Calling the Fringe. And All Men

There is an interesting discourse, or lack of it, that has emerged post the Bangalore mass-molestation incident and Abu Azmi’s comment.

Let me deal with the first one first.


1. This is about women and Feminism. It is not.

Here’s an idea folks. Exchange the words
  1. “molestation” for “attacks” &
  2. “women” for “men”

This  news item would then read:

Bengaluru moved into 2017 with horrific incidents of attacks marring its New Year’s eve celebrations. According to a Bangalore Mirror report, the city’s most bustling areas of MG Road and Brigade road saw thousands of hoodlums mobbing the revellers, attacking and abusing the men in the streets on Saturday night”
Even though 1,500 policemen were positioned in the area, unruly goons on bikes, cars and on foot, far outnumbered them. The policemen largely remained a spectator and intervened only intermittently as the hoodlums continued their chase.
Some men, according to the report, had to abandon their vehicles and belongings and run for help.
Significantly, police said there has been no official cases of attacks and beatings  were registered with them, despite several eyewitness accounts and photographic evidence.
The police admitted to helping out men in distress who reached out to them, but denied getting any calls complaining of attacks.
But some of the police personnel on duty narrated stories of chasing away hoodlums trying to take advantage of revellers.
The traffic plans for the day also did not work either. According to The New Indian Express, city traffic police booked around 400 cases of drunk driving, even as there were complaints that traffic cops were lenient with motorists, many of them under the influence of alcohol, rode bikes recklessly.

Mr Abu Azmi’s remarks  here  could then read:
Samajwadi Party Mumbai unit chief Abu Azmi courted controversy on Tuesday as he suggested that the reason behind the mass attacks on men in Bengaluru during new year’s eve celebrations was because of them ‘straying away’ from Indian culture.
“In these modern times, the more men party, the more fashionable, modern and educated they are considered. And this is increasing in the country. This is a blot on our culture,” NDTV quoted him as saying.
Speaking to news agency ANI later, Azmi said, “In this modern age, the more a man roams the streets at night with his friends, the more modern he is considered. If my brother or son is roaming around on December 31 with random friends after midnight, I don’t think that’s right.”
Further admitting that he was expecting to receive flak for the comments he said, “If there’s petrol near fire, it will burn. If there is sugar, ants will come. A lot of people will be angry with me for saying this, but that’s alright because this is the truth.”

Both news items are taken from The Indian Express, a newspaper known for some integrity in straight forward reporting.
They have been simply edited for the two words mentioned above. Men for women. Attacks for Molestation. And in one case, contextual change for  “Party” for nudity. And “roaming around at night” for stuff…


So this isn’t about women.
It isn’t even just about *sexual molestation*.
Molestation is wrong. Period. (Pun not intended).
It is about the ability of any man or woman to walk down the street without a gun in your hand.

If  the report had merely said :

Thousands of hoodlums attack New Year’s Eve revellers in  Bangalore

— now that  would have been news.

Oh Brother, would that have been news. 

This isn’t feminist news. This is humanist news.  Get your head around it. 
Now, some Americans may not understand this because they love their gun culture. Their view is everyone should be out carrying their own guns, protecting their own self.
A lot of us don’t share that view. We KNOW that in this day and age, it’s the fringe that goes for the gun. Not the moderate.
Some middle class men may not understand this. But that’s okay. You only have to wait till this happens to you. If that sounds vengeful, I’ll apologise for it later. Right now, I’m not feeling very kindly. 
Because rampaging mobs don’t recognise gender, religion, caste or class. When you chose to empower one rampaging mob —  even if tacitly by your silence — you empower every one of them.
Which brings me to the second discourse

2. That this is about Abu Azmi the Muslim.  It is not.

The first vigilante mobs in Mangalore were from the Sri Ram Sena and the Bajrang Dal from the Hindutva brigade. They started as far back as 2009 by attacking girls coming out of a Mangalore Pub


Then they started  invading girls’ guest houses with video cameras and started beating them up.
Come 2017 — The ‘Muslim Voice’ — if you want to call it that — has joined the chant.
On Twitter, Modi followers are now talking of Abu Azmi for being a retrograde Islamist. 
The circle has come back upon itself. The irony is lost on everyone. More fools them.
Fact is, culture vultures from both fringes share the same agenda.
Fact is, the so called liberal media, is still so scared of putting it’s foot in any orifice at all, that it puts it’s foot, mind or any part of it’s anatomy down in no place at all. There is no line it will draw.

Well, I draw the line. It’s small and insignificant and probably of no value in the big scheme of things. But if one lived life on the basis of an ROI, one would live no life at all. 

This was the Hindutva agenda all along. To make the fringe the mainstream. And so, it is NOW mainstream.
So called rationalists, moderates, liberals, right media, left media — no one will touch this story with a barge pole in fear of hurting someone’s sentiments.
Well, sentiments be damned.
The state, such as it is, has one job to do above all. Provide security. It bloody well do that one job well. 
Abu Azmi, idiot that he is, knows not what he has done. Hindutva-wadis will welcome him with open arms.
Sarita Rani

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