Bangaloreans appalled at Mangalore pub attack, but not scared

January 27th, 2009 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanBangalore, Jan 27 (IANS) India’s IT hub Bangalore that started the pub culture in the country is appalled at Saturday’s attack on women in a pub in Mangalore, but this city’s young regular pub hoppers say they are not afraid of amking rounds of their favourite hangouts.”The so-called moral brigade has no business to teach us what is wrong and what is not,” asserted Joshua Shetty, a 23-year-old IT professional.

“Going to a pub is no crime and pub-goers don’t violate any law, neither do they disturb others. Bangalore and the rest of Karnataka is known for its modern and cultured behaviour. The image of brand Karnataka has now come under scanner,” he rued.

“But we are not scared of goondas (thugs) and we will carry on with our business as usual. I will never stop going to any place where I like to go,” Joshua told IANS Tuesday.

Agreeing with him, Seema Bhatt, a medical student here, said: “The incident brings to light a bitter truth that women have been always vulnerable and anybody could easily attack them. But I am not scared. Rather, I would say women should empower themselves and should move freely wherever they want.”

But parents are a bit worried after the attack in Mangalore, about 350 km from here.

“Today’s generation loves to go out and enjoy with their friends in pubs, discos and restaurants. But I am scared after the (Mangalore) incident,” said Ranjana Goswami, a mother of two teenaged boys.

Like the pub-loving youngsters, pub-owners in Bangalore too assert they are not afraid of ‘moral brigades’ raiding their places. However, they are relooking at the security arrangements for the safety of customers and also to protect their premises against vandalism.

“I strongly condemn the attack,” said Ashok Sadhvani, managing director of The Pub World, one of popular hangouts.

“We have our well maintained security measures in the pub. But now we will be more alert and increase checking, before letting people into our pub,” he said.

Sajeeb, general manager of Hard Rock, a swanky pub on St. Marks Road in the heart of the city, said: “Visitors’ security is our responsibility and we have increased the security drill.”

Anand Joshi, manager of a small and popular Windsor Pub at Vasantha Nagar, said the management was planning to increase the number of security guards at the pub.

“We will take all steps for security of our clients,” he said.

The common reaction of both the young and the elderly in Bangalore to the Mangalore attack is that “Talibanisation” of Karnataka should not be allowed.

“Attacking women in the name of moral policing is no sign of a civilised society,” said Donna Fernandes, social activist and member of Vimochana, a Bangalore-based women’s organisation.

“We’re citizens of a democratic society and do not have to follow the diktats of moral police. I highly condemn the attacks and hope justice will prevail,” she said.

For well-known fashion designer and choreographer Prasad Bidappa, “This is like turning Karnataka into another Taliban.”

“I condemn Talibanisation of Karnataka and ask the government to punish the culprits to avoid further happening of such incidents,” he said.

“Such an incident is unacceptable in a civil society and we need to empower womenfolk, so that they can fight back any attacker who try to physically assault and harm them. I would suggest that women should also be armed with weapons for their personal safety,” added Bidappa.

In the Mangalore incident, a group of 40 activists of Sri Rama Sene abused, slapped and pulled hair of several young women Saturday at a pub, claiming these women were inulging in obscene dancing and violating traditional Indian values.

So far, 27 people including Sene state vice-president Prasad Attavara, have been arrested and charged with outraging the modesty of women, rioting, assault and unlawful assembly.

Hunt is on for Sena leader Dinakar Shetty, who has defended the attack.

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