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Pink Chaddi Campaign

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The Pink Chaddi Campaign (or Pink Underwear Campaign) is a nonviolent protest movement launched by Consortium of Pub-Going, Loose and Forward Women[1] in February 2009, in response to notable incidences of violent ultra-conservative and right-wing vigilantism; against perceived violations of Hindu culture by women, who were attacked at a pub in Mangalore. The campaign was a brainchild of Nisha Susan, an employee of Tehelka political magazine.[1][2]

The campaign was conceived particularly in protest against a threat by Pramod Muthalik of the Sri Ram Sena (also spelled as Sri Ram Sene and Sriram Sena), a Hindu extremist group based in Mangalore. Muthalik threatened to marry off and take other action on any young couples found together on Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is traditionally not observed in India, as it is celebrated in Western cultures.



On 24th January 2009 a group men attacked a group of women in Mangalore, India. The attack was an isolated incident and allegedly carried out by members of the Shri Rama Sene. Later that month, Muthalik announced an action plan to target couples found dating on 14 February, Valentine's Day. He said "Our activists will go around with a priest, a turmeric stub and a mangalsutra on 14 February. If we come across couples being together in public and expressing their love, we will take them to the nearest temple and conduct their marriage.[3]

On 9 February 2009, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that "Sri Ram Sene is a threat to the country. The Centre is watching its activities with great concern".[4]

Pink Chaddi campaign


In the midst of the tension, a protest was started by a group of young women, called the "Pink Chaddi" campaign, where they urged a peaceful protest (described as Gandhian in the press[5][6]) to all of India, by sending pink underwear ("Chaddi" in Hindi) to Muthalik's office on Valentine's Day.[7] The novel form of protest was initiated by Nisha Susan, Mihira Sood, Jasmeen Patheja and Isha Manchanda[8] As the protest grew, underwear started pouring in from locations all over India in solidarity for the "Love Sena". Over 500 pink chaddis were couriered on Friday. Other cities collected hundreds of such chaddis and decided to courier them directly.[9]

Reaction to the campaign


The Pink Chaddi Campaign received widespread media coverage,[10] and the Facebook[11] group saw numbers of members growing exponentially in the following days.[citation needed] A few reports were also critical of the campaign accusing it of trivialising an important issue like attack on women.[12]

There was also political reaction to the campaign as supporters of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) objected to use of pictures of RSS members on the campaign blog. RSS had criticised the Mangalore attack and favoured ban on the Sri Ram Sena. The blog owner removed the pictures of RSS members following this objection.[13]

A counter-campaign calling itself "The Pink Condom Campaign" was started by some unknown activists a few days before Valentine's Day.[14]

Preventive custody


As an additional precaution, Muthalik and 140 others of the Sri Ram Sena were held in preventive custody on Valentine's Eve.[15]

See also



  1. ^ a b Krishna, Geetanjali (14 February 2009). "Geetanjali Krishna: A kick in the knickers". Business Standard India.
  2. ^ "Nisha Susan".[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Bangalore Bureau (6 February 2009). "We'll not spare dating couples on Valentine's Day: Muthalik". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2009.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ "Sri Ram Sene is a threat to the country: Chidambaram". The Economic Times. The India Times. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2009.
  5. ^ Herald Correspondent (22 February 2009). "Muthalik wants to start Ram Sene in Goa". Goa Herald. Retrieved 27 February 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ Vishal, Anoothi (27 February 2009). "Yes, we can?". Business Standard. Retrieved 27 February 2009.
  7. ^ "Underwear protest at India attack". BBC News. 10 February 2009.
  8. ^ Nisha Susan (28 February 2009). "Valentine's Warriors". Tehelka. Tehelka. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Pink chaddis still keep coming in". Cities: Bangalore. The Times of India. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  10. ^ 'Pink Panty' Women Target Extremist Right Wing Indian Leader Fox News – 10 February 2009
  11. ^ "Facebook group". Facebook.
  12. ^ Roundup of comments from various blogs in English and Hindi Mishra, Gaurav (26 February 2009). "Hindi Blogosphere's Reactions to the Pink Chaddi Campaign Show the Divide Between Bharat and India". Gaurav Mishra's Weblog on Social Media & Social Change. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  13. ^ "Pink Chaddi Blog". 14 February 2009.
  14. ^ "The pink condom folks portray themselves as "ordinary Hindus, who don't bark on television to defend their faith, but get hurt when some people bark against it." They are anonymous and started this campaign to counter the perception the RSS was behind the Mangalore incident." Express news service (13 February 2009). "Chaddi, condom war approaches V-Day". Story. The Indian Express. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  15. ^ "Police crackdown: Muthalik, 140 others held ahead of Valentine's Day". The Times of India. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.