Bajrang Dal and the Sri Ram Sene will not be alone in opposing Valentines Day this year. The Hindu groups have got company from the other end of the spectrum – the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,an outfit which regards Islam as the authentic way of life for all human beings.
Jamaats student wing SIO will organise anti-Valentines Day in college campuses and other places in several states on February 14. Given the backlash against vigilante groups,leaders of the Students Islamic Organisation say their activities would be peaceful and they have no intention of moral policing.
SIO,which labels itself an ideological organisation working to prepare students and youth for reconstruction of the society under divine guidance,will also be organising brotherhood day and solidarity day in states like Maharashtra,Andhra Pradesh,West Bengal and Tamil Nadu to raise awareness against Valentines Day.
Valentines Day promotes unethical male-female relations. The celebration of Valentines Day is nothing,but giving open license to the youth to indulge in immoral acts. We oppose it strongly. We believe that such activities will erode moral and family values, SIO chief K K Suhail told The Indian Express.
He said that market forces were promoting Valentines Day to reap benefits. Some state units will be organising solidarity and brotherhood days,wherein they will be raising issues like the Israels oppression of Palestinians in Gaza and strive to spread the message of universal brotherhood. We will basically try to raise awareness, Suhail adds. In cities like Delhi,Mumbai and Bangalore,the SIO plans to observe February 14 as anti-Valentines day.
Jamaat leaders said its opposition to the Valentines Day celebrations would be put in action by the SIO as such celebrations were prevalent among youngsters. We are against such western invasion of our society as it affects family bonds and undermines Indias culture, the outfits political secretary Mujtaba Farooq said.
Islamic clerics in countries like Malaysia and Brunei,which have a sizeable Muslim population,have gone a step ahead and declared that Valentines Day is forbidden (haram) in Islam.
Dukhtaran-e-Millat (daughters of faith),the Kashmiri womens separatist group,has already asked shopkeepers in the valley not to sell gifts or cards for V Day and appealed to restaurant and hotel owners to desist from organising parties.