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V-Day 2009 passed in a blur of Hindutva goons assaulting “loose” women, cries to “Pub Bharo” and a shit-load of Pink chaddi’s being mailed to Mr. Pramod Mutha-Ass-lik. Biharis being chased out of Bombay by Thackeray, Hindutva goons burning churches and beating women in Mangalore. And did you hear about the two peanuts that went into a pub? One of them was a-salted!!

These were events that my generation never thought would come to fruition while growing up in the 80’s.

Barring the riots in New Delhi after Indira Gandhi’s assasination, all I remember from the 80’s are the great efforts by Doordarshan to promote National Integration with ad campaigns like “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”, the ad with all the famous sports-persons running around various parts of India passing a torch on to each other, the famous “Ek Chidiya” cartoon, the Spirit of Unity concerts that would come on every Sunday morning around 11am and all the other commercial advertisements for “Hamara Bajaj”, “Maggi Noodles” and a bunch of others.

I remember singing “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” with my friends on the 1-hr school-bus ride to school. And all the kids on the bus were a good representation of all the cultures in India. We had gujju kids, Gulti kids, lil Diga’s, lil Kaats(me), Punjabi kids, marathi kids, dingo kids, slightly retarded kids, kids of famous celebs and we all got along just fine. Our respective religions, languages etc NEVER came into play.

And as we grew up, Bangalore grew too. We grew up going to pubs with the girls, and I dont ever remember the girls ever acting “indecently”. We were just having a good time, sharing memories and forging new multi-cultural friendships and bonds. Discovering ourselves, in short.

It hurts me deeply when I think of the “divide and conquer” policies local politicians and goons are using to capture vote-banks. I thought we changed Bangalore to bengaluru to rid ourselves of the British Stigma( though I still feel, bad or not, they were as important a part of our history, as the Mughals, the Chalukyas, the Kempe-Gowda’s and the Aryans, and therefore their contributions cannot be erased by a mere name change). But apprently, while our politicians dont want to acknowledge their infrastructure and educational contributions, they seem to love whupping out the administratory policies the British used to lord it over us for 200 years, and use it in new ways to whip up inflammatory anti-communal sentiments.

And Nisha Susan, Pink Chaddi’s? Seriously, is that the best you could come up with? Has anyone thought of free Muay-Thai lessons?



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