Delhi

Peaceful ‘Kiss of Love’ protest in Delhi

Students scuffle with police during a protest against attacks by Hindu outfits on Kochi’s ‘Kiss of Love’ in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Students scuffle with police during a protest against attacks by Hindu outfits on Kochi’s ‘Kiss of Love’ in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty  

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Heavy police presence prevented protesters from reaching RSS office

The “Kiss of Love” protest, meant to celebrate the freedom to express love, went off peacefully here on Saturday amid heavy police presence.

However, there were hardly any kisses, except towards the end and they were not allowed to go as far as the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh office as originally planned.

Low attendance

Also, the number of protesters was significantly lesser than the numbers who had registered online for the event. Around 1,500 people had registered on the Facebook page of the campaign, the attendance was very low.

The protesters, about 50 in number, were stopped near the Jhandewalan metro station. They however made the most of the opportunity. From shouting slogans like “Sanghi gunde hoshiyar, tere saamne karenge pyar” to singing songs like “pyaar kiya to darna kya” and even managing a few kisses, they did it all.

After this, they moved towards the Jhandewalan roundabout where the police had barricaded all roads leading to the RSS office. The policemen were to arrest anyone who tried to break the barricades. A lot more kissing was allowed to happen towards the end.

Love must be above politics and the right to express it must be above any fear – this was the prime reason that motivated the group of students to organise the “Kiss of Love” protest. Despite a shortened route, the protesters were still happy with the outcome.

“We got an overwhelming response. It was a spontaneous thing organised by us only two or three days ago. We just put up a page on Facebook. And, although we did not go as far as the office, I think we made our point which was that love is above politics,” said Ritwik Agarwal, a research scholar from Delhi University.

He was very specific that they were not affiliated to any student or other organisation and they did not subscribe to any ideology other than the innate right that humans must have over their own bodies as also the right the choose whom they want to be with.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Sangh Parivar, however, chose to attribute political motivations for the protest. “These are communist, naxal and Maoist organisations. All their ideas and views end at bodily pleasure. Their leaders are accused in many cases of sexual harassment.”

Students from Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University took part in the protest.

The movement began when activists from Kerala decided to protest against alleged moral policing by the right-wing groups by organising a mass kissing campaign on November 2. The campaign was launched on social media after a coffee shop in North Kerala’s Kozhikode city was vandalised by a group of people who criticised the public display of affection by some couples there.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:55:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/peaceful-kiss-of-love-protest-in-delhi/article6578997.ece

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