Friday, February 13, 2009

Shri Ram Sena and Valentine’s Day

Mr. Muthalik, an unknown commodity until about a month back, suddenly shot to fame through the acts of violence committed on young couples, mainly women, in a pub in Mangalore.

This is not the first of such incidents that is taking place in India. Even in Mumbai, such incidents were reported in the past but the perpetrators then were some other outfit. Even the Police, in many parts of the country, unleash such acts of moral policing.

Mr. Muthalik has taken his tirade to a different level. In a press conference he addressed, couple of days ago, he has promised that his men would forcefully get the young couples, dating on V-Day, married.

Very innovative threat, we must admit.

I will not use my blog to criticize or eulogize the proposed action or organizations that have such leanings.

Based on Thinking Strategically, I have some ideas for the young couples to handle such threats, and fight for their right to date. Before I get into it, let us analyze the situation. Mr. Muthalik has taken a stand that he will not allow young couples to enjoy V-Day. Considering that this is a sequential game, it is for the young couples (if they are united), to decide what they would like to do. The options are either they abide or do not abide. If they abide, Mr. Muthalik wins. This has two outcomes –untoward incidents do not take place and young couples in India may be subjected to more such threats in future which curtail their “freedom”.

On the other hand, if they decide not to abide, then there are different set of consequences. Now it is Ram Sena’s turn for action. Mr. Muthalik could decide to carry out his threats or may decide not to trouble the young couples. Under ordinary circumstances, Ram Sena is likely to carry out the threat to make its point because they have taken upon themselves to ‘correct’ the current cultural ‘degradation’ and, of course, their outfit gains more mileage and prowess. Mr. Muthalik is already all over the media.

So, the onus of changing the scenario lies completely with the young couples. There are two strategies for the young couples. These are:

1. Take the fight to the lion’s den: The handicap for the young couples here is that this group is disintegrated. Not in desire but geographically. While, Ram Sena activist will also be low in number and may not be able to cover the entire population, they will be able to get mileage even by ensuring the threat is enforced in a place or two. The young couples should decide to get together and fight. So, here is my piece of idea for them. Please take the fight to the lion’s den. Men and Women, Girls and Boys – arm in arm; buy as many greeting cards as possible and buy as many roses as possible; Destination: Mr. Muthalik’s residence and Ram Sena’s office. Celebrate V-Day right under the nose of the cultured men.

2. Gandhigiri: This is softer way of dealing. And I take inspiration from Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Lagey Raho Munna Bhai. Yes, the idea of Gandhigiri. The non-violent form of protesting. And of course, in my opinion, the right way to celebrate Lover’s Day. Just one small difference, the cards, roses and other gifts should be showered on the opposition. Hug them and wish them.

I have a word of caution though. Numbers is the key. One, it is a deterrent against violence imposed; two, it shows unity and how big the following is for V-Day.

This action should be repeated whenever there is a threat. Violence is not a choice for the young couples.

While, I was trying to think strategically and analyze the situation using Game Theory, there is already news that the youth in India, especially the women community, starting the Pink Chaddi campaign.

This Valentine’s should be a day to watch out for!

Pic from: The Hindu

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