Safeguaring Indian ethos

Much has been said already and little is left now to add value to it.

But one point, I see, is missing everywhere. And therefore here is my take on the great Manglore pub saga.

A group of 30/40 youngsters bashing boys and girls in pub at Manglore. As I saw this on my TV set, I promptly recalled an year old instance of women from Satara district blackening the faces of desi-liquor daddies, thrashing the customers and converging in huge number to shut the wine shops.

I found many similarities between the two instances except for the way these incidences were received.

By and large both the cases were about ‘safeguarding Indian ethos' and 'establishing supremacy'. In the first case, it was men who heckled girls while the second case saw women beating their village-men.

But the response to both the events was conspicuously different. For avant-gardes, the first instance was a topic to lash out country’s moral police. For media and its commentators, the incident was a ready-made weapon to lash political parties and their offshoot wings full of hoodlums. For the various chief ministers, the incident came in handy as to give their reaction and put their side before voters.

For the main perpetrator Sriram sena and its chief Pramod Muthalik, the relentless coverage of the incident through media could not have been at a better time especially when the outfit is fighting for reckoning.

In the second case however, the incidence was reported only in the region, barring few examples like my stories in HT Mumbai. And since media was lackluster in their coverage no single voice could be heard from the forward-thinking class of Pune-Mumbai or any chief minister.

Whatever I saw, read and reported myself was all about appreciating Satara’s firebrand women fearlessly fighting to correct the local politics. Their fight against powerful liquor-daddies were termed as 'movement'.

Why is so discriminatory response to two events which were more or less dealing with same issue?

A typical case of class allegiance, that often leads the media to reach hyperbole during their coverage.

And when media goes berserk, reaction are bound to follow.

Here elitist will accuse me of being socialist or conveniently choosing to ignore the facts to drive the point home.

But I for one is neither a socialist nor see any other “facts” to ignore. I am not even a saffronist to defend Sriram sena or carrying purpose to malign the Satara's firebrand women.

What I am trying is to bring out the contradictions.

(Photocaption: A file photo of a group of women pelting stones at a shop in Karad taluka of Satara district)


Chetan said...

Aren't you forgetting the target audience? The viewers (of English language TV channels and newspapers) or someone they know are more likely to be in a Manglore pub like situation than in a Satara wine shop like one and therefore can empathise more with the former incident.

I am pretty sure that similar observation can be done of the local Marathi press. They would not be giving wide coverage to the incident in Mangalore but would have given decent coverage for instances of village women taking on the liquor barons. Would you then classify their coverage as reverse classism?

Yogesh said...


The mention about media’s ‘class-allegiance’ is pointer in both the incidents and the same is meant what you have said.

But then the stress is also on another issue. Contrary to pub case, zero display of empathy was seen towards the victims of Satara incident. Praise was showered on women who in fact played Sriram sena here.


Samidha said...


Having allegiance to particular class is quite natural…isn’t it ?…just for the record- the way liberal Amit Varma stay away from writing on NDTV-Kunte saga even when 'freedom of expression' is at peril.

And once you accept it, obfuscation will fade away from your mind.

In any case, you have put the dichotomy of two events very well.