Sunday, March 1, 2009

What really happened in Mangalore

This journalist who has been around in the media world for some sixty-five years must confess that he has read nothing more hilarious than some of the editorials in the English language press over the pub incident in Mangalore. It merely shows how ignorant the media is about the traumatic changes that have been taking place in Indian society in just about the last one decade and how people are striving to come to terms with them. The pub attacks has nothing to do with either the RSS or VHP or BJP or even Hinduism, no matter what our silly secularists may say. It has nothing to do with 'Hindu fundamentalism' or 'moral vigilantism' or 'assault on civil right's or 'civil liberties', as newspapers like The Hindu (January 28), The Times of India (January 8) or The Indian Express (January 28) or the People's Union for Civil Liberties have said. Even the so-called Sri Ram Sena is totally irrelevant.

To understand what has happened one has to live, as P Sainath, probably the most knowledgeable journalist of his times did, in rural India to know how the minds of villagers work, what offends them and what enthuses them. The trouble with our media stalwarts is that their minds are urban-centred. Widely travelled, they are knowledgeable about pubs in London, nightclubs in European cities and availability of various and questionable forms of entertainment in Europe and the United States. Mangalore is not Paris. It is one of the most sophisticated towns in India but is surrounded by villages which profess different culture.............

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