By meghna at 13 February, 2010, 5:14 pm
Sunil Behl, a call centre employee was searching a perfect gift for his valentine. Unfortunately he wouldn’t meet her on 14th February as he got scared of the Hindu extremists. Well his fear doesn’t seem to be so unreasonable.
Every year all news channels showcase a debate featuring Hindu Protagonists, MTv VJ’s and Directors like Mahesh Bhatt. The issue is often left unresolved. The Bajrang Dal speaker well dressed in a formal suit alleges “This is not our culture. We strongly oppose it. It is the exhibition of vulgarity and obscenity.” But isn’t wearing pants something we borrowed from the west. And yes gifting valentine day cards, teddy bears, roses etc is not vulgar. It is a well known that lovers visit restaurants, pubs, parks, hotels and clubs all the year long. But on 14th February the number increases considerably.
In India public display of love is considered a taboo. It comes under the ambit of obscenity. If the couples cross their limits and involve in anything ‘vulgar’, then the police can always charge them for the same. But isn’t urinating in public areas also obscene? Hasn’t Bajrang Dal thought about calling this act as exhibitionism of vulgarity? May be it hasn’t because that may outrage a considerable number of people.
Isn’t it absurd that we have a right to vote but we don’t have a right to decide whether we wish to celebrate Valentines Day or not? I completely agree that Valentine’s day celebrations are highly commercialized. It is definitely a marketing gimmick used by corporates to make some extra money. The idea has been very successful in the past. Roses, cards, gifts, Bouquets, cakes, balloons and every symbol of love is not only marketed but also sold at extremely high prices.
It’s true that Indians were alien to the day until recently. But what is the harm in celebrating a day which brings joy to the faces of your loved ones? With the advent of globalization, liberalization and privatization the country has transformed completely. Whether we admit it or not, we have adapted many things from the west and vice-versa. Celebrating their festivals is a part of cultural assimilation and evolution. If Sri Ram Sena or Hindu Mahasabha differs in their opinions regarding the celebrations, they can propagate the importance of Indian Culture. By no means have they had the privilege to forcibly get the couples married or declared brother and sister. Our culture has never supported discouraging the beliefs of others. While Aurangzeb forced people to convert the Akbar was tolerant in his policies. Obliviously the latter was conferred the title of being the Great.
Oppression would only drift the people away from their own culture. Moral Policing should be curtailed to its own limits. Insulting lovers in public is not at all “cultured”. If these groups have a problem, they should convince the masses. Every year they gain publicity out of it. I seriously believe that Sena has time and again outraged the modesty of a woman in public on this day which is in no sense moral. Preservation of culture can never be through force. Culture is something we follow because we strongly believe in that. Practises which were not adaptable with time have become history. These Talibans need not direct us about what has to be done on what day.