The guardians of Hindu culture are back. Women should not go to pubs and should not drink. I wonder what else their charter of demands comprises. That women should be veiled from head to toe? That they should not be educated? That they should endure a life of servitude – euphemistically called marriage – and domestic violence? That they should consider themselves fair game as far as rape, molestation and sexual assault are concerned?

And if this wasn’t shocking enough, it seems this ‘cause’ has found supporters in the most unlikely places. Apart from the usual suspects, it seems even a Congress Chief Minister and the Communists agree that women should not be in pubs. “India is not Europe. Mushrooming of pubs is not part of the Indian culture,” said Communist Party of India state (West Bengal) secretary Manju Kumar Majumdar.

Aaaah…Indian Culture – the glories of a 5000 year old civilisation that celebrates feudalism, casteism, ignorance, misogyny, cowardice, treachery, selfishness and a total lack of concern for one’s fellow citizen.

Please join me, as we enter the 60th year of our constitution, in saluting the people of this country who have allowed the great gift of constitutional democracy to wither away in large parts of the country and, where it hasn’t withered away, to turn into a shameful travesty.

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