What's love got to do with it?

NO FEAR

Moral policing has been an important part of almost every westernised celebration in the country. It’s more so on Valentine’s Day, when one could get attacked in public by activists for just walking with a friend.  

  Metrolife talks to youngsters to find out if they are worried about stepping out and celebrating the day.

Youngsters like Shabari Rai, a software engineer in the City, says that no matter how much moral policing happens in the City and country, people will do what they want. “Love is in the air and the celebration is not just restricted to couples. It’s the time when friends get to pull each other’s leg,” she voices. Being single, she meets her single friends on Valentine’s Day and they all dress up in the same colour. “We always plan to do something fun together and intend to keep doing that,” she adds.

Mashmoom, who is from Mangalore, says that Bangalore doesn’t see much activism when compared to other cities. “Back home, I have heard of couples being attacked even on regular days. So activists naturally wait to attack them on Valentine’s Day,” he says. Mashmoom adds that one can’t stop youngsters from doing what they wish. “I don’t believe that this is the only day to do something special for your partner. But it’s a nice opportunity to do so. And people will surely do it,” he says.

Suhaan Farooq, a college student, feels that in this day and age, when people are coming out of the closet and fighting for gay rights, an activism for Valentine’s Day is just not right. “This country is a mix of different people with different values. With Bangalore having people from different parts of India and the world, no one is scared of the activists and their frigid behaviour anymore,” he comments.

If youngsters are afraid to celebrate Valentine’s Day, it’s because of the closed mindset of the society, according to Swetha Ravindra, an MBA student of RV Institute of Management. “I have always seen people looking at a couple when they are together and this is what grabs more attention. Even if one is sitting with a friend, people assume something else. So I always prefer to hang out with a group of friends, especially on Valentine’s Day,” says Swetha. She adds that she feels safe when she is with the people she knows and agrees that everyone has the right to do what they want.

Despite talks about ‘Right to Freedom’, many are worried about being embarrassed in public. “I will be going to a private party with my boyfriend. We actually wanted to hang out at a classy restaurant for dinner and have some fun dancing. But our parents have warned us. You never know what could happen,” says Radhika Kumarjeet. She adds that some youngsters do prefer staying inside. “It’s like how everyone warns you to not be out till very late on New Year’s Eve,” Radhika wraps up.

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