14/02/2016 7:59 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Does Your Girlfriend Have A Mangalsutra Yet?

An Indian couple enjoy a sunset view from Marine Drive in Mumbai, India.
Caleb Kenna via Getty Images
An Indian couple enjoy a sunset view from Marine Drive in Mumbai, India.

Dear love birds,

Valentine's Day is here. Are you hoping for flowers, chocolates, a diamond ring? Guess what, you can expect a hell of a lot more in India on this special day of love. You can expect a forceful marriage. You can expect some beating and harassment. Shocked? It's true.

Ever heard of the Valentine's Day police? Have a look

Another form of intolerance

Every year on Valentine's Day, India tastes another version of 'intolerance'. Some enlightened extra-constitutional groups think this one-day celebration can reduce India's moral fabric to tatters. They are the so-called 'protectors of Indian culture'. According to these groups, Indian culture forbids 'public display' of love. For them, it is 'immoral', a 'Western concept' and something that makes you 'impure'.

This year, however, some newspaper reports suggest that these groups might be undertaking silent demonstrations instead of the usual ritual of assaulting couples and marauding through public parks. Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal activists are saying that they will not "harass couples". If that's true then you might even be able to hold hands in public. However, you cannot take their word for granted. There are many of them and they are subdivided into various smaller factions. Nobody knows what they believe in.

Some precautions to take

Take a few precautions and you can save yourself from the embarrassment of being slapped on the streets. I know, it sounds ridiculous. But what to do? We are living in tough times.

  1. Make sure your girlfriend is wearing a mangalsutra
  2. By doing this you can claim that you are within 'the boundaries of Indian culture'. You can claim that she is your wife. They don't have any problems as long as you are married. There's no problem being married for a day. It will be a wild experience for both of you.

  3. Avoid going out with your sister
  4. You may not want to come back home wedded to your sibling. If there is any emergency then you can always carry your Aadhaar cards to prove the adhaar (basis) of your relationship.

  5. Avoid parks and gardens
  6. These public parks are hot-spots for the moral police. Malls and restaurants are a tad safer.

Can the real police/authorities please stand up?

I request the DMs and SPs of all districts to make sure that nobody harasses couples. We look forward to you changing the status quo. I hope the brightest minds of our civil services will implement the letter of the law. It is your duty to maintain law and order in your jurisdiction. Provide adequate police protection to public places. Arrest and prosecute these goons to the full extent of the law.

A note to the anti-love brigade

What do you guys protest against? Hugs and kisses? Greeting cards? Your outrage is both funny and ridiculous. It is also completely illegal. Why are you so desperate to pry into other people's lives? This country was established on the rule of law and not on any cultural belief. Don't teach us how to love. Don't teach us Indian culture. We are more Indian than you can fathom. This moral policing has to end. Don't make a mockery of our Constitution. Try reading the Constitution. It will help.

It's just love. Your culture is safe.

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