Even as western scholars look for answers to the origin of Valentine’s Day and which of the two Saint Valentines — Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome — it belongs to, the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has found a definitive answer to the “purpose” of the day. The right-wing outfit has decided to observe February 14 as “love marriage day” for “that is what St Valentine did too”.
“Europe had no proper family system and marriages were not in place. So, St Valentine got them married and ensured couples lived happily ever after. But in our enthusiasm to ape the West, we have got it all wrong. We think it is a day for boys and girls to just roam around. But that is not our culture and that is not even what Valentine’s Day was meant for,” insists Munna Kumar Sharma, national general secretary, Hindu Mahasabha.
“Since last year, we have been observing February 14 as ‘love marriage day’ and we will do that this year too as well,” he added.
Volunteers with the organisation will be look out for couples in parks and public spaces and “counsel” them to get married “immediately”.
“We have over 10,000 volunteers in Delhi. Volunteers across major cities will also be part of this drive. We are making all arrangements for the ceremonies and will have priests ready at our office in Mandir Marg to perform the rituals,” Sharma added.
Sharma claimed the Mahasabha, in a similar drive last year, had at least 100 couples married across the country. “It is a test for the boys. If they agree to getting married, then we go ahead with the ceremonies right away and if they do not agree then the girl can see for herself that she is being tricked. Our initiative is to protect women from being fooled into fake relationships. It is only for their safety,” he maintained.
“We read of so many examples of women being cheated in relationships. Take the example of Arzoo Chauhan, the student who was killed by her boyfriend in Delhi. Such cases are shocking and something needs to be done.”
Bal Sanskar Kendra, another religious organisation is also set to observe the day as ‘Matri Pitri Pujan Diwas’ and has planned a massive gathering at Ramlila Maidan for the occasion.