Hindu Extremists ‘Will Attack Valentine’s Day Couples’

Daily News Article   —   Posted on February 10, 2009

Note:  This article is from the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph: 

(by Ben Farmer, Telegraph.co.uk) – Hindu extremists say they will attack Indian couples marking Valentine’s Day, because it encourages [immoral behavior].

Militants belonging to a group called Sri Ram Sena, who claim to be custodians of Indian culture, said Valentine’s Day is un-Indian.

The threat comes days after the group’s activists stormed a bar in the south western city of Mangalore, dragging out and beating women they accused of acting obscenely and “going astray”.

The attack led to fears an extremist “Hindu Taliban” was on the rise in India.

Gangadhar Kulkarni, an activist in the group, which is a radical wing of the Hindu nationalist movement, said: “If people celebrate the day despite our warning, then we will definitely attack them.”

“Valentine’s Day is definitely not Indian culture. We will not allow celebration of that day in any form,” added Pramod Mutalik, the group’s founder.

Several Hindu radical groups aggressively attack what they perceive as the corrosive influence of Western culture on India.

As well as objecting to kissing in Bollywood films and open displays of affection they have targeted conversion away from Hinduism and marriages between people of different faiths.

The attack on the Amnesia lounge in Mangalore also reopened debate on what was acceptable behaviour for young Indian women.

While India is a traditionally conservative society which places pressure on women to behave modestly, members of the younger generation are more likely to visit bars and restaurants with their friends.

Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the Telegraph. Visit the website at telegraph.co.uk

Questions

1. What is Sri Ram Sena?

2. Why did members of Sri Ram Sena attack and beat up some women in Mangalore recently?

3. The article states that several Hindu radical groups aggressively attack what they perceive as the corrosive influence of Western culture on India. What actions do they specifically object to?

4. Some members of Sri Ram Sena involved in the attack on the women were arrested by the police.  It is assumed that further attacks would lead to further arrests. Despite this fact, how did founder Pramod Mutalik and member Gangadhar Kulkarni say their group would react to Indians who celebrate Valentine’s Day?

5. Other Hindu extremist groups have attacked and killed Christians in Orissa State, threatening more attacks unless the Christians converted to Hinduism.
How do you think the Indian government should deal with these violent Hindus?
What responsibility do Hindus have to condemn such actions?


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Resources

For a map and background on India, go to the CIA World FactBook website.