For a change this year, the Valentine’s Day —- the day of love, which attracts a lot of hate in the form of moral policing —- will be relatively peaceful with Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena issuing instructions to their respective activists not to harass lovebirds.
While Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), has received instructions not to “interfere with couples”, Aditya Thackeray, the national head of Yuva Sena, Shiv Sena’s youth wing, has directed Shiv Sainiks to not misbehave with boys and girls on the Valentine’s Day.
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Bajrang Dal’s convener for UP and Uttarakhand, Surendra Mishra said that the “acts that couples indulge in” on roads and at public places on Valentine’s Day is “similar to nature of animals” and interfering with them is useless. “It has been decided at the top level of the organisation that our workers will not disturb any couple any more,” Mishra said.
Bajrang Dal’s Awadh region convener, Rakesh Verma said the organisation was against western culture and hence the workers’ protest will remain confined to torching Valentine’s Day cards only “but there will be no misbehaviour with any couple”.
Last year, Bajrang Dal had announced to solemnise the marriage of boys and girl in full public view at the place where they were caught. The couples who did not agree, workers asked them to leave the place giving them images of Shiva and Parvathi as well as Krishna and Radha with appeal to express love like these gods. Rakesh said that there will be no such programme this year.
Shiv Sena too has decided to stay away from misbehaving with any couple. “National head of Shiv Sena’s youth wing, Aditya Thackeray, has issued strict directions to not misbehave with any boy or girl on Valentine’s Day. He does not want assault or misbehaviour with youths. Shiv Sena is against western culture and we have communicated our message during past years. We are not going to assault any couple. If any worker will misbehave or assault any couple, he will be expelled from the party,” said Anil Singh, UP head of Shiv Sena.
Singh also said that it had happened in past that even youths moving with their sisters were assaulted by workers in confusion and unwanted elements had been taking advantage of the situation.
In the past, activists of both the organisations had assaulted and misbehaved with couples found at public places on Valentine’s Day. They had even vandalised shops selling greeting cards, flowers and gifts to mark the occasion.
On the other hand, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) has decided to arrange for the weddings of couples on Valentine’s Day with Hindu rituals. “Our workers will move in parks, malls and other public places with white roses on February 14. They will ask the couples, who have attained the minimum age for marriage, to get married if they truly love each other. If they agree and need help, we will facilitate their marriage at our national headquarters in New Delhi with proper Hindu rituals,” said Chandra Prakash Kaushik, who claims himself ABHM national president.
In case, the girl or boy or both belong to a different religion, they will be asked to produce an affidavit that they have converted to Hinduism and have changed their name accordingly. ABHM, with the help of priests, will perform their purification before their marriage. “Those who do not agree to get married or are found under-age, will be given white roses and told that rose day, kiss day, chocolate day and Valentine’s Day are part of western culture and celebrating them at public place was vulgar,” Kaushik claimed.