Conservative right-wing activists in India have their own version of how Valentine’s Day should be celebrated, if at all.
Never before have Indian lovers found themselves in such a situation.
Accustomed to being chased by patrolling policemen from behind clumps of rose bushes at parks, I wonder if they are not a little bemused by the sheer number of people who have turned protector of young love.
They find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between Hindu hardliners with a mandate to protect Indian culture from Western influence and anti-moral policing groups bent on helping them keep dates on Valentine’s Day.
Several citizen and political groups have spoken out against plans by the Sri Ram Sena, a little-known Hindu group, to stop couples canoodling on Valentine’s Day saying it went against Indian culture.
I know the lovers have always had it tough, but dating on V-Day this year might not prove to be easier.
If preparations are anything to go by, then one would think India was at war.
A concerned overseas friend, already jittery following a series of militant attacks in India, heard about the additional police deployment in parts of the country and called up. “Is everything all right? Why the additional security?”