Meting out Valentine justice, Bajarang way

by Ramesh Kandula

One gets to hear of Bajarang Dal only on February 14, the Valentine’s Day. On Tuesday too, the overexcited cadres of Bajarang Dal fanned themselves across the state to teach us Indian values and hand over summary punishment to helpless romantic couples.

Media reports said that at least half a dozen couples were forcibly married off by the saffron-clad marauding troupes in Hyderabad, Nizamabad, Guntur etc. The self-styled defenders of Indian culture went about raising slogans of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and pounced upon love birds when sighted and made them to tie the knot in an exercise of instant marital justice.

Valentine’s Day may be a farce in Indian context, but what is baffling is that the Bajarang Dal should take upon itself to protect us from the insidious western culture. The guys who claim to be protecting Indian (Hindu?) culture come across more as hooligans than as representatives of Indian ethos.

No one seems to have objected to their Valentine eve threats that a boy and girl seen together on the day in public would be married off. No one appears to be offended that the moral police should be wandering around the streets with ‘taali botlu’ in their pockets to be flashed for their instant weddings.

While the saffron group has a right to go about enlightening people on the perils of pandering to western influences, what one fails to understand is their assumption that they have the divinely granted right to force people into wedlock on the spot for violating their code of conduct.

One shudders to think that forcing couples into wedlock by some self-appointed and misguided outfits is not regarded to be much of a crime in our society. How come the police and the authorities treat such brutal cultural imposition with kid gloves?

Is it because there is some undercurrent of sympathy even among those in the establishment against the so-called ‘western influence’? Are they discreetly letting the saffron brigade to let us fall in line with ‘Indian culture’?

More than the fact that there seems to be no law in this country that frowns upon such barbaric intrusions into the love life of private citizens, the absence of outrage on the part of the civil society is more disheartening.