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Anti-Valentine's Day protests: From tearing of greeting cards to draconian advisories

By Vikas

As urban India gears up to celebrate Valentine's Day, conservative fringe groups, as every year, took to streets to oppose the day of love. These groups see Valentine's Day as being against the 'Hindu culture' and vehemently oppose it every year.

Shakti Sena protest in Coimbatore

In Coimbatore, members of the Bharat Sena and Shakti Sena, who identify themselves as Hindu groups, on Monday, took out a march to oppose Valentine's Day. They carried placards and posters opposing the festival of love and tore the V-Day greeting cards.

These groups are likely to indulge in moral policing as reports say that they would be on a lookout in public places including parks, beaches, temples and cinema halls to make sure that young couples do not celebrate the day of love on February 14.

In the past, other right wing groups such as Hindu Mahasabha and Bajrang Dal have also opposed Valentine's Day celebrations claiming that it represents western values and that Indian youth were getting carried away it.

This year, Lucknow University has issued an advisory to students to not to come to college on February 14 as the campus would remain closed on the occasion on Maha Shivratri.

"In the past years it has been observed that under the influence of western culture, youth celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14. All the students are informed that the university would remain closed on February 14 this year for Maha Shivratri," the notice says.

This is followed by set of rules urging the students to not come to the campus. The notice also urges the parents of the students to not send them to college.

VHP and Bajrang dal leaders along with a handful of other 'Hindu' organisations have been demanding a ban on the Valentine's Day celebrations to resist the apparent 'westernisation' of 'Indian culture.'

Yesterday, some posters warning youth against dangers of 'love jihad' had also surfaced in some parts of Gujarat. The outfit that came out with the posters reportedly believes that Muslim men have launched a campaign to 'honey-trap' Hindu women and convert them to Islam in the garb of love and getting marriage.

Despite the opposition, Valentine's Day will still be celebrated across the country. There could be some incidents of vandalism and brazen moral policing, but such incidents are not likely to effect the spirit of Valentine's Day.

OneIndia News

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