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From moral policing in India to discrimination in Japan — not everyone is ‘celebrating’ Valentine’s Day

​In India, Hindu Sena is threatening to put couples in jail if they’re spreading “obscenity”.

​In India, Hindu Sena is threatening to put couples in jail if they’re spreading “obscenity”.

(Source:Twitter/nagabodi)

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.”

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​Hindu groups are marching the streets to burn and tear up greeting cards. They say it goes against Indian ‘culture’.

​Hindu groups are marching the streets to burn and tear up greeting cards. They say it goes against Indian ‘culture’.

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.

"The Bharat Sena has demanded appropriate action to be taken against the couples who roam around in public and celebrate Valentine's Day," said Manikandan of the Bharat Sena.
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​Japanese Revolutionary League of Lonely Souls marches against discrimination.

​Japanese Revolutionary League of Lonely Souls marches against discrimination.

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.

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Indonesia wants to stamp out the practice of dating before getting married.

Indonesia wants to stamp out the practice of dating before getting married.

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”.

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Malaysia banned Valentine’s Day in 2005 and the Islamic morality police arrests couples from hotels.

Malaysia banned Valentine’s Day in 2005 and the Islamic morality police arrests couples from hotels.

(Source: Reuters)

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.

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​Iran’s ban on Valentine’s Day and threatens businesses from leading campaigns that promote the celebration of love.

​Iran’s ban on Valentine’s Day and threatens businesses from leading campaigns that promote the celebration of love.

(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.

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Pakistan’s court banned Valentine’s Day two years ago because it goes "against the teachings of Islam".

Pakistan’s court banned Valentine’s Day two years ago because it goes "against the teachings of Islam".

(Source: Pexels)

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In Saudi Arabia, any kind of public display of affection is taboo and celebrating Valentine’s Day could land people in jail for up to 39 years.

In Saudi Arabia, any kind of public display of affection is taboo and celebrating Valentine’s Day could land people in jail for up to 39 years.

A young Muslim couple and their toddler at Masjid al-Haram (Source: Wikipedia)

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