On a day right-wing outfits went around marring Valentine’s Day celebrations across the country, right-wing groups in Jharkhand restricted themselves to organising a blood donation camp.
The Jharkhand branch of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) joined hands with Shiv Sena, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other outfits to organise the camp at the Mahavir Mandir in Ranchi’s Tharpakhna locality.
Ankit Singh, deputy in-charge of HYV, said the camp had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. “Bhagat Singh and comrades were sentenced to death on this day by a Lahore court. We don’t care about Valentine’s Day,” he said.
History books, however, say Bhagat Singh was sentenced to death on October 7, 1930.
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On right-wing protests against Valentine’s Day celebrations, he said: “We don’t think beating people up is doing any good. In fact, it encourages more of them to defy us. If we had not protested, pk would have grossed Rs 50 crore less,” Singh said.
By 1 pm, only five people had donated blood. “More will come, hopefully. Most of our supporters are travelling with the Bajrang Dal now, protesting,” said Shukla. The Dal, which did not help organise the camp, protested outside various parks in the city on Saturday. They were clearly expecting to encounter couples there, but the district administration ensured all public parks in the city remained shut on V-Day.
As it turned out, Singh marked the day differently in previous years. “We used to go around with lathi-danda,” he chuckled.
HYV’s in-charge Monu Shukla, who holds a BTech degree, said his organisation’s objective was the peaceful transformation of society.