Saturday, 31 January, 2009

Execution is the key - Muthalik and closing bars in Mangalore

There has been lot of media glare and furore on "Shri Ram Sene" vandalising a pub and allegedly molesting women and Mr. Muthalik getting arrested and left / liberal / English media going ballistic and spreading canards about the RSS and every thing Hindu.

So let us examine the issue differently.

The key issue is opposition to alcohol.

There is wide spread consensus, even amongst those who enjoy their drink, that alcohol is "not good". There is even higher consensus that women should not be drinking alcohol. And before feminists raise their bogey, let me assure you that there a number of medical studies that because of different bodies, alcohol harms women more than it harms men.

So, consider how few fathers introduce their daughters to alcohol.

Now consider the goal of Mr. Muthalik is to ensure that pubs are shut down. Or on similar front, to stop the thinly vieled prostitution by means of "Massage Parlours" - which Times of India and Hindustan Times promote.

So why not create a campaign for family values and make that a movement. The governments - be it Congress or BJP - promote alcohol because Excise from liquor is one the of bigger components of budget inflow. And liquor companies evade so much excise, these are also great sources of election / slush funds.

But what stops us citizens from creating a public movement to shame people and hit back on media induced public acceptance of liquor drinking.

The problem with that is this:
Public movements are like flight of albatross. They take time to build and take off. Sometimes that time can be decade. Off course, once built, they can float for a long long time before becoming irrelevant - look at Arya Samaj movement today.

Consider that the RSS started in 1925. Those were times when Muslim extremism was rising. The effete Congress leadership was trying its stupid "Hindu-Muslim unity by bowing to Muslims" experiments. And so on.

In short times similar to ours - with media as an ally not enemy - kind of the times that will support a Hindu movement.

And it took ~ 15 years of very very dedicated and exceptionally bright young men lead by exceptional formative leaders for Sangh to reach a critical mass. And ~ 33 years of 250 days a year travelling by someone like Shree Guruji (whose intelligence and passion were phenomenally out sized) to build it into what it became.

So, the route to root out alchohol or more importantly make it socially unacceptable - is long and painful.

But if done properly, the results will be there for a long time.

When Mahatma Gandhi promoted prohibition it took hold in people's conscience. It is now 60 years of media and movie promotion of alcohol and yet they have not been able to start bringing wide spread social acceptibility to alcohol.

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