Mangalore is getting national traction for all the wrong reasons. Just four months back we had the church attack incident and now the assault on women at a pub.
While most other Indian cities trying to move forward to grab the share in India?s 8-9% economic growth, Mangalore seem to be moving backwards, concentrating more about culture and religion than anything else.
Being a Mangalorean I am taken aback by this barbaric incident and I feel these assaults over last 4-5 months have clearly spoiled the image of Mangalore.
It was very audacious effort assaulting women in the broad daylight and that too in front of the media. Even worse is claiming responsibility of the act, challenging the Indian legal system!
Its ridiculous the way some of the members were openly swearing to repeat the assaults if needed, that too on camera, even after spending few days in judicial custody.
May be our lawmakers need to learn from such incidents and find a way to avoid such in future, either through severe punishments or through some other innovative way. Slowly but surely emerging is the new mob culture in this coastal city of Karnataka!
If the group behind the recent attack really wanted to protect the Indian culture it should have done it in a democratic way and well within the legal boundary.
If it does not like the pubs or for that matter women going into the pubs, it should be bringing it to the appropriate platform where it could be discussed and dealt. It could also bring out a procession and public demonstration if public awareness is needed.
If the group thought there is some illegal activity is going on in the pub, they should be informing the police. They have no right to judge someone else?s action leave alone punishing them.
By the fact that they have acted directly and not informed police, one gets the feeling that either our police force is incapable or it does not act swiftly on the information. I don?t believe it?s the incapability issue.
Looking at the real issue of culture, guess what could be the population of pub goers and that too women? My wild guess is less than 1% of city population. (Mangalore City has population of approx 5lakh people and 1% of it is 5000 people).
Even if the pub visitors do not follow the ?culture? I feel it can just be ignored since the number is too small to consider.
Coming back to the assault itself, I am not sure if the group actually understands the wider impact of it to the local society.
Whole nation has condemned the way women were attacked. Mangalore is being looked from negative angle and this mob culture could have severe impact on Mangalore?s economy and its growth.
As I write this article I am hearing another incident of assault, this time on a student couple travelling in a bus. Many students from different part of the country study in Mangalore and it has helped the local economy with lot many jobs in colleges and institutes.
These assaults have created a dent to the city image, many parents now might think twice before sending their children to Mangalore.
From attracting industries point of view especially IT Industry, Mangalore has the best infrastructure and resource pool among tier-II cities in Karnataka. If Industry leaders take a serious note of this mob culture it would be a huge opportunity loss.
It would impact the local society more than anyone else from the job opportunities point of view.
If we allow such incidents to continue, even existing companies might shift to other cities. Educational institutes may not get students from outside city and some might have to close down without much choice. Many locals could lose jobs. Mangalore economy could end up seeing negative growth while the rest of India is enjoying a healthy positive growth.
I think its time for all of us to come forward and educate the people involved in mob culture before it is too late.
(Pramod is a software professional and is alumni of NITK, Surathkal and IIM, Bangalore. He can be reached at )
Author: Pramod DSouza- Bangalore