While most of the world is celebrating Valentine's Day on February 14, in parts of India, the unwanted tradition of moral policing remerged as fringe groups erupting on the streets, harrassed couples found in public spaces across the country. In one such incident in Jharkhand's Ranchi, Bajrang Dal activists caught a couple wandering in Oxygen Park and cornered them into 'marrying off' one another, by forcing the 'sindoor' ritual.
A group of the fringe group, approached the couple and harassed the man into apply vermillion (sindoor) on the woman's forehead. The couple, who seemed evidently edge, budged into the demands of the fringe group after they were corned by five to six men wearing saffron scarves. On recieving the information, Jharkhand Police from Lalpur Police station reached the spot and first arrested, however, later members of the fringe group were taken into custody. The Bajrang Dal on Friday paid rich tribute to the brave security personnel who laid down their lives in the Pulwama attack last year and denounced "indecent behaviour" on the occasion of Valentines Day.
In a bizarre incident, students of the Mahila Arts and Commerce College in Amravati were forced to take a pledge on Valentine's Day whereby they had to vow against involvement in any form of love affair or love marriage. As per sources, the administration of the all-girls college forced the students to take the pledge. According to reports, the pledge was a part of the National Service Scheme (NSS) camp.
The Bajrang Dal had earlier said the outfit would "awaken youth" towards making February 14 a day to pay homage to martyrs and not as 'Lovers Day.' Balaswamy said the number of youth indulging in "indecent behaviour" in public parks on Valentines Day has seen a decline due to the fear of Bajrang Dal activists. The outfit had warned that it would not tolerate such behaviour in parks andother public places in the name of Valentine's Day.
He said his outfit is not against true love but only against "indecent behaviour and commercial exploitation" of Valentines Day. The managers of pubs, clubs and restaurants have responded positively to the outfits requests to not organise events which encourage such behaviour and exploitation of Valentines Day, he said. The outfit has also undertaken awareness programmes to observe the day as an occasion to pay homage to martyred soldiers in educational institutions in the state during the last few days, he said.
Similarly, on February 12, a right-wing group Hindu Sena issued a threat two days ahead of Valentine's Day saying that those caught spreading "obscenity" will be handed over to Delhi Police. The Hindu Sena will reportedly be keeping an eye out for Valentine's Day celebrations in parts of the national capital.
(with PTI inputs)