15, Feb 2023 | CJP Team
On the day following Valentine’s day, a day to celebrate love, many videos have been circulating on social media wherein members of the Hindu right-wing organization, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena can be seen harassing couples. News from various parts of India is being reported.
A herd of Shiv Sena men barged inside a restaurant to target couples on Valentine’s Day, as has been reported from Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. Slogans such as “Babu Ho Ya Sona, Tod Denge Kona Kona” and “Jai Shree Ram” were also being raised by the angry mob. They were armed with sticks and rods. A day before Valentine’s Day, they issued an open threat through the media. A few young people can be seen fleeing the restaurant as the mob wearing the orange muffler shouted slogans.
The video can be viewed here:
They were armed with sticks & rods.
They issued an open threat through the media Yesterday. pic.twitter.com/nBB0aKNeWR
— Hate Detector 🔍 (@HateDetectors) February 14, 2023
In another instance, the Gujarat Bajrang Dal staged a protest in Central Vista garden in Gandhinagar against Valentine’s Day celebrations and drove away couples sitting in the park. It has been reported that the police had briefly detained some of the Bajrang Dal members. As reported by the Indian Express, the actions of the members were defended by the Bajrang Dal Gandhinagar wing president Shaktisinh Zala, wherein he said that their protest was against the western culture, celebration of Valentine’s Day and the indecent and vulgar behaviour of the couples in a public place. He further said that he had nothing against the individuals, and as usual ended by saying that “We have always promoted Hindutva, and will keep doing that.”
The president of Gujarat Bajrang Dal, Jwalit Mehta, further defending the video of Bajrang Dal members where they can be seen wielding sticks, and said that the members had the sticks with them just to frighten the youth and stop them from doing anything wrong; it was not meant to beat anyone, nor did we do anything like that, as was provided by the Indian Express.
In a separate incident reported from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district, members of the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal made couples sitting in a park tie rakhi to each other on Valentine’s Day. The police at the park later asked them to leave the area.
Speaking to the India Today, the members of the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal defended themselves by saying that they made the couples tie rakhi to each other as if these people are not married, they must be siblings and the woman should tie a rakhi to her “brother”. Rohan Saxena, the state president of the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal further said that “in Indian culture, apart from husband and wife, all women are like mother and sister to us. In India, except for your wife, a man is supposed to treat every woman like your sister,” as was reported by India Today.
In an instance of beating gone bad, reported from Faridabad, Haryana, a group of 20 members of Bajrang Dal entered a park and started beating him with sticks. Thinking of them as lovers romancing on Valentine’s Day assaulted a youth, they beat up the couple without giving any heed to the fact that they were a married couple. A crowd had gathered to around the couple to see this. As the truth came out that these two were husband-wife, the same crowd then thrashed the members of Bajrang Dal.
The video can be viewed here:
A crowd gathered to see this.
— Hate Detector 🔍 (@HateDetectors) February 15, 2023
According to the Print, Bajrang Dal members protested Valentine’s Day by holding a rally in Nagpur, Maharashtra, and organizing a mass recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa at the Durga Mata Temple in the Sadar area. To prevent untoward incidents, a large number of police officers were stationed along the rally route. The rally ended at Samvidhan Square, where tributes were paid to the CRPF personnel killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14, 2019. Aside from Bajrang Dal members, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionaries were also present, as reported by the Print.
Even though falling in love is no crime according to the laws governing our country, these Hindutva goons have a different set of laws altogether. Today it was about two people of the opposite sex sitting together, tomorrow it might be about two people of the same sex sitting together, the list of objections put forth by the extremist Hindu groups is non-exhaustive. The extremist Hindu groups even tried to give this day of celebrating love a communal agenda, by invoking the issue of Love-Jihad. As the threats and havoc caused over Valentine’s Day comes to an end, the saffron gang will not start gearing up for the upcoming Navaratri to spread their communal and divisive agenda.