Ever been beaten up by a gang of unruly men in front of your girlfriend? Or has a stranger claiming to be morally superior to you ever told you on your parents while you were out on a date with your boy? Well, Valentine’s Day is round the corner. And these things do happen around this time of the year across India.
Gangs of frustrated young men who girls don’t talk to descend upon our public spaces and behave like mad dogs, as they look for young couples who they can bully. Moral policing is the word, but there is hardly anything moral in intruding on other’s lives. This type of behaviour is rather rude and needs to be called out for humiliating our descent youngsters.
And this is not a one-off thing. It has been going on for long, and was happening until last year. The whole moral policing operation is set into motion well before Feb 14, when fringe groups of all hues start issuing Taliban-style edicts warning young couples of consequences should they be spotted in public celebrating Valentine’s Day. While it is mostly the groups claiming to be custodians of Hinduism that are the usual culprits, in recent years reports of Muslim vigilante groups boycotting Valentine’s Day as western import have also surfaced.
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But don’t be confused by the religious values they claim to protect. At the core, all of them are just terrible bullies and misguided human beings who just have no right to order how you lead your lives.
Like, who would bother a young couple who is clearly seen having a good time? These people do. Last year, there were reports of goons claiming allegiance to Shiv Sena Hindustan chasing away couples from parks in Bathinda. The year before that, self-proclaimed Hindu activists from Bajrang Dal and Sri Ram Sene reportedly harassed couples in parks, pubs and malls of Mangalore. The same year, Bajrang Dal also created public nuisance in Kanpur. Not only young couples, these gangs have in the past have also targetted businesses selling Valentine’s Day merchandise.
This year, a fringe group going by the name of Bharat Sena has petitioned authorities in Coimbatore to ban Valentine’s Day.
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In northern India, the thugs have been conspicuously silent this year. A news report last year claimed that the puppet-masters that control these moral gangs were wary of been portrayed in bad light ahead of the ongoing state elections.
But here’s what you do if anyone bothers you this year, which is genuine probability since old habits die hard.
Fight back. Punch them. Hit them. Yeah, it is alright to punch a bully. And our Indian law does have provisions that allow violence in self-defense. Chances are if you avoid them and walk away, they will keep you from leaving. That’s when you strike and give them the time of their life. You may be overpowered eventually because they would likely be in a big group, but that’s a small cost to avoid humiliation and a possible break-up.
You are likely consenting adults over the age of 18, so you are legally allowed to hang out with who you want. Call the cops and let them know that.
Just don’t let the bully dictate orders to you.
Enjoy you Valentine’s Day!