Pramod Muthalik, founder-chief of the Sri Rama Sena, which attacked a lounge bar in Mangalore on Saturday evening and beat up some of the women inside, quit the Bajrang Dal in 2004 because he didn’t find it radical enough.
“We don’t have any association with Pramod Muthalik,” BJP spokesman Dhananjay Kumar clarified in Bangalore. “The law should take its course.”
After a two-year stint with the Shiv Sena, Muthalik floated the Sri Rama Sena — with units in Dharwar and Mangalore — in late 2007 to, in his own words, “uphold traditional Indian values”.
In 2008, he also started a new political party called Rashtriya Hindustan, which contested eight seats in north Karnataka in the May 2008 elections. Muthalik himself was a candidate from Bagalkot. All eight, including Muthalik, lost their deposits.
Again, during the Hindu-Christian riots in this region last September, the Sri Rama Sena called a bandh to protest against “attacks on Hindus”, though in fact only Christian churches and prayer halls had been attacked. The bandh call was totally ignored.
But the organisation managed to hog the limelight for the first time when it disrupted a fashion show in a Mangalore hotel on December 21 last year. The show had to be cancelled after its activists stormed the hall.
Muthalik freely admitted that his organisation was responsible for the attack on the lounge bar.
“Our boys had complained to the police three months ago that this pub was in a residential area, and should not be allowed,” he told the HT over phone from Pune. “Our application was ignored. It shows non-violent efforts do not work.” But he was unable to provide any details of the complaint, or to whom it had been submitted.
The opposition Congress has condemned the incident, while the National Commission of Women has stated it will take up the matter.