Disturbing visuals of girls getting assaulted at a Mangalore pub by Shri Ram Sene activists is still afresh in our memories. The 2009 incident that saw attackers taking objection to women drinking alcohol and pushing them outside with many falling to the ground, jolted the conscienece of the nation.
There have been many instances where couples have come under attack just because one them belongs to other community, caste or they are trying to break the archaic social traditions. Even a simple conversation between girl and boy at times invite trouble just because the other person is Muslim or christian.
In April 2017, a mobile shop owner was attacked by a Hindu rights group for allegedly messaging a Hindu girl on WhatsApp. The video that showed the shop owner pleading that he do not use WhatsApp still the assaulters did not relent. Earlier in Febraury, a couple who were reportedly planning to elope was confronted by a moral police brigade on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru highway.
Republic TV carried out a series of sting operations to expose the perverse mindset of right wing outfits like Sri Ram Sene, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal that often indulge in violence in the garb of moral policing. The sting shows how shamelessly these leaders take pride in what they do and describe themselves as ‘saviours of the Hindu society’.
In the one of the interviews, Karnataka Bajrang Dal leader Sharan Pumpwell says that his boys at times indulge in violence to save the girl.
“When we get a tip off our boys go there. There is usually a crowd and we can’t differentiate who is what. There are times when violence takes place and our boys also indulge in violence a few times. Usually they educate the boy and take the couple to the police station. Sometimes, even after all these measures, if injustice is being meted out to a girl and in response to that if there is violence we will always justify it. We don’t blame someone for using violence to save a girl because his intention is right,”
It must be told here that Pumpwell has been linked to several vigilante attacks and is known in the city to provide private security to real estate tycoons. He has also been accused of running an extortion racket.
These so called saviours of Hindu society also justify their act as a means to achieving their end of keeping Hindu girls “safe” from Muslim boys. They also use force to prevent ‘Love Jihad’, what they describe as part of an alleged ploy by Muslim men to lure and marry Hindu women and then convert them to Islam.
Sri Ram Sene cheif Pramod Muthalik, the man behind 2009 Mangalore pub attack, says he has established a system to keep a tab on interactions between Hindu and Muslim girls and boys. He had his informers in every school and college in the city. Muthalik says he has the information on who is dating whom and which boy is interested in which girl.
“We have a boy and a girl classroom wise in every college to tell us which boy is talking to which girl to see if they are going on bikes one movies and to parks. They observe and inform our organisation leaders. Their job ends there and our activists then meet the girls’ parents and inform them. If they don’t pay heed then they speak to the girl and warn the boy saying that if we see you with this girl again then we will break your hands and legs,” Muthalik told the channel.
Muthalik is the same man who was caught on camera accepting bribe for vandalising an art exhibition in 2010. Muthalik and his associates were banned from entering Goa in 2014 and the ban was again extended in January 2017. There were 13 cases of hate speech registered against the Sri Ram Sene chief.