V-Day: Hindu outfits change stand from ‘scare to care’

  • Saurav Roy, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2015 21:51 IST

Climbing down from their violent stand, hardline Hindu outfits in Jharkhand have decided to take out message rallies on the Valentine’s Day this year unlike their Uttar Pradesh counterparts.

So far, the Hindu outfits, popularly known as moral police, had been beating up and humiliating couples and even forcing them to marry for celebrating the day on February 14.

A young Ranchi couple termed the climbdown as the victory of their right to express love. However, the Hindu outfit leaders said, “winning youngsters’ trust can change things. Scaring them won’t help,” showing a deep introspection behind their changed stance.

Sandeep Mukherjee of Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Suman Swaroop said that the past had taught them that violence couldn’t drive the message home. It instead projected them as “miscreants” in the eyes of youngsters. Therefore, “This time we have decided to change our approach towards the issue so that the youngsters understand our message and not be scared of us,” said Swaroop.

But, how would they drive the message home? The members of the fringe outfits said they would pay homage to freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who were sentenced to death on February 14, 1931. The message of the homage would apprise the masses about why people should observe the day as black day and not love day. They would also organise blood donation camps and urge youths to observe the day as black day through peaceful message rallies, said Sandeep Mukherjee.
The idea of holding the blood camps is to encourage youngsters to engage more in fruitful endeavours than frivolous events, he said.

The idea is to give youngsters a sound reason and what could be a better reason than highlighting how young freedom fighters were sentenced to death on the day, said Swaroop. Similar sentiments were echoed by the Bajrang Dal leaders.

However, the Hindu Mahasabha in Uttar Pradesh has issued a diktat this year too that the couples observing the Valentine’s Day would be forced to marry.

In fact, the same was the practice in Jharkhand too. Last year, the members of these outfits had chased away couples from Naxshatra Van and Sidhu Kanhu Park in the state capital, humiliated them by making them apologise and do sit-ups publicly. Some women members of these outfits had even slapped girls and their boyfriends in the streets and malls. Earlier, there had been reports of Shiva Sena and Bajrang Dal members vandalising gift shops selling Valentine’s Day goodies.

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