Thursday, 15 February 2007

Anti Valentine

"Death to Valentine's Day!"

From the China Post

"Hardline Hindu activists protested against celebrations of St Valentine's Day in the Indian capital on Wednesday calling them immoral and a corruption of the country's ancient civilization.

Marking the year's most romantic day has become increasingly popular in India, led by retailers who do healthy business selling rose-colored greeting cards and heart-shaped balloons, and restaurants offering discount candlelight meals for two.

But it has also sparked demonstrations.

About 150 members of the pro-Hindu political party Shiv Sena gathered in New Delhi, shouting "Down with Western culture!" and "Death to Valentine's Day!" as they waved saffron-colored flags.

"Valentine's Day promotes obscene cards and nudity and encourages our youngsters to be publicly affectionate in parks and other places -- this is against our ancient civilization," said Jai Bhagwan Goyal, head of Shiv Sena in the capital.

"This western creation is corrupting our young people and making them have immoral thoughts ... we are already seeing that there are more evil crimes like rape happening in India." In Mumbai, the scene of violent protests in the past, love seemed to conquer all and the day passed off peacefully.

Tens of Shiv Sena protesters burnt Valentine's cards in the western city of Jaipur and tried to enter the city's main park to harass courting couples, but were stopped by police.

In the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir, at least a dozen women covered from head to toe in black burqas, stormed into several restaurants in Srinagar, telling couples to go home and stay away from "unIslamic" Valentine's Day celebrations.

"Valentine's Day is against Islamic teachings, our ethos and culture," said Andrabi, chief of Dukhtaran-e-Milat (Daughters of the Muslim Faith). Satellite television, the Internet, films and travel have led traditionally conservative middle class Indians to adopt more liberal attitudes towards sex.

But public hugging and kissing, even in urban areas, still invite angry stares, lewd comments and even beatings."

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