February 14, 2007

Sticks and Swords against Valentine's day


(The Telegraph
February 12, 2007)

Sticks out for V-Day

Bhopal, Feb. 11: It’s meant to be a festival of love, but the preparations couldn’t have been more warlike.

Sticks are being polished and swords have come out of their sheaths as Valentine’s Day nears in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh.

Even axes have been kept ready in case it comes to a showdown — between those against celebrating a western “concept” and their rivals who wouldn’t brook any interference in personal freedoms.

The Bajrang Dal and the Shiv Sena are determined to “stop” what he called “the attack on Indian culture”.

Vishal Purohit, who heads the Dal’s Bhopal unit, said: “We have prepared our sticks by worshipping them to use against people who promote western culture.” Purohit said he and his men will visit hotels and restaurants and stop celebrations on February 14. State Sena chief Rajendra Gupta said his men will “do whatever possible to stop the celebrations”.

On the other side of the divide, the Swaran Mahila Morcha, an outfit that claims to represent upper castes, said its women would use “sword, gada (mace) and battleaxe” to take on the Dal. Another group, the Rashtriya Secular Manch, said it would field stick-wielding women to “provide security to citizens which the Shivraj Singh Chauhan regime has failed to provide”.

“If the Bajrang Dal uses force, we will match them,” said Monu Saxena, state general secretary of the Congress’s National Student Union of India.

State police chief Anand Rao Pawar has asked district police chiefs to ensure that nobody interferes with the personal freedom of anyone.

In the last three years that the BJP has been in power in Madhya Pradesh, the day has seen violent clashes. Even brothers and sisters were made to do sit-ups for travelling together.

Madhya Pradesh: Bajrang Dal activists burn V-Day Cards

MP readies guns and roses for V-Day
Posted Tuesday , February 13, 2007 at 18:03

DARING DISSENT: Bajrang Dal activists display V-Day cards before burning them in Bhopal.

Bhopal: Even as the Hindu rightwing Bajrang Dal gains support from a Muslim group to oppose Valentine's Day celebrations in Madhya Pradesh, it faces women's groups vowing to protect young lovers from such moral policing.

A voluntary group of Muslims headed by Maulana Anis S Ahmad has appealed to people not to celebrate western festivals, but to follow Indian culture.

"We urge the youngsters not to be influenced by western culture," said Ahmed, who, however, discouraged the use of force to stop anyone from celebrating the day.

Two women's groups, belonging to the Sawarna Samaaj Party (SSP) and the Rashtriya Secular Manch (RSM), have decided to take on those threatening to oppose Valentine's Day celebrations in the state, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

If the SSP is threatening Bajrang Dal members with a mace (lord Hanuman's weapon), the RSM has decided to form baton-wielding groups of women to dissuade Bajrang Dal activists from disrupting lovers on Wednesday.

"These women will provide the necessary security to citizens if the state government fails to do so," said RSM convenor Chandna Arora. "We will follow the Bajrang Dal workers on February 14 to prevent them from misbehaving with lovers."

The Congress' student wing National Students' Union of India (NSUI) has also decided to oppose "any act of the Bajrangis".

"NSUI workers would first give roses to Bajrang Dal workers while requesting them not to disturb anyone. Then they would inform the police in case anyone is harassed and lastly take the law into their own hands if the police fails to act," said NSUI state secretary Abhay Kushal Tiwari.

The NSUI has formed teams to defend lovers in case of harassment and even launched a helpline.

State officials said police forces had been deployed in hotels, restaurants and picnic spots across the state in view of the warning.

"We will not let anyone interfere in the personal freedom of a person. Action will be taken against anybody trying to violate the law," said superintendent of police Anant Kumar Singh in Bhopal.

The Hindutva campaign against amour will be carried on by a vivah rath (marriage chariot) manned by activists of Dharma Sena and Durga Vahini - two Hindu organisations.

"We will catch hold of couples meeting in public places, parks and restaurants and get them married. If they will not marry, the girl will have to tie a rakhi (a thread on the wrist establishing brother-sister relation)," said Bajrang Dal leader Rajendra Gupta.

"The couples will be more afraid of marriage than a scolding, beating or blackened faces," he said, adding that after the marriage the boys and girls would be handed over to their family members.

Notwithstanding such threats, youngsters are thronging gift stores for cards, chocolates and stuffed toys for their valentine.

Sena begins moral-policing in Jaipur

Sena begins moral-policing in Jaipur
February 13, 2007 at 19:13)

LOVE LOST: Protestors say they wanted to warn couples from being caught in public places ahead of Valentine\'s Day.

New Delhi: Reports of moral policing by right wing organisations during Valentine's Day celebrations have already started pouring in.

Around 24 Shiv Sainiks protested in Jaipur by burning greeting cards in a shop. Soon after, they headed for the city's Central Park, pulled up couples sitting there, and forced them to leave.

Protestors say they wanted to warn couples from being caught in public places ahead of Valentine's Day, which according to them goes against Indian Culture.

February 11, 2007

Valentine's Day against our culture: RSS


Valentine's Day against our culture: RSS
Press Trust of India

Sunday, February 11, 2007 (Bhopal):

Claiming that Valentine's Day celebration was against Indian tradition, RSS on Sunday said the Sangh was not averse to the concept of love or marriage but opposed its exhibition under influence of Western culture.

"There is no ban on love marriage in the country. Sangh believes in love and that marriage is a part of Indian tradition we have been following as a lifetime commitment," RSS executive committee member Ram Madhav said.

"We are against lewdness during Valentine Day celebrations and the blind race to follow Western culture," he said addressing a function held during the birth centenary year of former Sang leader M S Golwalkar.

People might object to the manner in which some protests are staged but Valentine's Day has no rationale in India, he added.

"If a couple is in love, why don't they get married instead of celebrating the day every year?" he said.

Claiming to have asked "some people" to identify such couples, the RSS leader said "our women's wing members will meet their parents with a suggestion to get them married."

Referring to the Hindu Sammelan organised as part of Golwalkar's birth centenary celebrations, Ram Madhav refuted allegations that functions lead to riots in Madhya Pradesh. Similar meets were held across the country peacefully.

"It is all a creation psuedo-secularists," he added.

Announcing plans of concluding ceremony of birth centenary year celebrations in New Delhi on February 18, he earlier told reporters that senior Hindu leaders, including BJP leader L K Advani and Bhartiya Janshakti President Uma Bharti, were invited for it.

February 01, 2007

Compartments of Godan Express set on fire by a Hindutva mob

Godan Exp torched, curfew in Gorakhpur
Posted Thursday , February 01, 2007 at 23:32

BURNING TRAIN: Two compartments of Godan Express have been set on fire by a mob.

New Delhi: Two compartments of Mumbai-Chhapra Godan Express have been set on fire by a mob at Mohammadabad railway station near Mau in Uttar Pradesh.

The area is close to Gorakhpur, which has been under curfew after communal clashes.

Hindu Yuva Vahini activists – protesting the arrest of BJP MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath – are suspected behind the incident.

As many as 68 passenger trains to and from Gorakhpur have been cancelled after setting ablaze of 213 up Gorakhpur-Gonda passenger train at Tulsipur in Balrampur on Wednesday.

DM of Mau P Guruprasad said, Gorakpur is already tense and under curfew. Paramilitary forces and other security personnel remained deployed in strength at all sensitive places as precautionary measure.