I wish everybody a Happy Valentine’s Day! There are however people in India, who would be angry and annoyed if you wished them joy and love on this day. There is a Hindu organization, the Bajrang Dal, which each year opposes any kind of Valentine’s Day celebration.
The Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, the VHP, and they are also connected with the Shiv Sena, a far-right Hindu political party. All these organizations in some way belong together and have different projects, campaigns and actions for preserving Indian culture and Hindu religion.
Already weeks before the actual Valentine’s Day, the Bajrang Dal started announcing that they would do everything possible to show their protest against this celebration. In their opinion the celebration of this day, which of course comes from western countries, is an offense and a threat on Indian culture. Publicly showing and displaying love, which they call obscenity, is against Hinduism and Indian culture, especially if the couple is not married yet. They believe Indian youths lose all their values and are led on the wrong path by such celebrations. You are not allowed to fall in love before you marry.
In the last days and on today’s newspaper, as well as in the last years, we could read that they act like a kind of moral, religious police. They burn Valentine’s cards and tell the public that they would take stronger action if they saw any kind of immoral meetings of lovers on the 14th February. They have talked to restaurant and hotel owners, persuading them not to let young unmarried couples in. Today, on Valentine’s Day, they walk around in groups to hotels, restaurants, in parks and on beaches on the lookout for such couples who meet there to celebrate their love. They grab them, separate them and bring them home to their parents, telling the boy’s parents they should keep him away from young girls and the girl’s parents to take better care of their daughter.
They are very aggressive which has often led to violence with the couples. This really seems again like Hindu terrorism and their connections to other organizations show that this thought is not far-fetched. They are nationalists, extreme right-wing activists and organizations that simply spread anger and hate. Now the people of the Bajrang Dal are young but when they grow older, they will simply join one of these other organizations, promoting the same ideas, still often with violence.
They shout that they have to protect Indian culture and show everything that is western as something that is evil and which destroys. Funnily enough, all those people whom I see protesting in the pictures of newspapers are wearing western clothes! Pants and shirts, jeans and t-shirts, that all is western clothing! How can you protest against western culture while wearing something that is so obviously un-Indian?
They see only what they want to see. So many western things are going on around them and they accept them in their life without thinking about them but then have a problem with Valentine’s Day. Is spreading violence really Indian culture in the country of Mahatma Gandhi? Many big leaders of these organizations have big fights in their families which to me, too, does seem rather western than Indian. They have fights with their own brothers, fathers and uncles and they separate and live alone rather than in a joint family as it is Indian culture. Indian culture is to live together in love and peace. They fight with and beat their own family members and then want to save Indians from falling in love on Valentine’s Day.
Radha and Krishna were not married either but loving each other. The whole country and every Hindu on the world worship them as a couple. They express their love everywhere, in front of all Gopis and people of the area. This is also Hinduism but the Bajrang Dal creates violence, pretending to be the ones to save Hinduism by keeping people from loving each other before marrying.
The idea that falling in love should spoil Indian culture is ridiculous. Expressing love should not be Indian culture but violence in the name of religion is? Can it destroy the Indian culture if a boy tells a girl he likes her before getting her consent to get married? Let young people celebrate love instead of poisoning the whole country with this separation on the name of religion. You are bringing people apart and making them hate eat other instead of instilling love in them.
I may not be in favour of all commercial advertisement and the concept that this is the day of love in the year but celebrating love on this day is definitely better than creating fear, anger and hate among people. For me, every day in the year is a day of love and you can celebrate being with the ones you love each and every day.