Monday, February 16, 2009

The Pink Chaddi Campaign.

After the recent attacks on women in pubs in Mangalore by Hindu fanatics, the story took a weird twist a few days ago.

Here is an excerpt --

KARACHI, Feb 13 (IPS) - Outraged by an attack by right-wing Hindu militants on women emerging from a pub in Mangalore, Karnataka state, activists in India have initiated a ‘Pink Chaddi’ (underwear) campaign in which they are sending pink panties to members of the Sri Ram Sena (Army of Lord Ram) on Valentines’ Day.

The Pink Chaddi campaign has defiantly called for a Pub Bharo (fill-the-pubs) action on Valentines Day.

"Go to a pub wherever you are. From Kabul to Chennai to Guwahati to Singapore to LA women have signed up. It does not matter if you are actually not a pub-goer or not even much of a drinker. Let us raise a toast (it can be juice) to Indian women," Delhi-based journalist Nisha Susan, who started the campaign on Feb 5, wrote in the blog .

The move has resonated in pub-less Pakistan, where women are equally threatened by right-wing militants who claim to have Islamic sanction for curbing women’s visibility and movements in the public sphere.

Muslim extremists in Pakistan oppose the celebration of New Year and Valentine’s Day with as much fervor as their Hindu counterparts in India.

However, shops in all major Pakistani cities were reported stocking Valentine Day cards and other red and pink paraphernalia while street vendors were doing brisk business selling red roses and heart-shaped balloons.

"The reason why we picked ‘chaddi’, underwear, is because it’s also the slang word for a right-wing person," Susan explained in an audio interview to the BBC.

Regarding Muthalik’s response - he has said he will respond by sending pink ‘khaddi’ (homespun) saris to "all of us, thereby shaming us into modesty," Susan added, "that was an excellent action. It works because we’ve been non-violent, maybe we can get him to be non-violent too."

"There is of course a point to being light-hearted about this," she said. "They seem to take Valentine’s Day extremely seriously. For most people, Valentine’s Day doesn’t matter, going to pubs doesn’t matter. We’re not promoting high-consumption lifestyles... What we do object to is people using a certain dislike of high consumption lifestyles to control women’s actions.

Its not exactly an eye for an eye..but its pretty close. Also check out their blog. Here is what it has to say --

What is the Pink Chaddi Campaign?

The Pink Chaddi Campaign kicked off on 5 February 2009 to oppose the Sri Ram Sena. The campaign is growing exponentially (44,324 members at this point in the life of our Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women) and that is not surprising. Most women in this country have enough curbs on their lives without a whole new franchise cashing in with their bully-boy tactics. Of course, a lot of men have joined the group as well.

Here is we want to do with the Pink Chaddi Campaign. Join in. Be imaginative, have fun and fight back!

The current contact roster for the campaign is:

What can you do?

Step 1: It does not matter that many of us have not thought about Valentine's Day since we were 13. If ever. This year let us send the Sri Ram Sena some love. Let us send them some PINK CHADDIS.

Look in your closet or buy them cheap. Dirt-cheap. Make sure they are PINK. Send them off to the Sena.

If you don't want to mail it yourself, you can drop it off at the Chaddi Collection Points. We will be collecting across the country through this week and sending the packages on February 12. More information about Chaddi Collectors in your city soon on our blog:

Step 2: Send the Pink Chaddi Campaign a photograph of the package.

Tell us how many chaddis you are sending out and inspire other women in other cities.

Step 3: On Valentine's Day we do a Pub Bharo action. Go to a pub wherever you are. From Kabul to Chennai to Guwahati to Singapore to LA women have signed up. It does not matter if you are actually not a pub-goer or not even much of a drinker. Let us raise a toast (it can be juice) to Indian women. Take a photo or video. We will put it together (more on how later) and send this as well to the Sri Ram Sena.

What happens after Valentine's Day?
After Valentine's Day we should get some of our elected leaders to agree that beating up women is ummm... AGAINST INDIAN CULTURE.

For right now, ask not what Dr VS Acharya, Home Minister of Karnataka can do for you. Ask what you can do for him. Here is his blog. Send him some love.

Nisha Susan
For the Pink Chaddi Campaign

PS. Our good friend L says we should not colour-discriminate. So if you really, really can't send pink chaddis, send those in other colours.
PPS. Both Women and Men are invited to send in their chaddi's/ pictures of chaddi's.

1 comment:

pharmacy said...

I think this is a good campaign specially because they're gonna send pink panties to those men, I'll recommend that those panties being used, I mean that women had used the underwear because because if the underwear are clean it wouldn't have sense.