Unhappy Hour: Women Attacked by Mob for Drinking

by Debbie Stoller

Warning: this story may drive you to drink. 

In Mangalore, southern India, a group of women who were attacked last week by a mob of over 40 men for simply relaxing at a local bar. As reported by the LA Times , a Hindu extremist group, Shri Ram Sena, took responsibility for the attack, claiming that they were simply ‘safeguarding Indian culture.’ The group, which has been compared to the Taliban, does not believe that women should be independent, wear Western clothes, or drink alcohol.

Photo of the women hanging out at the club before they were attacked.

The attack has caused an uproar all over India, where the story has topped newsbroadcasts for days. Over 30 men have so far been arrested (although they were all subsequently released on bail), and many in India have called for a complete ban for the group itself. Yet, as unbelievable as it seems, not everyone feels the attacks were unjustified– there are some who are defending the attack, blaming India’s burgeouning ‘pub culture’ and the increasing influence of Western culture in India and what they see as its negative effects on young women’s morals. That’s right, ladies. In some places, just having a pint at the end of a hard day’s work can be considered ‘asking for it.’

If this story enrages you as much as it does me, and you want to keep up with the latest developments or find out if there’s a way to help, visit Ultra Violet , a brilliant group blog written by young Indian feminists.

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