Worried globalisation is corrupting the minds of the youth? Well, don’t be.
This week the Supreme Court set a precedent after ruling that a married couple kissing in public did not amount to “obscenity”, but Mumbai’s GenNext are horrified.
They say kissing in public is against Indian culture, offensive to elders and an imported western custom that should be banned.
At Mithibai College in suburban Vile Parle, Priyanka Patil (16), a first year student at NM College, from Kandivli, said kissing in public could corrupt the minds of young people, while Sonali Shah (18), a student from Borivli, said it would hurt the sentiments of elders.
Esha Shah (18), a student at the Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering, from Goregaon, said it was “western culture”. “We want to keep Indian culture. We don’t want to be western.”
Sitting on the steps outside Fun Republic, a multiplex in suburban Andheri, Class XI Hemangini Deshmukh (16), said: “Its against sanskar (the right way to live) to kiss in public. I would not like to see anyone doing it.” His friend Keyur Buddhdev (17), also from Andheri, said: “You have to show respect to older people.”
Sohit Sarkar (25), a creative head in a TV company, added: “It will take time for India to digest this thing.”
The older business crowd was also appalled. “We want to save Indian culture. This is what westerners do,” said Kirtishwar Kishore (29) a marketing professional from Chembur. “The most important aspect of Indian culture is giving respect to elders.”
But the youth agreed it should not be a criminal offence.
However, there was also the odd detractor.
“I think kissing in public is fine. It is against Indian culture but I don’t mind,” said Prerna Singh (15), a student from Sathaye College, who lives in Andheri.
“I kiss my girlfriend in public,” said Rahul Pandey (18), a first year BSc student at Mithibai College, also from Andheri. “And I’ve never been arrested. I kiss her in the middle of the street. Obviously you should not go further than a kiss.”
However they were in the minority. The one thing students were unified on: they did not want to see Valentine’s Day banned.
Avani Jain (16), of NM College, who lives in Andheri, said: “Valentine’s Day is about the people you love – your friends and family. It’s not about couples.”