From today’s Deccan Herald:
Moral police were on the prowl in the City late on Saturday night. A little after the stroke of the midnight, scores of activists of a little-known organisation, the Karnataka Yuva Vedike, attacked the Athena pub at The Leela Palace, Airport Road here and ransacked the premises. …
Entering the pub, the activists asked customers to leave the premises. When a bartender questioned them, pat came the reply from the self-appointed custodians of morality: “The pub culture is not our culture and our tradition is going down the drain. Youngsters have taken to drugs.”
In the Times of India, the DCP (Bijoy Kumar Singh) had this to say:
They also argued that the pub was running beyond the closing time and had been serving liquor. They further alleged that there was a lot of indecent dancing taking place within the pub premises…
However, the allegations were baseless since the pub had the required permit and was not working beyond the stipulated timings, he said. The activists have been charged with trespassing, damage to property, intimidation and for trying to outrage the modesty of women. The pub was filled with both men and women and a lot of pushing and jostling took place.
Let me point something out in that last paragraph: charged with trespassing, damage to property, intimidation and for trying to outrage the modesty of women. Interesting. That’s in “our culture” and “our morals” is it?
I also wonder if the activists will go to Vijay Mallya’s house and ransack his house because he’s the owner of United Breweries, which is a big player in the liquor market. No, probably not, because he’s not a soft target like a pub with young people who just want to have a good time.
It’s all very nice to talk about “our culture” and “our values”, but the hypocrisy of it is grating. There are other issues that need our attention but the moral guardians don’t seem to care about them. How about doing something constructive like cleaning up a neighbourhood or ensuring that people don’t throw garbage on the streets? Or helping women who are abused? Or rehabilitating beggars? No, trashing a pub in a high-profile five star hotel is much easier and will guarantee you news coverage.
Well, you’ve had your 15 minutes in the spotlight. And, who made you the guardians of our culture and our morals anyway?