While the Shiv Sena regularly fulminates about the evil influence of Valentine’s Day on youngsters, rose farmers who are the party’s sympathisers are doing roaring business by exporting their produce to the very Western countries vilified by their political benefactors.
This year, too, more than 100 farmers from the picturesque Maval taluka, 120 km southeast of Mumbai, expect to rake in money by exporting roses to Europe ahead of February 14.
Typifying the trend of economic compulsions overwhelming political posturing, farmers said the Shiv Sena’s agitations were stunts that had no effect on their business.
“For me, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to make money,” said Kaluram Nawagale, 31, whose work with the Sena has not prevented him from exporting roses to Europe.
The taluka is India’s second-largest rose exporting region, behind Bangalore. This year, Maval expects to export 50 lakh roses worth Rs 4 crore for Valentine’s Day.