Millennium Post

This V-Day, even moral guardians will celebrate love!

This V-Day, even moral guardians will celebrate love!
Well, don’t be. Because it’s not just those who believe in celebrating love who are going to wake up to a pleasant morning this Valentine’s Day, the moral guardians too have their schedules packed for a day of celebrations.

Pious Hindus may not join you in acknowledging the romantic notion of love and the overt and covert expressions of it, but they will be touched by the various ways in which love manifests itself. 14 February, this year, happens to be important in other ways too. Both Guru Purnima and Ravidas Jayanti will be celebrated across India on Friday.

Hindus dedicate Guru Purnima to their spiritual and academic teachers. The festival is celebrated by Buddhists in honour of the lord Buddha who gave his first sermon on this day at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh. Hindus celebrate it in honour of the great sage Vyasa, who is seen as one of the greatest gurus in ancient Hindu traditions and a symbol of the Guru-Shishya tradition. Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh celebrates the day by offering Guru Dakshina.

On the other hand, Ravidas Jayanti will also be celebrated in the country on the same day. President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday, while greeting the nation a day ahead of the Jayanti, said, ‘His (Guru Ravidas) noble message of love, truth and religious harmony is relevant for all times to come.’

Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to lovers and young hearts, has been marred with instances of brutal moral policing and khap-style thrusting of ideas in the past. In 2009 for instance, Sri Rama Sene unleashed violence on youngsters at a pub in Mangalore ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Youngsters, however, are undeterred and geared up for the celebrations. While flowers and stuffed toys will still be popular ways of expressing love, there will be more meaningful routes taken to say ‘they love and show they care’. The One Billion Rising campaign to protest violence against women will kick off in West Bengal on 14 February with the theme ‘I Rise against Sexual Violence’.

Whatever social background one comes from or ideology s/he claims to follow, love does find its way in expressing itself. So if you wish to go for a little PDA this Valentine’s Day, keep the fear away because the moral police will take a day off to celebrate India’s varied and complex cultural rituals.
Vandana Singh

Vandana Singh

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