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India's Hindu Rightwing Goes Nuts Over...valentine's Day

An extremist Indian Hindu group called Sri Ram Sena, which enjoys attacking churches and burning works of art, took things to the next level a few weeks ago by barging into a pub in Mangalore and beating up some young women for being "Un-Indian" and socializing with the opposite sex.

Meanwhile, Robert Mackey at the NYT's Lede Blog has an excellent post on the latest developments with Sri Ram Sena. The group recently claimed that they would march against Valentine's Day, but now, in an inspired move, a number of Indian women have started a Facebok group called 'A Consortium of Pub-Going, Loose, and Forward Women.' Already 35,000 people have signed up. What's more, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, many of the women have been sending pink underwear to Sri Rama Sena's leader. You can join the Facebook group here, and the outfit's blog is here. I wrote a piece for TNR in 2007 about another group of crazed Hindu extremists who were also perpetrating Valentine's Day violence (in Bombay, as it happens).

--Isaac Chotiner