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When Delhi Wanted To Kiss But RSS Gave It A Miss!

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By Kainat Sarfaraz:

On Saturday evening, the area near Jhandewalan metro station echoed with slogans like ‘Sanghi gunde hoshiyaar, tere saamne karenge pyaar.’ Yet, the Delhi chapter of the Kiss of Love protest couldn’t achieve its goal of ‘kissing’ right in front of the RSS headquarters as the police had barricaded the routes to Keshav Kunj.

Picture Credits: Brijesh Tiwari
Picture Credits: Brijesh Tiwari

When asked why and under what section were the protesters stopped from going to Keshav Kunj, ACP Om Prakash took a moment to reply, “Law and order problem hosakta hai.” He seemed hesitant to state anything more than this. The protesters, mostly students from universities like DU and JNU, remained undeterred. They formed a human chain and continued shouting slogans, clapping, singing songs like Jumma Chumma Dede and Jab Pyaar Kia Toh Darrna Kya near the metro station. They held hands, cuddled in public and even kissed. But when a couple was spotted kissing, they were roughed up by the counter protesters present there.

The Hindu Sena, along with the RSS, ABVP and independent volunteers, had organized a counter-protest barely a few feet away. Slogans like “Paschimi sabhyata wapas jao”and “Vande Mataram” emanated from this side of the turf. The right-wingers said that they were protesting against kissing in public places as it went against our ‘Indian culture’ and also because it is ‘gair-kanooni’. However, they could not explain how kissing in public was illegal. Asked if they were against the Supreme Court decision which clearly states that kissing in public does not come under the purview of Section 298, they said that they respected the Supreme Court – “Par khule aam kiss karna hamaari sanskriti nahi hai”. Pointing towards reporters from BBC, Aditya Pratap Shukla, a staunch supporter of RSS asked, “Why do you think they have come here? What interest do they have in this? It is all a plan to destroy our sanskriti”. He further went on to state that the nation would prosper only if the Sanghi ideologies were followed diligently.

Fascinatingly, Vaughn Bryant, an anthropologist who specializes in the history of kiss, states that the earliest reference to kissing-like behavior comes from the Vedas around 3,500 years ago. And the first mouth-to-mouth kissing was first described in The Mahabharata. Academics who have studied it say that kissing spread slowly from India to other parts of the world after Alexander the Great and his army conquered parts of Punjab in northern India in 326 B.C. Yet, the self-proclaimed protectors of the ‘Indian culture’ cannot stand couples kissing in public places.

Maybe that is the reason why despite repeated attempts, the Kiss of Love supporters were not allowed to march towards Keshav Kunj. This resulted in a change of plan and they resorted to taking on to the main road near Jhandelwan station. Though the three-hour long campaign was mainly about the right to display affection in public places, the organisers also spoke about casteism, honour killings and khap panchayat diktats. Naturally, they were disrupted several times by the right-wing activists. The campaigners then staged a sit-in at Rani Jhansi roundabout and blocked traffic for over an hour. According to Delhi Police, 70 protesters were detained at the Paharganj Police Station for a brief period.

The first Kiss of Love protest was organized in Kerala after the right-wingers had vandalized a pub in Kozhikode. The Delhi episode of it was planned by JNU students through Facebook as they too were against the recent events of moral policing done by the saffron groups. The right-wingers had gone to the extent of threatening and abusing the organisers on the Event page created on Facebook. Yet, students from various groups like The All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students’ Federation (AISF) participated in the protest. Some present there said it was more of a ‘political act’ as these groups were always in conflict with the ABVP. Interestingly volunteers from the ABVP made comments like the ‘communist ideology’ was ‘destroying the Indian culture’. The on-lookers too were skeptic about the choice of place and they considered it ‘provocative’. However, when inquired about the choice of location of the event, one of the protestors, Nayan Jyoti, replied “The police say that we should only protest at Jantar Mantar or Ramleela Maidan. Why can’t we protest anywhere we want?”.

It would be wrong to say that those who support the Hindutva ideology are the only ones against public displays of affection. People across various faith and ideologies were against the Kiss of Love protest. According to them, it is embarrassing to come across such ‘indecent’ activities when they are out with their families. However, the question that needs to be answered here is that if they, who indulge in such activities, do not have a problem in doing so, why should that bother others?

Why judge people on how and where they choose to love?

Why kill people for inter-caste and inter-faith marriages?

Why raise a voice against their freedom?

Also read: “Why We Are Resisting With The ‘Kiss Of Love’: A Note For The Confused”

You must be to comment.
  1. Gaurav

    the problem that we as people suffer is that we want everyone to follow our way of life. but as people what wee refuse to understand is that if you want to live in a certain way, so do i, so if you do not want me to tell you what to do. then you should not tell me what i should do. but the writer and the people who went to RSS HQ do not understand this simple truth. that is the root of the issue.

  2. Gaurav

    would you like it if RSS opened a shakha in your bedroom or conduct a drill when you were having sex with your wife, so then why did people choose RSS HQ for a kissing session. it is clear that some groups have chosen RSS as their target , why has RSS been chosen as a target is becoming clear now.

