A few of us on Twitter and Blogaloreans list were discussing about what we can do about this Ram Sene issue and an idea struck us, in order to challenge the various threats from Mr. Muthalik and Ram Sene what we should do is dare him. He threatened us against celebrating valentines day, we want to challenge him by having a mass valentine’s day celebration.

An actual event started taking shape since then. A Free Hug campaign on 14th Feb 2009 in Bangalore. We would be out in groups offering free hugs to the people of Bangalore, carrying placards like, ‘Happy Valentines Day, I love you, Hug me, ‘Public Display of violence is not part of Indian culture’ etc. (The more and the more creative ones, the merrier) Exact venue and time not yet fixed but we’ll keep you posted.

My appeal is to all the girls, women, moms, grand moms, sisters, daughters, girl friends and wives alike to join us in this campaign. (Pardon me for making this appeal to girls only, but I trust that men would certainly be there in support of this)

We have to understand that looking at the present state of affairs, we cannot afford to be scared of hooliganism and sit at home. I am not saying we have no reasons to fear, of course we have, because the situation is indeed very scary and hopeless. Multiple incidents of violence have taken place thereby terrorizing women not just in Karnataka but all over India, yet no one has been punished. Clearly, Ram Sene is just an ice berg we see and we can only shudder for a moment at the thought of what might possibly be lying under.

But it is upon us women to face the fear. Sure the State need to act, sure mindsets need to be changed and culprits need to be brought to justice but before we ask for all that let us ask ourselves what are we doing to assert our rights? A very old saying goes, “God helps them who help themselves.”

It is high time we take things head on with these attackers, look straight in their eyes, dare them and stand unshaken when attacked instead of running away in fear. Unless we stand up for ourselves no one would help us. So let us be out there giving a strong message that no one can threaten us and snatch away our rights. We will fight it out till whatever it takes.

  • If you are a woman who feels sympathetic towards the Mangalore pub incident victim, join the free hug campaign to break the gender barrier which some undemocratic people are trying to enforce.
  • If you are in a relationship, and intend to celebrate Valentines Day, come celebrate it with us to make the statement that you are not scared of a few hooligans.

Let us do or die.

For details keep following this space or write to me, samyukta[dot]basu[@]gmail[dot]com


10 thoughts on “An appeal to all you wonderful women in Bangalore: Join the Free Hug Campaign this Valentine’s day

  1. Good luck with that!

    ..and I hope you have thought this thru!

    If u r going to include public places like city market, there r going to be several practical concerns and considerations for participants (female participants). If you exclude such places and go to areas like Forum mall, it defeats the purpose of reaching out.

    Any kind of protest should be more token in nature, than being so gross. This is like PETA activists going naked, instead of wearing fur.


  2. “If you are in a relationship, and intend to celebrate Valentines Day, come celebrate it with us to make the statement that you are not scared of a few hooligans.”

    This sounds logical & directly connected with the problem it is trying to solve.

    “If you are a woman who feels sympathetic towards the Mangalore pub incident victim, join the free hug campaign”

    This doesn’t sound logical, nor effective.

    Most people do feel sympathetic to the aforementioned victims, but they may not want to give out free hugs, nor imitate them in any manner.

    (I May Not Agree With What You Say…
    …; But Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It!
    ~ Evelyn Beatrice Hall

    I think if you try to counter extremism with a furious, out-of-they way response, then,
    1. you may not get enough supporters
    2. you end up provoking people who are otherwise passive.

    (Just to clarify, I am not one of those who will get provoked)


  3. I propose you hold these in the following places instead – City Market, Shivajinagar, Tannery Rd, Rahmat Nagar, Bamboo Bazaar, Frazer Town, BTM Layout, NagavAra.


  4. Let there be a radical break from the most pathetic,commonplace routine of mourning and lamenting after each incident of organized crime. We will uphold the individuals’ rights to express themselves, to move about peacefully and freely wherever in the city, or to say a big NO the diktats of hooligans masquerading as defenders of culture…
    While we might have a price to pay even for defending these precious constitutional rights, let our collective moral strength alone have a terrible deterrent effect on the arm twisting men, the coward bands of law-breakers.


  5. I agree that Mutalik is an idiot and deserved to be snubbed. But you guys in the blogosphere, the media and the not-so-honorable minister for child and women development are giving too much importance to that idiot and his croonies. The pink chaddi and free hug campaign are making him a hero out of nothing. It’s absolutely moronic!!!


  6. Hi,

    Awesome Idea!

    Unfortunately, I am seeing this very very late…
    How did it go? Is there a follow-up post for this?

    Do email me for support when you are doing it next time.


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