I never suspected I would have anything in common with Hindu hardliners, but then I read this report, titled “Hindu Hardliners Burn Valentine Cards.”
The story from New Delhi begins by informing us that “nearly 50″ representatives of a group called Shiv Sena “burned Valentine’s Day cards and posters in the Indian capital on Monday, protesting the international day of love that they say imposes Western values on India’s youth.”
This was actually a restrained protest, as these things go. “In the past,” the AP reports, “Hindu nationalists have ransacked shops selling cards and harassed young lovers seen holding hands in public.” This time, protesters made due with burning their own cards and chanting slogans. Their protest was cordoned off by police and they were prevented from “marching through the sprawling Delhi University campus.”
In fact, it must have been a downer for some protesters, who had to watch in horror as “young students continued to move around exchanging flowers and cards.”
The local chapter head of Shiv Sena charged that multinational companies were promoting Valentine’s Day to earn money off of the kids’ cheap sentiments. He warned: “This is against Hindu culture and corrupts India’s youth.”
No argument from this quarter, but I’m not sure that angry public demonstrations are the best way to go. I mean, if book burning ends up promoting free speech, just imagine what monster could rise from the ashes of those Valentine’s Day cards.