September 18, 2008

Clashes in Mangalore

"Lathi-charge" is definitely a term that only Indian people use, and only Indian people want to understand. "Lathi-charge" means that a puffing, overweight policeman comes running at you with an ugly fat long stick that reminds you unpleasantly of other things, obviously circumcised. You either run away with great dignity making howling noises of outrage, or you stay put and get beaten to a pulp by this unsightly object. A lot of this happened in Mangalore for about four days last week. Some strongly-religious Hindus accused some strongly-religious Christians of trying to convert some strongly-religious Hindus to Christianity. I hesitate to use the word "fanatics" because these are obviously mentally unbalanced people who just wanted some love and attention, attention being the principle thing. As part of the process, they decided to attack some Catholic worship-places. The Catholics got really angry, because they were not connected to the conversion thing at all. Apparently the strongly-religious Christians who got accused were actually not connected to the conversion thing either, but then the riots would be completely pointless and no Indian ever condones pointlessness now do they? The police said ah, chance to do something worthwhile and joined in gloriously with their "lathis" swinging, and beer bellies bouncing. It was kind of shocking that they hit women and children (yeah, like, kids) but again, you always have some people trying to be important by shocking means when all the good ways fail. Then various political people got involved and said stupid things that didn't mean anything except "Don't not vote for me please". The whole thing seemed to be getting rather out of hand, till all the angry people ran out of angriness, got bored and went home. Apparently this is how most riots function. Luckily, apart for one stabbing incident and some nasty bruises (some on nuns, quite disgusting), everything got over without loss of life. The incident made front page news of course. Such an enormous amount of nothingness obviously made it very important. Peace.

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