There is good news and bad news. Since the Bajrang Dal is busy with its national meet scheduled on February 15, the onus of the Valentine’s Day vandalism has shifted to the shaky shoulders of the Hindu Mahasabha. This Mahasabha has a national president who goes by the name of Chandra Prakash Kaushik. He wants all 365 days to be like Valentine’s Day, but doesn’t want a Valentine’s Day. “India is a country where all 365 days are days for love, why then must couples observe only February 14 as Valentine’s Day?” he told The Times of India, the newspaper that discovered him. “We are not against love; but if a couple is in love, then they must get married,” he added. Welcome back to Licence Raj.
The Mahasabha has said that people caught celebrating the festival of love will invite the opposite of love, hatred and punishment. If the lovers turn out to be Hindus, they will be married off in a swift ceremony. If the boy holding hands turns out to be a Muslim, he will be purified into a Hindu before the on-the-spot Arya Samaj wedding ceremony. If the lovers turn out to be homosexuals, the Mahasabha would not know. Great success! They will be busy scouring cafes, restaurants and malls to spot people walking hand-in-hand, couples sitting in corners and anyone carrying a rose. This comprehensive list may or may not include public parks and parked cars.
The good news is that we have not seen much action from the Mahasabha men in the past. The bad news is that we may see them turning their words into deeds. In a country where it takes six people to enforce a highway hold up, Mahasabha’s five or so members can enforce their anti-love campaign. Take this threat seriously. Since you also know how our policemen and our governments fear the rage-boys; the onus of our personal safety lies entirely on us.
But the best news is for the thousands of girls and boys who fall in love but cannot marry because their families wouldn’t approve of the relationship. They sacrifice their love at the family’s altar. This is a golden opportunity for them. Just walk hand in hand, ensure the rose is visible, then walk into a restaurant, take the corner table and wait for the loonies. Get through the short and sweet Arya Samaj wedding ceremony, and you are man and wife. To interfaith people, do not despair. This shuddhikaran is just a little ceremony. And boy, if you happen to be a Muslim, believe you are Shahrukh Khan, and this is a film where you play Rahul. Go through the motions. And emerge a winner. And if the boy is a Hindu and the girl happens to be a Muslim, remember all religions treat women so badly that women in fact have no religion at all. And it doesn’t matter how you get married. All that matters is love.
And if you are a law enforcement officer, hang your head in shame that the Mahasabha boys don’t believe that you have a spine, and hence take the law in their hands. If you are the government, Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, sir, for we love you unconditionally, knowing that you cannot protect our lives and loves. If you can, then prove it. On the day of love.