In a world with a collapsing financial system; with arbitrary military ventures shamelessly killing hundreds of thousands (in lieu of the deaths of a handful); with wildfires burning down nations; with temperatures going up on every molecule of the planet (despite the main perpetrators being in staunch denial of the fact), it is bizarre to see that profound jackass, Pramod Muthalik protest "love".
In a nation so dreadfully poor that 4 out of a 1000 women are forced to peddle their flesh for a handful of rupees; in a nation where 15% lives in the abject misery of slums; in a nation where people are discriminated on based on who they are born to (rather than how good they are), it is bizarre to see the aforementioned Muthalik resort to terror to protect what he perceives as a transgression of culture. His energies would be much better used in rehabilitating the 2 million prostitutes in India with compassion (for instance) - or just minding his own bloody business.
Just like all conservatives on the planet (Rush Limbaugh in the US comes to mind, as do the Bin-Ladens and that idiotic Dutch parliamentarian whose name has slipped my mind), I find it hard to agree with a single word he says.
Don't get me wrong here. It is not that I think Valentine's day is any less stupid - but it is just that I think Muthalik is more incredibly stupid (perhaps by a few orders of magnitude). This Valentine's day is an occasion manufactured by the card making companies to make a quick buck. It is not a religious tradition in any nation. It is a contrived, modern, materialistic occasion. Nothing wrong with it, of course, if you ask me. It's just stupid.
In a nation with such a shameful women's rights record like India, any discretion given to women should be lauded as a good thing. That Indian society is evolving to allow women (at least the economically well-to-do top 5%) a voice in whom they want to marry is a good thing. Not a bad thing. That unmarried women and men are testing the waters before they take the maritial plunge is a wonderful thing from a progressive perspective.
What aspects of Indian culture does it go against, Mr. Muthalik? Where in the great Indian manuscripts does it say that women must not be given roses to by men? Was Lord Krishna (eminent hindu diety credited with authoring the holy Gita) violating "Indian culture" by being quite the womanizer? (having 8 + 16000 "wives").
I'll tell you why that Pramod Mutalik (and his band of goons) is hell bent on ruining Valentine's Day. It all goes back to 1960, when he was a 20 something, and in desparately love with a maiden.
The day was Feb 14th. And love was in the air. Well, not in the air, but just in the air surrounding little Pramod. None around the said fair maiden. Now, little Pramod wanted to reach out to lady love. He ran out to his garden and started searching for roses. Alas, no roses were to be found. His cow had eaten them a few minutes ago. He sat down, disappointed.
And then he spied, with his little eye, a patch of vegetables in his neighbour's yard. There were tomatoes. Okras. And cauliflowers. Without much further ado, he proceeded on to his neighbour's garden, burgling the same. (As you can see, he was always quite a goonda).
So, when the maiden recieved a little cauliflower from Pramod, she did not do what he wanted her to. He wanted her to go down to the kitchen and cook up a quick saute. Nope. She just thew the hideous thing back at his face. (She hated cauliflowers too). His heart was broken. And that day he took a vow to disrupt all romances in the world. Especially on Feb 14th.
And thus was born the Indian Taliban. All because a maiden in Mangalore did not like her cauliflower.