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Happy Valentine’s Day, Mumbai! Shiv Sena will not oppose celebrations, promises Aaditya

Shiv Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray condemned those opposed to the celebrations, saying this was not the ‘party line’

mumbai Updated: Feb 14, 2018 13:17 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Valentine’s Day,Shiv Sena,Aaditya Thackeray
Under the influence of Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, who has been trying to change the party’s image, it has not disrupted Valentine’s Day celebrations for a few years now.(HT File)

The Shiv Sena, which has taken a firm stand against Valentine’s Day in the past, has decided to not oppose it this year. Over the years, Sainiks have taken to the streets, misbehaved with couples and vandalised shops that sold merchandise related to the occasion.

However, under the influence of Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, who has been trying to change the party’s image, it has not disrupted Valentine’s Day celebrations for a few years now.

Recently, amid reports that a group of men, who claimed to be associated with the Shiv Sena in Uttar Pradesh, announced that party would take to the streets on February 14 to stop such “celebrations” in public, the party said it wouldn’t.

Thackeray condemned those opposed to the occasion, saying this was not the ‘party line’. He added that he “would check who had done this and why.”

“We are not opposed to the celebration. There may be some individuals who do such things to get attention, but this is not the party’s line. We have distanced ourselves from them since Aaditya took over,” said a senior Sena leader, who did not wish to be identified. Thackeray has been trying to reinvent the Shiv Sena into a modern political party, one that can connect with the youth and urban people. He also spearheaded an initiative to introduce the city to a 24x7 nightlife.

A party leader said that a few years ago, Thackeray had directed the head of the Shiv Sena’s Uttar Pradesh unit to not “misbehave with or assault couples” celebrating Valentine’s Day. Every year, the occasion attracts a lot of hate in the form of moral policing from right-wing groups across the country.

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 12:52 IST