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Love-making in the air this Valentine's Day
It is time of the year when love is in air for young urbanites, and in huge demand are lovey-dovey images of hearts, flowers, chocolates, candy, lingerie, fancy condoms, cakes, cookies, and angels. Young Indians may be planning something special, as this day is credited with causing a spark.

Calling it ‘culturally offensive’, the so-called moral policing groups like Shiv Sena are strongly opposing Valentine’s Day celebrations. Other right wing Hindu groups like Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) feel that celebrating Valentine’s Day and following western traditions in general leads to ‘rape and other sexual assaults’. Are young urbanites really listening to these moral policing groups?

“When my parents have no objection to celebrating this day with my girlfriend, why do these political parties have a problem? This is our business to do whatever we want to. What is wrong in having sex on this day when our monuments of Khajuraho openly flaunt sexual foreplay and intercourse,” asked Ajay Grover, a student of history at Hindu College, Nagpur.

His girlfriend Khushi Sinha added, “What culture are these moral policing groups talking about? India has lost its culture long back. Kamasutra, books, ads, Internet etc., everything gives knowledge of celebrating love and lovemaking in graphic details. Why not stop this first? Giving and taking gifts among lovers and couples are becoming old trend. This year, beyond any doubt sex is in the air than love.”

Surprisingly, this year, young people in India want something different. Red decorations of most public centres, shops, malls and special gift items designed for this purpose are not attracting them much. Women lingerie shops are looking more tempting. One well-known condom manufacturing company is throwing a party in Delhi on Valentine’s night with theme ‘the night is yours, the night is young, come celebrate the night of love’.

“Let see how many lovers are going to join? We will not permit this. How can we forget brutal rape case of a young girl in Delhi? On one side, people demonstrated to make Delhi safer for women and on the other side these young people don’t even feel ashamed to talk about sex and condoms in media,” said Julia Fernadez, member of People Rights Activities.

Supporting young urbanites, actress Gul Panag said sex is an “integral” part of life. “It’s naïve to be in denial. Since it’s happening anyway, overtly or covertly, why not acknowledges it?” she asked. She added, “Let’s not ignore the importance of practising safe sex, especially in our country where AIDs awareness is much needed.”

Valentine’s Day is not only about its contagious nature and pervasiveness. It is also about gifts for someone special and for some, sex. At the end of the day it is up to people to decide how they celebrate the day.

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