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Valentine's day in Mumbai, India

Reader comment on item: Hating Valentine's Day

Submitted by K. Agarwal (India), Mar 28, 2005 at 17:20

I live in the city of Mumbai in India and as the article mentions the shiv sena does indeed have a problem with valentine's day. Every year there is some lawlessness by them to publicly announce this fact. I was in fact a witness to one such event. A journalist friend of mine informed me that a group of shiv sainiks were going to assemble in front of a popular college in the city and have an anti valentine's day demonstration. Television cameras awaited and soon a van with some local men arrived. They stepped out and one of them produced a big red heart made out of red paper stuck on cardboard. it had valentines day written on it in marathi ( the state language ) and then they ceremoniouslyy burned the heart. The police arrived right on time i.e. 10 minutes after the paper had burnt and some slogans had been shouted (unfortunately i don't speak marathi ) and the mob was very 'kindly' escorted away. Just to prove a point i approached some people from this mob, played my innocent by stander card and asked them what was happening. to my astonishment they had no idea what was being protested but they had been paid some amount of money to come here and scream some slogans !!

The protest is merely a publicity stunt for the shiv sena the kind of which they regularly indulge in. Recently some shiv sainiks tore down a billboard promoting a brand of low cut jeans because they believe the women in the ad were obscenely dressed. I would like to add here that we have departments whereby all promotional material is screened for obscenity etc. before being allowed to be put up.

These are all mere stunts to gain popularity in some areas and play the regressive anti-west and pro traditional card. We are a very progressive urban society regularly inculcating new cultures and technology in our daily lives.

The shiv saina lost miserbly in the last elections held in Mumbai. They lost even in the Dadar area where the shiv sena headquarters and strongest support is located. Hope lives on.
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