Monday, February 13, 2006

Valentines Day and India's Talibanization

Valentines Day is here. This year too, the moral brigade is out in full force. The warnings issued to public is if caught (by them!) they will be forcibly married. I plan to take my wife out today. It would be a rare experience to get married for the second time! That too, forcibly. I plan to refuse to marry her!
All year long, one can go out with one’s partner, one can enjoy the companionship, go to malls, cinema but not on this “corrupting day” as Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray put it. Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal, two extremist outfits, have been opposing the celebration of valentines day for past decade or so. Their reason? First, it is not in our culture. What? Love is not in our culture? Ok. They prefer to spread the message of hatred, violence and intolerance. But to insist others follow suit is breaching the fundamental right. But who can stand against them? If someone do that, they will be beaten to pulp. Second, it has a corrupting influence on our youth. You said corrupting? What are you politicians doing? Amassing wealth beyond your means doesn’t have a corrupting influence? Or your infighting, nepotism, violence doesn’t have an influence? Third, He is afraid of excessive spending by youngsters in Malls and shopping centers. They will blow their parent’s hard earned money. So in that sense, do you oppose Diwali celebrations? Or Christmas? Or New Year? Why are you unduly worried about their money? Oh come on Mr. Thackeray.
We all know that this is the way you rule. By fear and violence. Why don’t you just ask people to refrain from excessive celebration? But then who will pay any heed, right? You can rein them only by fear and violence.
The sufferers will be Malls, Cinemas and Greeting Card dealers. A few years back Archies suffered a lot of damages as Sainiks ransacked their showroom on this very day. Yesterday the Vibhag Pramugs (Zonal Heads) of Shiv Sena met together to whip up a list of targets. Target to attack. They have the blessings of Chieftain Thackeray. This is the best opportunity to regain some lost ground. Raj Thackeray is pro-V-day. So if they can stage a big protest and smash a few window glasses and beat up some young couples or forcibly marriage them, they can divert the public attention from the infighting.
I wonder what if the boy and girl is under-age? Wouldn’t that attract Rape charges against the boy and the Sainiks?
Due to these unnecessary gimmicks, the V-day has attained some big importance among our youngsters. It is in their blood to defy. So if someone opposing something, then one must do it. In a way, Sena did their part to spread the message of V-day rather than curb it.
Shiv Sena is being more and more an aggressive, intolerant unit of thugs. In order to hide the humiliation of election failures and constant defection, it will resort to more meaningless gimmicks like this. May be the next target will be Christmas, New Year and minority celebrations. They are becoming Talibanized.
Nowadays, in India, the public is being told what to do and what not by a few people. The fundamental right of freedom of expression is systematically curtailed. In Mumbai, one can’t hold hands with your partner. It’s offensive. One can’t sit close to each other. Our society is driven back to some 300 years back by some self-proclaimed Netas. And pity is that no one seems to be raising an alarm.


Ishu said...

I personally celebrate Valentine's day every year. But I think there should be some limit somewhere, someway so that school/college going kids do not go wrong way.

Every year, with V-day as an excuse, lots of school/college going kids indulge in immoral activities. I know when I was in college, the day after V-day, the question we asked between friends was "did something happen yesterday"?

If "something" didn't happen, one was likened to a "loser". That was 10 years ago, Guess what is the situation now. This is a harsh fact. Even if there are good kids, they get tempted to so "something" on V-day just for heck of it.

I would not go Shiv Sena way breaking shops and vandalising but no doubt would want some limit. I know it is difficult to draw a line but calling Shiv sena's thought a complete bluff is just not right.

I think everyone should celebrate this day but should avoid the "thing" going on in schools/colleges with the excuse of "It's a V-day".

-- Ishu

Shinu Mathew said...

I have my freedom to choose from. If I want to celebrate Valentines day, no one should tell me not to. I may choose to go out with my partner or may be get drunk. It's my choice. That's the only thing I am streesing.
About immoral activities, it happens through out the year. What do you think about Navratri festivals? is it clean? a report suggest that, during Navratri, the sale of Condom and contraceptives! So to blame it on a particular day is totally biased judgement. It's not the day, it's the mindset.

Ishu said...

You may choose lot of things but letting underage, innocent kid is only harmful to society. I have specifically mentioned about schools/college kids. If you want to include Navratri, be it. The way Navratri festivals are going on is not our culture. Just the commercialization and abuse in name of culture.

Same is the case with V-day. Just abused by certain sections which should be prohibited.

-- Ishu

Balaji said...

The opposition against Valentine's day falls into a general scheme of intolerance in the world.

Read more about this at: Talibanization of the world