Why Do Hindu Nationalists Hate Valentine’s Day So Much?

Many people worldwide celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th with flowers, chocolates, and sweet messages. However, many Hindu nationalists across India were not happy with the event and wanted Indians to stop celebrating it.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, two of the most prominent Hindutva organizations in India, have recently mobilized to urge Indians across the country to stop celebrating Valentine’s Day, calling it a Western import that contradicts traditional Indian values.

In the city of Hyderabad, the VHP and Bajrang Dal released a statement calling for Indians to “block Valentine’s Day,” adding that “February 14 is not lovers’ day, it is Veer Jawan Day.

Pagudakula Balaswamy, a campaign leader for VHP in Hyderabad, claimed that celebrating Valentine’s Day is “foreign culture” and against Indian values. He added that volunteers were on the grounds on February 14th, asking Indians to stop celebrating Valentine’s Day.

In its place, the VHP and Bajrang Dal have identified 18 places where we will organize Shradhanjali to the Pulwama jawans, who lost their lives on February 14, 2019,” Balaswamy said, referring to the loss of Indian security personnel due to a suicide bomber on the Jammu- Srinagar National Highway. 

As the VHP cautioned against celebrating the holiday, Bajrang Dal also stated their readiness to thwart any attempts to observe Valentine’s Day in Hyderabad.

Bajrang Dal is all set to stop Valentine’s Day celebrations in the city. Vishva Hindu Parishad strongly condemns the practice of promoting fake love in pubs, clubs, hotels, parks, and movie theaters. Bajrang Dal is ready to stop foreign culture and traditions from being imposed on Indians.” Balaswamy said in a video message.

Balaswamy also clarified that Bajrang Dal and VHP are not against love but are opposed to celebrating it on February 14th.

Corporate forces are promoting foreign culture in the name of love. Why celebrate Valentine’s Day? We can look at the love of Sita-Ram and Satyabama-Sri Krishna, they are our culture,” Balaswamy said.

Valentine’s Day has seen broad opposition throughout Indian society. Writing for the Times of India, writer and surgeon Sadhana Kala suggested that Valentine’s Day should be replaced with Kamadeva Day instead, in honor of the Hindu deity of love and passion. She also added that having Kamadeva Day “will pacify the Rightists and the Leftists violently opposed to Valentine’s Day.

Rightists say it is West’s attack on Indian culture. They threaten violence on practitioners of Valentine’s day and its facilitators like shops selling Valentine’s cards and gifts,” she wrote, referring to Hindu nationalists vehemently opposed to the holiday.

To the Leftists, Valentine’s Day is a front for “Western imperialism,” “neo-colonialism,” “the exploitation of working classes through commercialism by multinational corporations;” it disconnects the working classes, and rural poor, socially, politically, and geographically from the hegemonic capitalist power structure,” Kala also added.

This is not the first time Hindu nationalists have moved to oppose and prevent Valentine’s Day from being celebrated in India. During Valentine’s Day last year, India’s Animal Welfare Board issued an appeal urging Indians to celebrate “Cow Hug Day” instead.

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