College students take on Hindu Mahasabha on V-Day

College students take on Hindu Mahasabha on V-Day

Days after the Hindu Mahasabha asked its volunteers to marry off couples found celebrating Valentine’s Day, hordes of people, mostly youngsters, gathered outside the group’s headquarters at Mandir Marg to protest against its announcement. 

Delhi police, which had been alerted in the area since early morning, had barricaded the main road leading up to the Hindu Mahasabha Bhavan and detained 225 people, including students from the Jawahar Lal Nehru and Delhi University. 

The detained were escorted to Parliament police station in three police vehicles which had been parked right outside the Bhavan in anticipation of the protestors. 

Earlier this week, a Facebook page, “Shud Desi Romance – Everyone weds Anyone”, had invited  struggling lovers to come dressed in wedding dresses to the Hindu Mahasabha office.

Wishing to remain anonymous, one of the organisers said, that ‘gathering’ was intended to send a message that ‘curtailment of freedom of expression will not be tolerated’. 

 “The gathering is not only about the right of couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day but it is aimed at the larger culture of intolerance that is being perpetrated at the behest of these right wing groups,” the organiser told Deccan Herald before being detained. 

Volunteers of Hindu Mahasabha, however, maintained restrain and did not emerge from their office. The anguish of the protestors then turned towards the police whom they accused of ‘repressing peaceful movements’. 

Samara Chopra, a city based musician was among the detained and saidthat she along with her husband, also a musician, had come in solidarity. “This is more about unity and freedom to express affection and the police is putting us in buses for playing drums.” 

Gazalla Khan, a film maker expressed similar concerns citing the recent attacks on churches in the capital and added the gathering is more of a ‘symbolic gesture’. A senior police official posted in the area however maintained that the protest was unlawful as the ‘protestors had not sought prior permission’.  

“Any unlawful gathering is prohibited and due to the swearing in ceremony of the new government we are being more cautious. Moreover, had protestors asked permission to take out a march we would have went ahead and even escorted them,” the official said.

Meanwhile Mahasabha National President, C P Kaushik maintained that his organisation is trying to rectify annual protests against Valentine’s Day by other ‘Hindu groups’. 

“In the past we have seen that more you pressure the youth into submission the more they will rebel. Instead of running after them, we had merely proposed that couples are welcome to marry. People should love each other for 365 days and not only on 14th February,” Kaushik said. 

Earlier in an ‘open letter’ some JNU students had asked if the group is ready to marry gay and lesbian couples as well.  “We believe homosexuality is a sickness just like cancer or AIDS. We won’t be marrying so called couples but we are willing to spend on their medical counselling,” Kaushik said.

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