The youth defy Valentine’s Day diktats year after year. The right-wing groups struggle to think of novel ways to reverse ‘decadent westernisation’. This year, while the BJP governments of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh came up with a ‘Matra-Pitra Pujan Diwas’ counter the lovers’ day, Hindu groups married off dogs in Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Nagercoil as a message to the youth that only animals display love in public. In J&K, the police too, got into the act, sealing a Srinagar hotel and detaining couples.
The Raman Singh government of Chhattisgarh issued a diktat to schools to observe the day as one of devotion to parents. But there were few takers even among teachers. A government school teacher in Raipur said, “Why should filial love be made to compete with another emotion altogether? There is nothing wrong in celebrating love.”
In Indore, BJP activists urged the youth to dedicate the day to their parents. And Congress workers of Rajiv Vikas Kendra countered by distributing roses and asking people to observe it as ‘communal harmony day’.
In Srinagar, radical women’s outfit Dukhtaran-e-Milat raided restaurants and ‘counselled’ couples against celebrating the V-Day.
In Mumbai, political activists normally opposed to V-Day celebrations were too busy wooing the young for votes in the upcoming civic body elections to cause any disruption.
On a happy note, the day made sound business sense, as India emerged the second largest supplier after Thailand of fresh cut flowers, according to e-commerce portal Alibaba.com.
In Delhi, radicals admitted they were not protesting any more – because no one was listening. “What is the point? We cannot stop them and we are getting a bad reputation, said Shiv Sena’s Delhi convener Om Dutt Sharma.
Sound political sense, eh!
(With agency inputs)