`Pub bharo' to beat moral police: Renuka Choudhary
6 Feb 2009 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pub_ ... 083214.cmsNEW DELHI: Turning the iconic freedom struggle slogan " jail bharo" on its head, Minister of State for Women and Child Development since Renuka Choudhary on Thursday suggested that the only way to tackle the moral police was to launch a " pub bharo andolan".
Choudhary has been at loggerheads with the Karnataka government for failing to protect women in the aftermath of the Mangalore pub attack. Not only were women beaten up in a pub last month but young girls have received threats warning them not to wear "noodle straps or tight jeans" and celebrate Valentine's Day.
"How can the state government allow something (hooliganism) like this to go on? I am watching the situation closely. The Centre will have to intervene if the state cannot manage its law and order," Choudhary said.
She added that the youth could cock a snook by going to pubs in droves to make their point. Sources said posters had come up across the city warning young couples from celebrating V-Day and asking shopkeepers not to keep romantic cards and gifts.
Condemning the incident, All India Democratic Women's association (AIDWA) general secretary Sudha Sundararaman said attacks on women in the name of "culture" and "tradition" were on the rise in many parts of the country. "The truth is these phrases are only being used to mask barbaric violence and violation of gender rights," she said.
Meanwhile, the controversy over NCW member Nirmala Venkatesh refuses to die down. Venkatesh had reportedly absolved the miscreants and blamed pub security for the incident. NCW chairperson Girija Vyas has since distanced herself from the report saying it was the opinion of an individual and not that of the commission. Sources said a decision on the report would be taken on Friday at the commission's meeting.
The WCD ministry on Thursday issued a notice to Venkatesh, demanding an explanation for her remarks and for "dereliction of duty". In a memorandum, AIDWA too has taken exception to Venkatesh's remarks, calling them "unfortunate". It recommended that NCW take steps to ensure that girls were not at the receiving end at Mangalore.
The WCD ministry has received complaints from a group of nearly 500 software professionals who wanted to take out a peace march on February 7 but were denied permission by the state administration.
Sources said that while there was little that the WCD ministry could do, it was "condemnable" that Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik could issue threats to the youth without any fear of reprimand despite being on bail.