No moral policing on Bangalore streets Feb 14, after all

February 11th, 2009 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Feb 11 (IANS) After triggering a war of words and a cheeky campaign by bloggers by his threat to marry off young men and women publicly displaying affection on Valentine’s Day, Pramod Muthalik, founder of a rightwing Hindu group, now says his moral brigade won’t be prowling on the streets Feb 14.
“I have told my people that they should not take out any procession or hold demonstrations or accost young couples on the day (Feb 14),” he said.

“We have achieved our purpose. Our aim was to create awareness and people all over the country are talking about the pros and cons of allowing their children to indulge in such celebrations,” Muthalik said by phone from Hubli, over 400 km from here.

He has not spent any money buying ‘Mangalasutras’ (a gold chain that a man ties around a woman’s neck to solemnise a marriage Hindu style) either.

Last week he threatened that members of Sri Rama Sene, which he heads, accompanied by a priest would carry mangalsutras and marry off young couples on the spot if found publicly displaying their love.

“No. We have not arranged for them (mangalsutras). The threat was intended to raise awareness and not meant to be carried out,” Muthalik told IANS.

“There will not be any violence from my people. I have told them not to create any trouble,” he said.

About 900 women promised to donate a pink sari each to those bloggers who have decided to launch a campaign to send ‘pink chaddis (underwear) to Rama Sene’ to protest against the group’s threat to disrupt Valentine’s Day celebrations.

“We are expecting hundreds more. We will courier these saris to addresses given by those campaigners,” Muthalik added.

The ‘pink chaddi’ campaigners have given up the idea of having a collection centre in Bangalore after the Alternative Law Forum, whose office address they had given on their blog, expressed its inability to keep a collection box and make other arrangements.

“It would affect our work. Hence, there is no collection box in our office,” a member of the ALF said.

The campaigners have now asked Bangaloreans to courier the piece of undergarment directly to Muthalik at Sri Rama Sene’s office address at Hubli.

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