V-Day couple happily oblige Bajrang Dal, get married!February 14th, 2009 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Feb 14 (IANS) You could call it a masterstroke by two lovebirds here. Well aware of the threat by Hindu rightwing groups to marry off couples found celebrating Valentine’s Day, they did exactly that — and to their delight were pronounced man and wife Saturday!
Vijay Anand and Kriti of Koti area were among two couples who were married off by Bajrang Dal activists in Andhra Pradesh. And given the opposition to their union by their families, they were more than happy to oblige.
Police arrested 20 activists of the Bajrang Dal when they were trying to forcibly marry a couple at Gandipet, a picnic spot on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Hindu rightwing activists say Valentine’s Day is against Indian culture.
But at least in the case of Vijay and Kriti, the Bajrang Dal activists could scarcely have imagined that they were doing the couple a favour. The two were found together in Koti area and brought to the group’s office and their marriage was performed by a Hindu priest in the presence of Bajrang Dal leaders.
The couple said they had been in love for three years but their parents were opposed to the alliance. They had read in the newspapers about the threat by Hindu activists that they would marry off couples seen together on Valentine’s Day and deliberately came out in public so they would be noticed.
Police said they would take action only if the couple or their relatives lodged a complaint that they were forcibly married.
In Nizamabad town, Bajrang Dal activists married off a couple found displaying their love in a park.
It was by and large a subdued Valentine’s Day across the state as the threat of rightwing Hindu groups to marry off lovers seen together kept young couples away from celebrations in public.
Police arrested 200 activists of the Bajrang Dal and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Hyderabad and other parts of the state for staging protests and threatening couples.
There were hardly any lovers in parks, pubs, restaurants and public places here.
Bajrang Dal and ABVP activists tried to take out rallies and burnt greeting cards at various places. Holding saffron flags and raising slogans of ‘Valentine go back’, the activists, including girls, in an open-top jeep and two-wheelers took out a protest march in Chaitanyapuri.
Police beefed up security near parks, shopping malls, cinema theatres, pubs and other public places and warned that action would be taken against those threatening couples.
There were no buyers of the heart-shaped balloons though vendors selling them were seen standing near NTR Garden on the banks of picturesque Hussain Sagar lake and some other parks in the city.