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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Belan Brigade

When I first heard about the Mangalore pub incident, I was outraged. I wanted to pull someone's hair out, slap some perv faces and basically have the shit beaten out of the hoodlums. I'm sorry, but that is how I feel.

I get very militant when I hear about these kinds of injustices meted out...especially to the 'weaker sex'. I want to scream, lash out, morph into Jhansi ki Rani or Devi Chaudhrani and attack the scumbags.

When the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women first came into existence, I yelled out a 'Hallelujah!' and joined with great gusto. I am a proud sister and am glad I'm part of this motley crew of creative, intelligent women (and yes, some men too, I believe!)
Then, they came out with the brilliant Pink Chaddi Campaign. With a war cry, I signed up. I thought the campaign was cute, cheeky, creative and oh-so-unique. I still do. But, at the same time, and over the past 48-hours more than ever, I feel that it is not enough.

Mystic Margarita and Emancipation of Eve's JB have put into words, brilliantly, my other feelings about this campaign.
Like Mystic, I am wondering about whether these illiterate dolts will get the sarcasm and spirit of our message? Will they wither at our outrage? Will they change their worthless ways? And most importantly, will they care?

I'm afraid not. They have already started collecting saris as a counter-attack. They are using our underwear as fuel for thier hateful fire and ire and using it to show their supporters that we are the cause for the morality spiralling downwards in this country.

And I love the points JB has raised as well. We have to fight back. We can not let them squeeze our breasts and 'get off', all in the name of protecting 'our' culture. 'Our' culture talks of protecting women, their freedom, their dignity, their femininity. We can not let them tear at our clothes and maul us, saying that they are doing it for the good of Bharat Mata. It is a symbolic rape of the daughters of the very Mata you are trying to keep chaste.

On the day of the pub-bharo andolan, I think along with our pink chaddis and Scotch on the Rocks, we should turn ourselves into a 'Belan Brigade' and arm ourselves with belans. Symbolic weapons of protest and protection. You so much as point a finger in our direction, I will break said bloody finger, even the whole hand, in self-defence.

To all my sisters ready for battle in the upcoming pubcrawls, remember ours is an act of defiance. But these goons have already shown that they will not think even once before slapping a woman or pulling her by her hair. Protect yourself and others too.

I raise a toast to you, your bravery and your wicked sense of humour! I will be with you in spirit, hopefully in some bar/pub in Kolkata, drinking my share of the bubbly and saying a prayer for your safety and the success of the campaign. May it be peaceful, may it be overwhelming, may it be successful!


Rool said...

I like how people are so motivated and enthused to bring a change! It's fantastic! Also I like the fact that questions are also being asked. There is criticism - but only constructive. There's hopes that all approaches will work behind every criticism. Everyone wants a positive change. We could all not be geared for it than now. It's time to work :).

Mama - Mia said...

i think namesake, what needs to be cheered is a fact that something is being done. ofcos they "get" what we are trying to say and as dumb as Muthalik might be he defi knows sarcasm when he sees some.

dontcha think that the fact that Muthalik is now not even coming to bangalore is a sign?

and this also will help meeker of women come out and say we will take care of ourselves. what they though till date, they had to suffer because they were women, today they know better.

this is the beginning and is not supposed to rid of all evils in one go! its about the start many more that will reach more people.

what life without some hope and action?! :)



Eve* aka JB said...

thanks for the shout out Mamma Mia! here's to the belan.

wordjunkie said...

Waving my belan right now as you voice my sentiments exactly.

@lankr1ta said...

I love the belan idea- classical Indian and yet empowering.

Piper .. said...

:) you know, while I am terribly excited about the Pink Chaddi campaign, I have started seeing reasons why it may not be a great idea. But the fact that it continues to make headline news GLOBALLY(did you see NYTimes and Foxnews, not to mention BBC/CNN etc?) - that in itself is a victory for women, dont you think? The fact that some of the religious fundamental parties have withdrawn support or atleast have washed their hands off the Ram Sena instead of joining them - dont you think that`s a reason to celebrate? I dunno - I think there`s some good that`s come out of it. What we have to wait and see is whether the bad will outweigh the good or not. Keeping fingers crossed!

Mystic Margarita said...

Pop activism or not, it's wonderful that so many people - men and women alike - have taken to protesting these atrocotoes. That itself is a step in the right direction.

Nikita said...

Very well said and a sensible post