From the moment the news channels started telecasting the news of the attack in Padil, Mangalore the memories of the infamous 2009 Mangalore pub attack was invoked.
A few youngsters were partying at a resort in Padil, Mangalore and 50 members of the vigilante group Hindu Jagarana Vedike have attacked the boys and girls at the private party. The girls were manhandled assaulted and so were the boys.
The private party was called “rave party” by the media and was believed to be one by the vigilante group for which the private party was attacked. The problem the vigilante group had with ‘rave party’ was not legal but cultural, which is an insight to the fact that these groups are not concerned about law. In 2009 the attack on women in a pub in Mangalore was also for “cultural” reasons. In both cases law was taken into hand by the vigilante group and law was broken.
There are more similarities between the two incidents that have occurred in a gap of three and a half years. In the infamous attack of 2009 the media was informed beforehand. The cameramen from various channel had assembled at the to be attacked pub even before all of the attackers arrived! The coverage of the Padil attack makes us believe that the media here too were informed beforehand. Padil is not two meters away from the news channel offices for the camerapersons to reach there on time for the action had they not received information beforehand. But the media did not care to inform the police.
Like always, in Mangalore, the attackers have claimed, proudly, that the members of their group have attacked. Like always, questions have been raised about the victim to justify the acts of violence.
History repeats. Yes. But with some difference.
The 2009 attack made national news within no time. The 2012 one too did. But the 2009 images were censored the faces blurred. The images aired were not even censored. The faces not blurred.
In 2009 there was one brave Pavan who fought the vigilante groups, all alone, though with less success. But in 2012 there was no one like Pavan.
In 2009 there were mute spectators for the violence. In 2012 after the attack when the police arrived, the common men and women of Padil staged protest against the victims and not against the attackers or the attack. If being a silent spectator is also considered as being party to the acts of violence here in Padil the most common men and women extended their support openly to the attack and also welcomed it.
Saffronization and Talibanization of the collective consciousness. Legitimization of violence.
History repeats with some difference. But, as Gandhi said, if we want to change the course of history we should not repeat history.