It is 14th February, the day we celebrate love with that special someone. In this blog rather than talking about love, we will be discussing about the way it is celebrated in India and the issues surrounding it.
Mother Teresa once said “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” In this age of nuclear families where many relationships fail to survive, it is very important that couples spend time with each other and appreciate each other’s company.
Every festival in India celebrates love be it Palak Divas, Guru Purnima, Raksha Bandhan, etc. 14th February is a day where people celebrate one such form of love with their partner.
Many who protest have no idea about the origin of the festival so let’s learn more about the noble thought behind celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Origin of Valentine’s day:
A saint named St. Valentinus aka Valentine lived in Rome during the 3rd century. During that era, to keep his army focused, the Roman emperor Claudius II prohibited soldiers from getting married. St. Valentine opposed against this injustice and started marrying off young couple or lovers. Valentine was captured and executed for disobeying the emperor. Though it originates from Roman Catholic tradition, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a tribute to the sacrifice of St. Valentine as well as “Love” and there’s nothing religious about it.
“The history of Valentine’s Day and its patron saint is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains Combination of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.” Res.
This day is celebrated across the world with great enthusiasm. However, in India this day has always created controversies. Every year some political organizations agitate against the celebration of Valentine’s Day. These organisations claim that Valentine’s Day is a foreign tradition and is ruining the youths of India.
“The political party people go to different restaurants and places where the day is supposed to celebrated to wipe out Valentine’s Day decorations. These political parties also demand that this day this day not be celebrated, as it is not a part of Indian culture.” Res.
It is true that Valentine’s Day has turned into a commercial festival; well so did every festival in India! Many religions like Islam, Christian, Jew etc didn’t originate in India. We have millions of brothers and sister from these communities. We cannot prohibit a festival just because its origin is foreign. However, in a democracy like India, bad elements often tend to misuse the freedom given to them.
Love should be mutual and not forced. Women have been teased and harassed in the name of Valentine’s Day. They are often forced to accept gifts and flowers from strangers. Is this acceptable in our culture? No, it is not. If you are protesting against such shameful activities then it is well appreciated. However, beating up a couple who are just trying to spend time with each other is inhuman.
“Close on the heels of the Hindu Mahasabha issuing a threat that they will marry off any couples found together on Valentine’s Day comes news that the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh had issued standing instructions to government schools to observe February 14 as ‘Matru-Pitru Diwas’ or ‘Parents’ Worship Day’.” Res
Celebrating ‘Matru-Pitru Diwas’ or ‘Parents’ Worship Day’ is a noble thought and everybody should do it. However, celebrate one festival to boycott another is just unethical.
“India is against violence, violence of any kind and that is why even if our soldiers are beheaded on the borders we are inviting cricket teams from those countries to play match with us. Then why are we showing violence on this issue?” Res.
India is a country that promotes secularism and socialism. Therefore, such incidents don’t paint a good picture of India amongst other nations. India is the country of Buddha, Vivekananda and Gandhi. We may not be in the elite group of nation but the world considers us to be cultured and a civilized society. As true Indians, we should definitely “practice what we preach”.