Saturday, February 14, 2009

India: Women's "Consortium"

From the Taipei Times: "Nisha Susan is founder of the “Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women” — a group she set up as a provocative response to a recent attack by Hindu extremists on young women drinking in a bar in southern India.

Television footage of Sri Ram Sena (SRS, or Army of Lord Ram) activists chasing, slapping and kicking the terrified women prompted widespread condemnation and outrage. The attackers, who style themselves as guardians of traditional Hindu values, were briefly detained and then released on bail, prompting Susan to take matters into her own hands.

Using the Facebook social networking site, she appealed to Indian women to send in their pink chaddis — a colloquial Hindi term for underwear. The panties would then be sent to the SRS as a special “gift” for Valentine’s Day — an event the right-wing group denounces as Western and decadent.

In the wake of the pub attack, India’s Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowduri compared the SRS to the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the group’s leadership was unrepentant. Not only did it defend the violence, but it also warned that any shops buying into the Valentine’s Day market would face attack."

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