Kolkata embraces 'Kiss of Love', says no to moral policing

Kolkata embraces 'Kiss of Love', says no to moral policing

Forming human chains, enacting skits and indulging in a public display of affection, students of the prestigious Jadavpur and Presidency universities Wednesday hosted the "Kiss of Love", protest deriding moral policing.

Hundreds of students walked from the Jadavpur University gates to the Jadavpur police station with many of them embracing and kissing each other in solidarity with those who courted police action during the "Kiss of Love" event in Kochi Sunday.

"Kiss of Love" was meant to protest against the vandalism of the Downtown Cafe restaurant in Kozhikode by activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha claiming "immoral activities" were encouraged there.

"Love has no boundaries and it cannot be bound on the basis of gender, caste, religion etc. Irrespective of our sexes, we kissed each other as a mark of protest against the rising instances of moral policing," Jadavpur student Nabottama Pal said.

Pal said plans were afoot to organise a "kiss of love" event involving students across the country.

Advocating the "right to love", Presidency University students held a congregation outside the iconic Coffee House strongly denouncing moral policing.

They carried posters containing popular poems on love and struggle, with some of them tweaked to express the idiom of protest against moral policing.

Some of the posters and banners stressed the values of liberty, giving calls for organising road blockades and showering of kisses in protest against the Kozhikode incident.

"Nobody can dictate to me what to wear, whose hands to hold or whom to kiss or where to hangout. We need to stand against this steady rise of fundamentalists who are trying to take control and talibanise the society," said Koumi Dutta, a Presidency student.

"While many people were waiting to see the students kissing, but we did not indulge in that and used the platform also to advocate gender equality and deride the rise of fascist powers," added Dutta.

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