Valentine’s Day is coming, and people are once again gearing up to have a memorable & romantic day with his/her better half. But this year, it’s gonna be different. In an attempt for, Anti Valentines Day campaign, the Chhattisgarh Government, led by Raman Singh, renamed it to Matru-Pitru Divas, a day for celebrating the love and sacrifices made by our parents.
The BJP led Government has instructed government schools across Chhattisgarh to observe February 14 from now on, as Matru-Pitru Diwas or the Parents’ Worship Day every year.
Guess who’s Idea was this!?
In reality, the government schools in Chhattisgarh have already been carrying on this ritual since two years ago after Asaram Bapu (who is now in jail, facing rape charges) had suggested to the Chief Minister that Valentine’s Day should be replaced with ‘Matru Pitru Diwas’. However, from this year, the state government has officially institutionalized this practice.
According to a circular from the Directorate of Public Instruction, which controls the government schools,
Now, parents’ day is being celebrated. No separate orders will be issued every year in this regard.
As per the new February 14 rituals, parents will also be invited to schools where their children would garland them, perform aarti and offer them sweets. The Hindu Mahasabha had also issued a statement, calling upon the youth to celebrate Valentine’s Day as Mata Pita Pujan Diwas.
What will actually happen?
Sounds like quite an impressive move, made by the Hindu hardliners, right? There’s a twist, though.
While people in Vadodara and Ahmedabad are preparing to celebrate February 14 as a day of “love and worship” for parents, members of Bajrang Dal, in Lucknow, are planning to take priests along with them, to help couples in public places celebrating the day by getting them married on the spot!
The Hindu Mahasabha also has it’s own plans for Valentine’s Day celebrations. Couples found celebrating the Valentine’s Day, considered a ‘foreign festival’ by the Mahasabha, will be subject to a variety of punishments. For Hindu couples, a prompt Arya Samaj wedding will be forced on them, while inter-faith partners would be made to go through a ‘shuddhikaran’ (purification) ritual.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena will opt for “peaceful appeals” to avoid “Western culture”, an organisation well known for its acts of assault and misbehaviour with couples found together at public places on Valentine’s Day. If that wasn’t enough, they have also vandalised shops selling greeting cards, flowers and gifts to mark the occasion.
Want to get Married this Feb 14?
However, according to Rakesh Verma, a convener for Bajrang Dal,
We will give the message this year that Bajrang Dal is not against love but Western culture. People are free to express love across the year but inside their homes and not at public places.
Verma also added that Bajrang Dal workers will be taking priests along with them to facilitate on the spot weddings of couples with “recitation of mantras, exchange of garlands, sindoor and mangalsutra”.
He further added,
If the couples do not agree, Bajrang Dal will ask them to leave the place after giving them images of Shiva and Parvati as well as Krishna and Radha. We will appeal to them to express love like these gods.
UP’s Shiv Sena, Anil Singh said,
There will be no misbehaviour with couples at public places or any vandalism in shops and malls this year. We will decently ask them to avoid Western culture and Valentine’s Day.
So in the end, what seemed like a very impressive and unexpected tradition to have been started by one of our political leaders, once again turned into a means to push their own agenda of religious supremacy and anti-western propaganda, after all.
Let’s just hope they stick to their words and do not engage in violence this time. After all, live and let live, right? One can hope.
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