Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj, who launched a pro-Valentine’s day campaign during the erstwhile BJP regime to counter right-wing elements involved in troubling young couples, continued with his campaign Friday on the first Valentine’s Day since the new Congress government came to power in May 2013.
On Friday, in the course of a farcical celebration of Valentine’s Day, Nagaraj conducted the marriage of two sheep and drove around the Cubbon Park in an open jeep blaring Kannada love songs. He demanded that Valentine’s Day be declared a national holiday.
The Kannada Chalavali Vatal party leader, who is a former MLA and has been involved in pro-Kannada activisim since the 1960s, said, “Animals have more liberty to express love than humans who tend to fear societal repercussion. Apart from providing police protection to lovers, the government must rehabilitate them by providing Rs 50,000 as gifts,” the veteran leader said.
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Commenting on the silence this year of the Pramod Muthalik-led Shree Rama Sene, who in the past rabidly opposed Valentine’s Day, Nagaraj said he was strongly opposed to tactics of Muttalik. “One must have a family himself before he sets out to direct others on sensitive emotions like love,” Nagaraj said.
The veteran activist, who has in recent times not found electoral favour in Karnataka, drove around the central business district of Bangalore on Friday in a procession advertising love.
Last year, Gopi, a close ally of Nagaraj in his absurd campaigns, had committed suicide with his family due to financial problems. A Gopi lookalike accompanied Nagaraj on Friday.