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The Devil’s Advocate…

The thrill of meeting a celebrity is something that one can’t describe with words. As a kid, when I first saw Dr Rajkumar, the Kannada actor, my joy new no bounds. It was a life ambition being fulfilled.  

A few years later I saw, in very close quarters, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr. Lal Krishna Advani and Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde – all sharing a stage and giving fiery speeches. It was something that one could boast with one’s friends.   

And then my cousin and I chased a man all along the floors of the ‘Nalli’ sari showroom in the then Madras city, just to see his open zip. The thrill was the same. There was no idiot box then. Celebrity gazing was a rare pleasure.  

A few days back, we were dubbing for film of mine in a small town called Dharwad in Karnataka. The power had gone off and as we were waiting at the studio owner’s house, we came face to face with his relative and visitor – an advocate lady who represents… hold it… represents Mr. Promod Muthalik!  

The thrill was the same, again. After all, Mr. Muthalik had become famous and was a celebrity. The lady, who hitherto, was sweet and soft; spat fire when one of my colleagues had an argument with her over the Pink Chaddies.   

“Mr. Muthalik never did this for publicity, his intention is non political.” 

“He thinks that our culture is being destroyed in recent times, so he is raising his voice.” 

“He does not believe in violence, but sometimes things do happen.”  

“Mr. Muthalik never asked his followers to attack women at the Mangalore pub.” 

“The Mangalore pub incident happened because a national media group wanted to defame us. We had objected to a fashion show that was sponsored by them. They got back to us by wrongly hyping the pub incident. It is a conspiracy” 

“Do you know that Blue films were being shown in the pub?” 

“Do you know why some of our activists were wearing only banians when they came out of the pub? That was because they had given their shirts to the girls inside. It was a question of modesty of Indian womanhood. Just imagine what was happening inside…”  

“Girls drinking in pubs… that is definitely not Indian culture. Will you allow your daughters to drink in pubs?’ 

“Is making love to your wife in the middle of the road Indian culture? Do that in your homes.”  

“You could not keep Taslima Nasrin in India. When those people beat her up in Hyderabad, where were you and your concern for Indian women?” 

“What is behind the pink chaddi? (Pink Chaddi ke peeche kya hai?) Mr. Muthalik does not know that. If that Facebook girl knows that, I do not know.”  

“We are going to file a case against the pink chaddi campaigners in a court in Hubli. Theirs is a perverted act and they have no right to do so. We have already issued a legal notice to them. We have many pink chaddies that have been sent to us, as evidence.” 

“The grounds for filing a court case are defamation, libel and loss of modesty.”  

*** 

The advocate, whom we were told had argued many cases at the United Nations courts on various other issues, went on and on… I felt blessed to have met such a person. It was like meeting the man himself – a man who is a true celebrity and a victim whose modesty had been breached when he had received all those Pink Chaddi gift parcels.  

For the next two days my colleagues and I basked in the glory of meeting this lady. It was surely something to brag about.  

Two days later a local Kannada news channel carried a story that Mr. Promod Muthalik could be a possible candidate in the Udupi constituency in the forth coming elections.

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