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IFFLA Diary 2011: Pink Chaddis

By Shekhar Deshpande • Published on April 18, 2011

[T]he notorious incident in Bangalore (2009) that underscored the fascist tendencies so prevalent in right wing groups in India what purport to protect something a “mythical,” narrow version of Indian/Hindu culture remains one the dark chapters of the recent years. Four women were attacked in a pub and the “neta” of the “Sri Ram Sena,” Mr. Promod Muthalik continued these threats when he warned that young men and women that celebrate Valentine’s Day would be forcibly married off for voluntarily expressing their love on this Western and “pagan” holiday. The Pink Chaddis campaign was a social protest that sent the leaders a prize of what they feared the most; pink underwear to remind them of their real affinity with the gender, among other things.

The 25 minute documentary on this movement and the incident by Sweta Vohra is crisp and to the point and will do much to enhance the pedagogical goals of such works. It is an incident that would shame anyone who regards Indian culture a diverse, heuristic and forever testifying to its rare capacity to absorb, to learn, to tolerate and to grow. This is a short work and coupled with another “pink” statement about women’s rights, it marked the final hours of the 9th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

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