Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Liberation Pub

A few men descended on a pub in Mangalore and mercilessly beat up the women. They definitely need to be dealt with, as any civilized society would deem fit. However the more important question that isn’t being asked is how and why were the television cameras (as is always the case) on hand to record this barbaric act. And why didn’t the attackers get arrested immediately.

If this was a well-rehearsed theatrical performance to garner recognition for a little-known outfit in an election year then those who are exalting pub culture and failing to distinguish the sane arguments against it from the act of a handful of men are putting up a well-matched performance albeit in the other extreme.

The truth is that in this ‘new improved’ India the narrative is increasingly being dominated by “extremists”. All arguments are either or. And accepting one aspect means you can’t disagree with another aspect because the dialogue is never nuanced. You are for women’s liberation and you support their right to drink and thus by default you favour pubs and the distinct culture they represent. For those who naively believe that a pub is just a place where anyone can have a drink and not a whole range of wide - reaching and deep cultural impact need to examine the ideas they choose to support more closely.

Going to a pub and drinking is a lifestyle choice that we make. But by no stretch of the imagination can it become a sign of freedom or emancipation for humans, let alone women. Living in London has been the best advertisement to de-sell pub going and all the other unwanted baggage that comes along with it.

Some voices of sanity in India are warning us to pause and look where we are headed before we spiral into a nightmare only to wake up covered in our vomit and piss and probably not in our senses because of all the binge drinking the night before to realize that we’ve been stabbed in our guts.

And as for women and their freedom hopefully we’ll allow all women the right to choose what they want even if it means not supporting pubs and drinking alcohol. For surely that’s what emancipation is all about.

1 comment:

Deepak Singh Dogra said...

agree(among other things)about the extreme and aggressive arguments we seem to be surrounded with from all sides these days, fueled conveniently by the TRP driven media.