or we will take no longer in living taliban ruled state

  76. February 4, 2009 5:06 am

    Every blogger wrote about the Incidence of Mangalore pub attack by RamSena.
    I was the first to mention the case nonetheless as I made my 26th Januray post right after seeing that news on NDTV.

    I also mentioned it as rouge action of saffron group.

    But later on I thought more on the issue. it was not a saffron group attack on youth.

    it was rather the issue of Date Rape and the way feminists take on it.

    Why Do these people, or any person advocating girls to not to go to pubs, not to drink alcohol not to go to dates, not to mingle with boys, suggests so?
    They do so because of the increasing number of date rapes.

    I know every feminist will criticize men on that issue, and will start demanding more stringent action and laws etc…
    But its futile. Women Must understand that by forcing/cajoling government to act unequally and discriminate on the basis of gender will destroy our own society.

  77. February 10, 2009 8:00 pm

    First of all, let us get one thing clear.Nothing happens in India unless it has a political angle to it.All the comments well taken.In Mumbai,it was a family power problem between Balasaheb and Raj Thackery.Media picked it up and over played it.Congress coalition saw a political oppurtunity and tried to encash it.Is there any explaination why was Raj not taken in to custody?Is’nt there any provision CrPC under which they could book him?….
    Muthalik is an ex BJP soldier.He is trying to show his steangth in K’ntka and wants political space..which he has got.Was it very difficult to take him into custody?
    So long as we have a weak Govt in centre,we will always have this problem.
    Problem is not Talibanism……it is politics
    Think

  78. ambikaz permalink
    February 14, 2009 11:35 pm

    LEGAL NOTICE TO RENUKA CHOWDHURY FOR COMPARING MANGALORE TO TALIBAN
    by Deepak Kamat ~ February 12th, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized.
    Date: 11-02-2009

    To

    Mrs.Renuka Chowdhary,

    Minister for Women and Child Development,

    Government of India,

    New Delhi.

    NOTICE

    Under instructions from:

    i) Shri Ganesh Hosabettu, the Hon’ble Mayor of Mangalore City Corporation, Mangalore.

    ii) Shri Ramesh S, s/ o Late Vasu S, Prop. Shilpa Colour Lab, Karangalpady, Mangalore- 3. (Industrialist of Mangalore)

    iii) Shri Anwar Manippady, s/o MH Manippady, aged 55 years, High Point, Nanthoor, Mangalore. ( State Vice President, BJP)

    iv) Mr. Melwyn Fernandes, s/o Cyprian Fernandes, Kannagudde, Kulshekhar, Mangalore-5

    v) Mr.Hassan Sab, r/at Laadi, Moodabidri (President of Moodbidri Zone of ‘Yuvashakthi’)

    vi) Mrs.Nalini Y.Shetty w/o Yashodar Shetty, Gurupur, Mangalore representing Sthree Shakthi Groups of Mangalore)

    And several organizations and citizen groups,

    I hereby issue you this notice for your immediate compliance-

    1) You have issued public statement that ‘Talibanisation is happening in Mangalore’ and further that ‘Mangalore has been Talibanised’. You have further stated that ‘there is a clean communal divide in Mangalore where a Hindu girl is prevented from talking to a Muslim boy in Mangalore’.

    2) Your public statement has been widely published in several print and electronic media on 7th February, 2009 and 8th February, 2009 and on subsequent dates and the same have been widely published through out the country and the whole of Mangalore city is shocked to know the imputations levelled by you against its entire population.

    3) Mangalore is rich in its cultural heritage with several holy shrines of all religions. Mangaloreans are peace loving citizens. This city is famous for its educational institutions and religious tolerance. The people of Mangalore have been serving the nation in different ways and Mangaloreans are well known throughout the world for their honesty and integrity. Mangaloreans have boundless love for their motherland.

    4) The words ‘Taliban’ and ‘Talibanization’ refer to terrorists and terrorist groups based in Afganisthan. To every Indian citizen, ‘Talibans’ mean anti-Indians and anti-humans. These words ‘Taliban’ and ‘Talibanisation’ represent the most abusive and degradable form of verbal assault as far as Mangaloreans are concerned. For all the people of Mangalore whether Hindus, Christians or Muslims, calling them as Talibans is totally irreligious and offending their religious feelings and beliefs. All the citizens of Mangalore, irrespective of their caste and creed, hate Talibans and Talibanism.

    5) By your statements, you have thus degraded the entire community of Mangaloreans as anti-nationals by calling them as Talibans. This has offended the religious sentiments of the people of Mangalore.