    1. An In-Your-Face Liberal

      It was on the road. Granted, in front of the RSS HQ or whatever, but in a PUBLIC PLACE, not on private property, like you seem to be suggesting.

    2. Gaurav

      so basically you are fine if RSS conducts drills in front of your home.

  3. randomguy

    Me and my partner are a very loving couple. Sometimes we are overcome by passion and want to make love in a public place (marketplace, chowk etc). But these right wingers don’t allow it. That’s terrible right? If we choose to express our love by having sex in a coffee shop, or railway station, why should it bother anyone? We are keeping business to ourselves, not harming anyone. Who the hell is anyone to stop us from doing a threesome or an orgy in a book fair? Its not against Indian culture at all, its all drawn in the Khajurao Temple! Lets all aim for an India where our children can express their sexuality anywhere they want, markets, schools, restaurants, temples etc. That will be a truly free an advanced India, where everyone has freedom to do anything they want as long as they are not harming others.

  4. Vishal Mandhyan

    ‘Sanghi
    gunde hoshiyaar, tere saamne karenge pyaar.’ ye acha slogan banaya humari youth ne.our youth is the most talented youth in India or we can say multi talented.youth wants to kiss a girl in any place he wants it means he wants full freedom.Luv is nt to showcase it to others.Dis feeling is beyond ur thinking.Its an emotional attachment nd it doesn’t needs NY exposure so y u all want to destroy the Indian culture,y u want to destroy the values given by ur parents.if u r so destined to do protest den protest against system.protest against education system which is getting ruined day by day.what ur parents will think what u r doing on road.protesting fr kiss.great work.tm jaisi youth ka koi haq ni ye puchne ke liye ki black money ka Jo waada kia tha apne woh q ni wapas laye.
    and Youth Ki aawaj website jara a ankh aur kaan kholke article likha kriye.youth ko badawa dene ke bajaye sahi path dikhaye.

  5. Prashant

    “Delhi wanted a kiss, but ….. ”

    Who awarded you the claim to represent the entire Delhi people ?
    Leave Delhi, you are just a bunch of zealous comrades who stole an opportunity to fight against their arch rival (Sanghis).

    Stop this drama. We dont want this nonsense anymore.

  6. Pooja Agarwal

    Lord Macaulay’s address to the British parliament on 2nd Feb 1835-
    ” I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for it that the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truely dominated nation”

    His words did come true. India was conquered.
    The purpose of learning history is to correct the mistakes done before and to not repeat them. But it’s sad that his words are coming true once again.

    Instead of fighting against many other social evils in India, people here are more interested in protesting against our discipline.

    kissing isn’t wrong or illegal. Agreed. It’s just that we maintain some discipline and decency. We learn to control our emotions. We Learn to do the right thing at right place and at right time. we maintain our dignity.

    If this protest continues, there’ll come a time where we’ll be protesting and trying to prove that it’s alright to have relationships with other men and women even after having your own wife or husband or kids, It’s all right to not look after your kids because you just don’t want to. it’s your life, your decisions, so it’s just all right to not take up your responsibilities.

    Here, we try to spread awareness about the importance of voting; there’ll come a day when we’ll start telling that it’s all right if we don’t vote because we don’t want to and we aren’t interested in choosing our leaders. We like partying so we shall go and have fun instead of voting.

    1. jeeka krishna

      Do you understand the difference between freedom and responsibility ?

      Here we are talking about giving us the freedom to love and express our emotions without anyone’s interference. ( moral policing ) Do this . Don’t do that types.

      If somebody doesn’t want to look after their kids (like many parents already do that ) then it is their choice.

      The whole situation is to stop the interference of 2 people by the third party. If 2 people are liking it, then it is their choice . Who are we to say anything ? How does it affect us ?

    2. randomguy

      Do you understand that laws that define what is right and wrong for a person to do are made by taking sociological factors into account and not just individual factors? “2 (or 1) people like to do something, not harming others, whats wrong in that?” This is the flawed argument liberals everywhere give in any such situation. If this was the principle we based our laws on, whole lot of things like drugs, incest, beastiality, public sex would be acceptable since in each of the above, the consequences can be limited to the perpetrator (or pair) without harming anyone else. These are banned because if allowed, they would lead to negative sociological consequences, even though they don’t individually harm others. Now the supreme court did not make kiss illegal wisely so, because it would be bad if people get into trouble for innocent peck on lips and such. That does not mean we should condone full fledged display of sexual/romantic activity in broad public. By liberal logic, why should we stop at kiss just? even making out, sex etc are expressions of love, why are they not allowed if smooching is? And please don’t say that this is for a bigger cause, to protest for moral policing etc. Even I think that sri ram sene and some bjp workers who beat up people are goons and should be stopped, that doesn’t mean I start kissing or parading naked to protest against them. If you want to protest against moral policing, go protest against moral policing, ill do too. But don’t do an overkill, starting a movement when you’re not sure that consequences are perfectly ok.

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