Those who started the campaign to "gift" pink underwear to Sri Rama Sene may call it off but the rightwing Hindu group, which had threatened to stop Valentine's Day celebrations, says it will continue with its plan to send out pink saris to its critics.
"We have already couriered around 400 saris along with bangles, kumkum (red powder applied on forehead) and haldi (turmeric) to those who have been indulging in distasteful and cheap tactics against our campaign to preserve Indian traditions," a Sene leader said Saturday.
"We have collected nearly 1,000 pink saris and will continue to gather them and send to the addresses from which the chaddis (underwear) were couriered to us," Krishna Gandgalekar, Sene Karnataka convenor, said by phone from Hubli, 420 km from Bangalore.
"We have received about 1,000 pink underpants with obscene writing on them," he told IANS.
The Sene office in Hubli was locked Saturday as activists stayed away fearing arrest by police who have detained over 500 across the state. Those arrested include Sene founder Pramod Muthalik.
"We will open the office Sunday and see how many more parcels reach us," Gandgalekar said.
"We have no plans to stop collecting pink saris and gifting them to these people," he said.
The Sene is not spending any money on the saris. "They are given to us by people. We have been going to houses and showing women the kind of messages written on the chaddis. Women are donating the saris voluntarily," he said.
To avoid arrest, the Sene men did not organise any activity Saturday in Karnataka. "But our campaign has been successful as there was hardly any (Valentine's Day) celebrations in the state," Gandgalekar said.