Hindu Group Attacks Women, Denounces Valentine's Day

A Hindu organization attacked women in the college town of Mangalore, calling them "un-Indian for being out drinking and dancing with men." The attack has spurred debate on Indian women's behavior, including drinking and shopping.

The Hindu group, called Sri Ram Sena, also denounced Valentine's Day. Some government officials are joining the culture wars — one called shopping malls "havens of hand-holding." But India's women and child development minister criticized Sri Ram Sena's tactics as "Talibanization." Twenty-one-year-old Sanah Galgotia says the debate rages within Indian women as well, that they alternate "between being assertive and subservient and then judging others for tilting one way or the other." "In India," she says, "no matter how modern you are, you're still in this schizophrenic nonmodern thing." She adds, "We are globalized in our lifestyle, but very Indian at heart. I know I am." [NY Times]