Will you be mine, religious radicals?

Indian women send an extremist Hindu group an unwanted Valentine's Day gift: Pink panties

Published February 12, 2009 10:30PM (EST)

OK, you Valentine's Day curmudgeons in need of defibrillation, I have just the news to jump-start your hearts: Four Indian women have founded a "consortium of pub-going, loose and forward women" to fight back on Feb. 14 against an extremist Hindu group that has vowed to "not allow celebration on that day in any form" and is responsible for a recent violent attack on a group of women deemed "obscene" for drinking at a bar. The women's Facebook group, which has attracted 25,000 members in just a few days, has a clear mission: Go bar-hopping on the lovers' holiday and send pink panties to Pramod Mutalik, head of the radical group Sri Ram Sena.

From their self-proclaimed "looseness" to their in-yo'-face knickers initiative, it's clear these are some gritty gals. Indeed, the group's Facebook page is swimming in snark: It will be “the day in which Indian women’s virginity and honour will self-destruct unless they marry or tie on a rakhi, a bracelet that signifies two people of the opposite gender are brother and sister." I haven't always been in favor of panty protests (see: Burma's "Panties for Peace" campaign), because they so often seem dopey, but it's fitting in this case, given that it's a revolt against attempts to force women into "decent" and "pure" behavior.

So, this Saturday, instead of complaining about the preposterous cost of roses  or the excessive pity showered on singles, consider sending a pair of pink underoos to India post-haste. Now there's a Valentine's gift that will make a girl like me swoon.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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