    6) Moreover, being a responsible Union Minister, you have acted irresponsibly by calling the citizens of Mangalore as Talibans and deliberately wounded their religious feelings.

    7) From your similar repeated statements it is clear to my clients that with the evil intention of promoting enmity between different groups of people on the ground of religion and to disrupt the peace and harmony in society, you have made such statements.

    Your imputations are prejudicial to national integration because Talibans are admittedly opposed to India and Talibans proclaim that they are determined to destroy this Nation. By your assertions you have questioned the faith and allegiance of the people of Mangalore to their motherland; and by dubbing them as Talibans, you have cast assertions prejudicial to national integration. Your statements that Mangaloreans are talibanised and that Hindu girls are prevented from speaking to Muslim boys in Mangalore are totally false. Isolated and stray incident cannot be generalized to call the entire population of the city as terrorists. Your public statement has caused divide between Hindus and Muslims in Mangalore and they have started suspecting and hating each other and on account of your statement, feelings of disharmony, enmity and hatredness and illwill has arisen between Hindus and Muslims in Mangalore and thereby you have disturbed the communal harmony of the city. You have deliberately issued such statement with an intention of causing communal divide and thereby to reap political benefits.

    9) On account of your statements, the people from outside Mangalore have started looking down upon my clients and Mangaloreans as Talibans. You must be aware that your statement has degraded the entire Mangalore and also adversely affected the economic progress of Mangalore.

    10) As instructed by my clients, I hereby call upon you to withdraw the above referred public statement about Mangaloreans, and you are also called upon to apologize to the people of Mangalore by issuing suitable PUBLIC STATEMENT, within three days from today.

    11) On your failure to comply with the demand made in this notice, necessary legal proceedings including criminal prosecution shall be launched against you at your risk as to all costs and consequences thereof.

    (P.P. Hegde)

    Advocate

  79. vasudev permalink
    February 15, 2009 10:44 am

    i do not think sending pink chaddis was the right way to protest. instead they should have paid back in the same coin they were given.

    while nita was away i was busy elsewhere. here is the link to some odd batting at another place. i have made my detailed comments there. all are welcome to join and speak out your mind.

    personally i beleieve that nisha and her group have walked right into a trap and now ram sene has got the attention of bulk conservative hindus who do not like the minority upper class anyway. the result is the ‘durga sena’ which is now collecting sarees to drape these wanton upper-class ladies and teach them what hindu culture is all about. parents would sit-up and take note (at least, at the outset i had expressed my apprehensions here).

    http://www.thinkdigit.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1051655#post1051655

  80. Milind Kher permalink
    March 6, 2009 10:38 pm

    If a lawyer has the audacity to support Sri Ram Sene activists, the first thing he needs to be booked for is abetting terrorism.

    It is unfair to call the Sri Ram Sene as Taliban. The Taliban at leat has the guts to take on armies that are armed to the teeth. Sri Ram Sene attacks outnumbered, unarmed women.

  81. Chirayu Jain permalink
    March 11, 2009 1:36 am

    Raj Thackeray and Pramod Muthalik are the biggest b******* ever in the history of India. These are those pieces of shit which dirty our nation, they need to be murdered as soon as possible. I vow to send a gold plate to anyone who murders them.
    India was never meant to be one country, it was destined to be second Europe with too many political boundaries in a small land since we have so much diverse cultures from state to state. Each state of independent india was bound to be a separate nation but it was due to the efforts of our forefathers that india survived as one nation for past 60years. It is these b******* who are creating divisions in the modern united India, if they aren’t restricted they would surely lead the country to its disintegration in more than 30 countries.

  82. kasbaba permalink
    January 9, 2010 12:34 am

    Nita, I am new to your blog and I read the comments written by you and other people. I am inclined to drop some of my own ideas here, which if implemented would result in a much better society:

    1. Harder punishments (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916381,00.html)
    2. Level of education must be improved. Current literacy rate sits at 66%. World Average is 84%. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_in_India)
    3. Law should govern everyone irrespective of their Religion. Read “God vs. the Gavel”. (http://assets.cambridge.org/97805218/53040/frontmatter/9780521853040_frontmatter.pdf)
    4. Love your Country. All of us agree that we must love our country. However, each one of us has devised a different set of rules to accomplish that. We sometimes try to go overboard with this idea, and forget that we are actually more interested in exhibiting the feeling than actually loving our country.

    It’s not that I loved my Religion less, but that I loved India more !!!

    • vasudev permalink
      January 12, 2010 12:46 pm

      loving one’s country should not be at the cost of hating another’s country. all wars the us is involved in is because of the above syndrome.

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