Love vs Culture and Culture of Love

Pramod Muthalik, of Sri Rama Sene, a Hindu organization has recently been in news for the wrong reasons.  He and his men were involved in beating up boys, and specifically girls for going to pub.  And if that was not enough, now he and his goons are threatening to hit at the you who are going to celebrate the Valentine’s Day.

Now, the Karnataka Government has arrested him and 140 others as a precautionary measure.  Why are he and his friends doing this?  Well, they love their “Hindu Culture”.  Well, it is interesting that one has to resort to violence for promoting their Love for Culture!

On the other hand there is a revolting gang of women.. who want to express their Hatred for another’s Hatred by sending pink underwears to him.  They have started a group on Facebook and also a blog [1][2]… both of which are well received… making them a great hit already.  Quite obviously they have learnt their marketing lessons of viral advertising real well.  But is that what will stop the other side?  If safety of women and change in the heart was their aim, then was this the best way to do it?

Now, that Muthalik has been arrested, instead of quietened, he and his goons are obviously not in a happy mood, and are surely to take this fight to the next level when are back in circulation!  So, now what?!!

What could have been?

Things could have been different if both, or any one side would have acted a little intelligently and smartly!

Culture Vultures

Muthalik does not like the encroachment of the Western culture on the Indian culture.  Very valid.  Many people are worried about that whether anyone agrees or not.. that is a concern that many have of their own culture.  Even in the US, many have targeted Walmart, because it has destroyed the local cultures in many small towns and their economies.  So, Muthalik and his men are not the first ones to be worried.

They also targeted bars and pubs where youth were hit.  Now, despite the fact that it is a question of freedom of choice, it is undeniable that India has recently seen an increase in incidences of alcoholism among the people.  It is now almost as if the people have adopted liquor with a vengeance.  As if that makes one liberated!  There is nothing “impure” or immoral about taking liquor but then it is nothing to celebrate or boast about either!  A lot of money is spent in the Western world to help people kick the alcoholism habit that they pick up during their youth binges in college!

So, this is a sentiment that one cannot fault him for.  But that does not mean that Muthalik and his folks are Saints.  Far from it.

There are times and there are people who will not be as per how you want them to be.  People might do things that you don’t want and in certain times, you may not have the authority to stop it.

Ramadoss, for example, is, in my eyes, Muthalik with authority!

The right way to work in such situations is to resort to activism.  Moral suasion.  Go around and explain your point of view and in the most strong words possible.  No body can fault someone for arguing his or her case.  That would have been the smart way to do things.  India’s culture has produced smart and strong people who could argue and present their case well – Swami Vivekananda, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, and Swami Dayananda Saraswati.  And if cultural revolutions would come their way then this is the only possible route!

Chaddi Senders

Now, about the Chaddi senders.  They just havent gotten it!  They are just reacting and in provocative ways.  Doing EXACTLY what a person who values propoganda over substance usually does.  Symbolism over Change.  What is required is NOT conflict… but Change!  This is hardly the way that change can be brought about.

Instead, such people should have armed themselves with knowledge of Hindu symbols and scriptural knowledge that Muthalik et al could not fight against and used that to argue their case.  For example, make the next year as the Year of Krishna and Radha!  And Valentines Day as the beginning of that Period of Eternal Love!

One way to engage is to provoke to create a fight.  The other is to empower yourself with patience and love and understanding and then bring the other person around!

Ironically, although both the sides are expressing love – one for culture and other for freedom.. but actions and plans of both are steeped in hatred and contempt!

Reference Links:

1. Facebook group
2. Pink Chaddi Blog

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