‘Hindu Taliban’ behind Mangalore pub attack: LA Times

January 29th, 2009 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanWashington, Jan 29 (IANS) Hindutva activists’ attack on women in a pub in Mangalore in south India last week caught international attention with a leading US paper voicing fears of the rise of a “Hindu Taliban”.In a front page report, titled “Fears of a Hindu Taliban”, the Los Angeles Times has noted that “the attack by Hindu extremists who say they are protecting traditional Indian culture shows a disconnect as some classes rapidly Westernize. But some observers see a political ploy as elections near.”

Quoting social observers, the report said the incident “underscores the growing gap … between an India that has rushed headlong into the 21st century - as seen in the shiny world of call centers and slick urban skylines - and a more traditional world that, while also changing, still has a good deal in common with the 19th century world of ox carts, closeted village women and deep-rooted patriarchal values.”

“You have Muslim Taliban and this Hindu Taliban,” veteran journalist and commentator Kuldip Nayar was quoted as saying. “Tradition has not been jettisoned as quickly as people in the West think. This class of people going to pubs, dancing, is still very small.”

A group of about 30 members of the Sri Rama Sene, a radical Hindu outfit, beat up and molested several young women in Mangalore, Karnataka, Saturday, saying they had done it to “protect Indian culture” from baneful Western influences.

The Los Angeles Times noted the Mangalore attack was “the latest high-profile attempt by various Hindu fundamentalist groups to ’safeguard Indian morality’ and fight ‘polluting’ Western influence”.

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