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‘Frivolous’ It May Be, But Celebrating V-Day Or Not Is Still A Choice We Must Get To Make

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By Zehra Kazmi:

Let’s face it; Valentine’s Day is the most frivolous excuse for a holiday ever. No one except florists and gift shop owners take it seriously. It’s a silly tradition, invented for the sole purpose of extracting money out of lovesick couples.

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

Growing up, I would watch my more popular friends from school receive bouquets, cards and rather ugly teddy bears on Valentine’s Day from their eager to please boyfriends. I was one of those sad girls who would be excited about their gifts, trying so hard to forget my own absence of a boyfriend who could buy me stuff. I was a mopey loser in the corner, I know.

I may have grown up now but my reaction to Valentine’s Day still remains the same – rolling my eyes. However, I still believe that no matter how deep-seated my personal sense of distaste for such blatant display of wealth and “affection” might be it’s no one’s business to stop people from celebrating it.

The Hindu Mahasabha seems ready to bear the wedding expenses of couples who are seen outside on Valentine’s Day. So if you are a broke couple who doesn’t want to spend money on a fancy wedding, all you have to do is step out with your significant other, hold a rose is your hand, install yourself at some local mall or park and wait for a rabid Hindutvavadi to find you. While a prompt Arya Samaj wedding will be forced on Hindu couples, inter-faith partners will have to go through a “shuddhikaran” (purification) ritual.

Chandra Prakash Kaushik, the Mahasabha national president, said, “India is a country where all 365 days are days for love, why then must couples observe only February 14 as Valentine’s Day?”

Wow. What a relevant question.

Considerate Kaushik deeply cares about the sanctity of marriage and love. The couples who claim to be in love will have to pass our marriage test, he has warned. He extends his understanding wisdom towards those who might not to be too sure about getting married out of the blue on a Saturday. “We are not against love, but if a couple is in love then they must get married. In case if the couples claim that they need time to think about marriage, we will tell them that if they are not certain, they should not belittle love by openly going around together. We will also inform their parents,” he explains. While the rationale of these organizations cannot cause anything but a peal of helpless laughter on my side, I realize that the whole thing isn’t so funny for the two people who are publically harassed, shamed and beaten up by these goons while bystanders and the police become mute spectators to such instances of molestation and assault.

For a state that makes grand promises to its citizens about freedom of speech and expression, it’s shameful that we cannot promise security to a young couple out on a stroll on the 14th of February. The problem that we seem to have with love as a concept stems from the fact that despite everything, a part of our society’s consciousness has still not come to terms with the need of people to love each other. We have internalized the values of loveless, “practical” rishtas so much, that for so many of us, compatibility and mutual affection come so low in their list of priorities, it is alarming. Furthermore, our censuring of all things “love’’ is related to our discomfort with a notion that still seems so foreign to us. We, as a society, don’t feel that love is important or appropriate enough to be spoken of in the public realm; it is something that needs to be relegated into the private, an emotion so base that it should never be expressed at all, at least for the right-wing saffron and mullah brigade. Patriarchy seeks to control expression and to tell women who and whom not to love-your child and husband. Love based on mutual respect and choice seems to threaten the social fabric that allows these people to dictate, and that is why they protest so violently against Valentine’s Day.

If the Constitution guarantees us freedom of expression under Articles 19 and 21, this celebration is also a part of it.

Also Read: Marry Your Sweetheart This V-Day – ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’, Brought To You By Hindu Mahasabha!

You must be to comment.
  1. Ducard

    If women want equality, men should not be expected, asked, forced, or emotionally blackmailed to buy cards, flowers, gifts, rings, jewellery, chocolates, teddy bears, dinner etc. Feminists will only throw equality tantrums when it works in their favour.

    1. Dark Knight

      Well said.

    2. Ducard

      I’m mere Ducard, but I speak for Ra’s al Ghul.

    3. Ananya

      I read the article, then read your comments and then read the article all over again just to ensure that I was reading a comment on the same article. I’m well aware of your hatred for feminists, being a regular reader on this forum. But please take the time to first read the article and then comment. Come on! If its women bashing that you want to do, do it in a way that shows your passion for the cause. Go find logical arguments and put them on relevant articles. Don’t just do it half heartedly. Same type ka comment everywhere! Rise to the challenge my friend! Do your best to accomplish your noble goals.
      Oh also I would love to know where you got “women force men to buy them gifts” from an article on Hindu Mahasabha.
      Lastly, if you want equality and your wife/gf works too, don’t ever expect, ask, force or emotionally blackmail her to cook or leave her job to take care of the kids.

    4. Ducard

      She doesn’t work. She spends all her time wasting my money on her shopping expenditures – daily.

    5. Ananya

      Oh good lord!
      I had a moment of deja vu and I went back to this article- Do Women Have To Be Permanently Pregnant For Husbands To Contribute In Household Work? (http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2015/02/womans-role-in-marriage/) And sure enough there was a comment by you that summarised your relationship as follows “…emotionally blackmail me to have sex with her, and listen to her complain endlessly about anything and everything”. I’ll stick with what I said last time-the article is least of your concerns. I would have put forth an intelligent response but it seems that writing such statements is a way for you to rant about your marriage/wife. I’d rather not comment on that. It’d be a waste of my time.

    6. Ducard

      As I said, if there has to be equality, why is it that I must work, pay the bills, rush to buy groceries when I return exhausted from work, take my wife to the doctor, call the plumber, go to the petrol station, get my vehicle fixed, run all the errands, while my wife spends all her time either watching TV or shopping?

    7. Ducard

      Ananya, you need a path.

    8. Fem

      Ummm…. I am trying to post a comment but not able to. Why? This is just a test message. Not needed answering.

    9. Fem

      Ok, so this went!… Hmmm

  2. Ducard

    Great video shared by Dark Knight

    http://youtu.be/8u1TFk2Sun8

    1. Ananya

      😀 You make so much sense! This is the link to a music review of the movie Roy-http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2015/02/roy-music-review/
      you have missed this article. Please go ahead and post acomment on how women are whiny, dominating and brats. Go ahead! Because who cares about any connection between the article and the comments.
      I’d rather not continue a conversation with a person who refuses to see sense and must post a comment for the heck of it. I could literally feel my brain cells dying as I read your reply. Have a good day.

    2. Ducard

      Women are lovely, I’m sure you are. But to ask for gender equality and while having advantages and privileges does not make sense.

      My name is merely Ducard, but I speak for Ra’s al Ghul, a man greatly feared by feminists. A man who can offer you a path.

    3. Divyansh

      Bang on, Ananya. Our friend Ducard here needs to settle this at home, not blabber about the issue stressing some(many) stereotypes against women circulating on the internet. 😛

  3. Ducard

    22,000 Dead Men vs 8,600 Dead Women

    Someone please explain to me why Dowry Harassment is a woman’s issue

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Harassed-over-dowry-men-demand-fair-play/articleshow/5241108.cms

    1. Ducard

      *22,000 vs 6,800

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