Thursday, January 10, 2008

Groping for a solution...

As most of you are aware, the new year celebrations in Mumbai was marked with shock for two NRI girls as they were "misbehaved with" by a crowd after stepping out of a party. The Sena promptly blamed it all on "outsiders" who were corrupting Mumbai's culture.

The following article by Bachi Karkaria makes some interesting comments on the issue.
Mumbai’s incident had all the components of this clash between old hang-ups and new gratifications. It wasn’t just a drunken crowd whipped into mandatory New Year ‘revelry’ pouncing on the easy target of women, one of whom set off the ticking bomb by foolishly responding to the jeers. It was also the classical Them and Us confrontation, which today’s compulsory consumerism has made more volatile.

These women and their partners had emerged out of a deluxe hotel, satiated on its expensive blandishments (which included that testosterone-thumping mob fantasy, Bipasha Basu). They represented all the good time that this crowd had been egged on to have from every media corner - but could not afford to. Add to this the yet-unexorcised demon of sexual regression, and you have big trouble. This was the mob’s ‘compensation’ - perverse, crazed, perhaps even unthinkingly spurred on by mass hysteria, but undeniable. Scarily, shamefully so.
I agree with her that the solution does not lie in a "surrender to the moral police determined to throw us back into the unliberalised dungeon". I hope the perpetrators get what they deserve.

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