Hindu activists protest Valentine's Day celebrations in India

Members of the radical group Shiv Sena thrashed several unmarried couples who tried to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Activists of radical Hindu group Shiv Sena protested against the celebration of Valentine's Day by thrashing unmarried couples in India on Tuesday.

The Shiv Sena previously had issued a circular against any form of Valentine's Day celebrations — which they say is an indecent form of Western intrusion into the Indian culture — in the northern Indian town of Muzaffarnagar.

The Sena activists heard about a restaurant holding Valentine's Day celebrations and thrashed a few couples who had come to attend it.

The women and youth wings of the Sena took part in thrashing the couples.

VIDEO: Radical Hindu group attacks couples celebrating Valentine's Day

"We want to tell all the restaurant owners that if they took the Shiv Sena's warning lightly, and if they let anybody celebrate Valentine's Day, then this time the Shiv Sena would teach a further and stronger lesson to the restaurant owners," said Manoj Saini, the local Shiv Sena party leader.

Anti-Valentine's Day protests were also seen in Lucknow. The protests there were moderate as students from a school, along with their teachers, led an awareness rally condemning the celebrations of the festival.

The students went on a silent march through the main thoroughfares of the city, carrying placards that exhorted the youth to celebrate Valentine's Day as a day of family and marriage solidarity.

"We students want to prevent all these adopting of foreign traditions and generate harmful effects on the spiritual nature because this is not good," said student Akanksha.

The teachers also said Valentine's Day was against the spirit of Indian culture.

"Semi-nude dances in the hotels and guzzling alcohol, and then young boys and girls go there and dance. All such things must stop," said Krishna Bhushan, a teacher at the City Montessori School.

Protests against Valentine's Day celebrations have caught up with the radical Hindu outfits in recent decades, ever since the holiday came to be widely celebrated among India's urban youth.

Protests were also held in Agra and Bhopal on Monday. In Bhopal, activists of a local outfit named Save the Heritage held a protest gathering at a local temple.

Members of the group offered prayers to the Hindu god Hanuman and warned youth they would face the wrath of their batons if they indulged in the Valentine's Day celebrations.

The foundation of Valentine's Day dates back to 496 A.D, by Pope Saint Gelasius I, the third and last pope of African origin.


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