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Right wing activists’ itinerary for V day

Right wing activists’ itinerary for V day
Highlights

Among the million ways to die in the West, Valentine’s Day is surely not one of them. But when the celebrated day of love travels and reaches the Indian sub continent, where anything even remotely related to the topic of love making is considered a taboo, the scenario changes. While in most cases these aren’t anything different than the youth observing Western customs, the apparent ‘cultural pollution’ has many extremists up in arms.

They’re back to protect the ‘Indian culture’!

Among the million ways to die in the West, Valentine’s Day is surely not one of them. But when the celebrated day of love travels and reaches the Indian sub continent, where anything even remotely related to the topic of love making is considered a taboo, the scenario changes. While in most cases these aren’t anything different than the youth observing Western customs, the apparent ‘cultural pollution’ has many extremists up in arms.

They have a ‘righteousness’ take to it which includes marrying off couples, throwing rotten tomatoes on them or even attacking them in the flesh. Representatives of Bhajrang Dal and Viswa Hindu Parishad have warned that they would obstruct the lovers from celebrating Valentine’s Day (Lovers Day). They also submitted a representation to the Hyderabad City Police Commissioner to this effect.

File photo of Bajrang Dal activists protesting against V-Day

Releasing a poster against Valentine’s Day celebrations at a media conference in city on Monday, VHP State president M Rama Raju said they were strongly opposing the Valentine Day programmes. Bemoaning that the youth were aping the western culture, Rama Raju felt that undesirable incidents were taking place due to the influence of foreign religions. He called upon the Indian youth to follow the ancient Sanatana Dharma and strive for establishment of peaceful society. He exhorted the youth not to get attracted to violence, hatred and vulgar culture seen in the western countries.

Speaking at the event, G Venkateshwara Raju lashed out at the organisers of Valentine Day, Hugging Day, Kissing Day, Uncles’ Day in the country. Stating that they were not against genuine lovers and long lasting love, he warned they would catch unwed couples at sight and perform their marriage after counseling in the presence of their parents. Asking why the so-called lovers run away on their arrival at pubs, malls, parks, he said they would arrange their marriages if they are real lovers.

The Dal also plans to hold protests at greeting card stores. “We will stage protests until these business establishments, which commercialise everything including love, stop luring young couples with special Valentine’s Day offers. If the managements do not budge we will further intensify our protests,” warned Prakash.

He stated that counselling would be given to young couples if the activists spot them in public places. The Dal didn’t rule out forcing couples to tie the knot. Dal and the VHP performed marriages of 13 couples in the city and 23 all over the State last year. “This time we will first counsel the couple, take their consent and then get them married,” Bhanu Prakash added.

Appealing to the police and officials not to obstruct them as they are not taking law into their hands, the VHP and BD leaders said they were only opposing the unwise western culture. Bhanu Prakash said they would not keep quiet and remain silent spectators if the pubs, malls and multinational companies incited the youth to participate in the Valentine Day celebrations. The Dal will go around parks from 11 in the morning.

“We will intimate cops and if the cops fail to take any action, we will,” he said. When asked if they would be bolstered by the presence of rightist government at the centre, Prakash said, “The stand of the Dal has nothing to do with the BJP government being in power or not. The Dal will do everything protect the Indian culture.”

They also appealed to the TRS government to lend its cooperation to their anti-western culture programmes. Last year, celebrating Valentine's Day in city’s parks wasn't really an option for young couples. Because of threats from right wing groups, the police had ordered most parks to open a few hours later than usual.

The city's large public garden, Sanjeevaiah, usually the favourite haunt of couples, was scheduled to open at 4.30 pm instead of 9 am. But this time around, no such instructions have been given. According to senior officials of the biodiversity wing of the GHMC, “We have not been directed to close down any parks or even open in later hours.”

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