A right-wing group in India, the Hindu Sena, is threatening to hand couples over to the police if they’re found spreading “obscenity”. Acting as the nation’s moral police, they plan to monitor most urban cities. The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti called Valentine’s Day, “A cultural conversion of Hindus.”
Representative image of Bajarangdal members burning cards on Valentine's Day in 2013 (Source: BCCL)
In the South Indian town of Coimbatore, two political groups — the Bharat Sena and Shakti Sena — have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the youth doesn’t go against what they feel is, Indian ‘culture’.
The Shakti Sena was seen tearing up Valentine’s Day cards at a demonstration in the city while the Bharat Sena took their protest to the district collector’s office.
Kukumeiteki Himote Doumie men march against Valentine's Day (Source:Twitter/kakuhidou1)
In Japan, women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. A month later, on White Day, men give women chocolate — to keep things equal.
However, a group of protesters called the Kukumeiteki Himote Doumie — The Revolutionary League of Lonely Souls — march against both holidays with equal vigour. Their slogans include, “resist romance capitalism,” and “Don’t discriminate others on the number of times someone has had sex.”
The group is fairly small and mostly made up of men. But, for the first time last year, women joined their ranks. They also protest on Christmas, which is traditionally a date night for couples in Japan.
Stuents holding up anti-Valentine's day placards in Indonesia (Source: AFP)
The Indonesia Tanpa Pacaran, a Muslim group, has declared February 14 “Indonesia Without Dating” Day. Today they’re hosting rallies, talking at events across the country to discourage the practice of dating before marriage.
Hardliners have been protesting against Valentine’s Day for years in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim country. They believe that the holiday violates the Islamic law of Sharia for two reasons. One, it celebrates a Catholic saint and two, it’s associated with romance and sexuality.
According to Public Radio International (PRI), generation Z is popularizing these puritanic attitudes. An advocate for feminism, Dina Afrianty, argues that this backlash is “pretty much about domesticating women”.
Malaysia has a Muslim-majority like Indonesia. It banned Valentine’s Day in 2005. According to the Islamic authorities, the holiday is based on a Christian priest, and goes against the religious ruling of fatwa.
On this day, the Islamic morality police (JAIS) goes around raiding hotels and arresting couples in what they call an anti-Valentine’s Day campaign.
"I think Valentine's Day is quieter this year. There's not much excitement, people are scared," a local resident told Asia One.
I think Valentine's Day is quieter this year. There's not much excitement, people are scared, a local resident told Asia One.
(Source: Twitter/Reza H. Akbari)
In Iran, Valentine’s Day has been labelled a “decadent Western custom” and a “cultural threat”. The authorities aren’t only keeping couples from celebrating the holiday but also threatening businesses with prosecution if they’re found selling Valentine’s Day gifts.
Nonetheless, establishments in Tehran are reportedly still taking reservations, selling Teddy bears and chocolates. However, reports also point out that any establishment engaging in such practices also have lookouts to ‘spot’ inspectors out on patrol.
A young Muslim couple and their toddler at Masjid al-Haram (Source: Wikipedia)