Meet on M'lore attack turns platform for victim bashing

The seminar on ‘the role of alcohol and drugs in the Mangalore homestay attack’ organised by the Temperance Board on Monday, turned out to be a platform for victim-bashing.

The likes of C Manjula, chairperson of the State Women’s Commission, senior advocate Pramila Nesargi, Temperance Board chairman Sachidananda Hegde, senior journalist Arakere Jayaram and others held that the larger issue was the problem of alcoholism among youngsters and the kind of upbringing by parents.

Hegde felt that the beer bottles being found at the place indicated that the youngsters may have indulged in “immoral” activities. The attack on girls was only part of the issue.

What the youth consumed was more important, he stated. In a State of six crore people, two crore people consumed alcohol. About 25 lakh youngsters took to drinking every year, he said, quoting statistics.

While maintaining that she condemned the attack, Manjula said she could not overlook the fact that girls got into trouble because they were partying there. She criticised the media for focusing only on a few of the victims present there.

She said she suspected the rest of them had paid not to appear on television and she sought a thorough investigation into the matter.  “Why should places be let out to boys and girls like this?” she sought to know.

“Certain people who want to blame a group of people for the attack want us to say that the RSS is at fault. This will not happen,” said Jayaram.

Vijayalakshmi Balekundri, cardiologist, said the girls were attacked because they were wearing such clothes.

“Alcohol leads to increased libido and a person loses control over himself. These girls and boys were drinking in the afternoon. How can they claim to be innocent,” she asked. “We need not protect girls who went there to lose respect,” she said.

Echoing her views was Ho Srinivasaiah, who drew an analogy saying this was similar to women “exposing” and later complaining that the chain snatchers took advantage of them.

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