Usually, gifts are exchanged between individuals with mutual respect. So, when a campaign of “pub-going, loose and forward women” began sending pink chaddis to the Sri Rama Sene office for Valentine’s Day, our sense of gift-giving was flipped on its head.
It seems Rashtriya Hindu Sene head Pramod Mutalik is returning the favour: He says he’ll send back pink saris and is standing behind his pledge to hassle romantic couples on Valentine’s Day.
Economists have conflicting takes on why individuals give gifts, a seemingly irrational practice. In some situations, gifts signal status or worth, while other times they are insurance for future exchange. In other cases, too, they strengthen bonds of association for future cooperation. Now, add to that list: public mockery.
The pink chaddi campaign is a novel, and yes, hilarious, take on gift-giving. It was incubated on Facebook with a group that now has at least 19,000 members. We looked, but an equivalent Facebook group for pink saris was nowhere to be found.