Valentine’s Day cards set afire in Hyderabad

February 14th, 2008 - 6:32 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, Feb 14 (IANS) Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s student wing Thursday attacked a shop selling Valentine’s Day gifts here and set fire to greeting cards. They also threatened to marry off lovers found “misbehaving” in public places.

About 50 members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) attacked a gifts shop at Chaitanyapuri in Dilsukhnagar neighbourhood and took away the Valentine’s Day cards. Carrying party flags and shouting “Save culture” slogans, they placed the cards in the middle of the road and set them alight.

The ABVP activists, carrying ‘mangalsutra’, the traditional necklace worn by married Hindu women, threatened they would force lovers to tie the knot. “Valentine’s Day is against Indian culture. This is Western culture corrupting the minds of our youths,” said an ABVP activist.

“We are not against love. If you love somebody, marry him or her. Can there be a better way of expressing your love than marrying your beloved,” asked a woman activist of the organization.

“If we spot lovers misbehaving in public, we will force them to tie the mangalsutra,” she said.

The city unit of Bajrang Dal has also threatened to disrupt Valentine’s Day celebrations in hotels.

Five teams constituted by the group were “keeping an eye” on youths around parks, hotels, bars and resorts. “We will not allow this as it goes against out culture,” said B. Pratap, president of the Bajrang Dal’s city unit.

Some Muslim organisations also campaigned against Valentine’s Day. The Muslim Girls’ Association pasted posters in public places advising youths to desist from celebrating the day. “Valentine’s Day is haram (forbidden). No Muslim boy or girl should indulge in such immoral activities,” the poster says.

Three Urdu newspapers also carried front-page appeals by the editors to Muslim youths to keep away from this “gunah” (sin). “Valentine’s Day is the creation of Jews, Christians and anti-Islam western culture,” the editors said, appealing to parents and guardians to keep their children away.

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