The Business of Valentine's Day in India
Every year, the Valentine's day becomes a media event. Few days before the day, the media channels take interviews of some people who are branded as "right wing groups" , then follow it up with interviews with police on security and finally hold TV debates whether "moral policing" is good for our country. There would be sermonsby film directors, actors and media personnel of what "True Hinduism" is and how India is the land of Kamasutra. Needless to say that the Kamasutra is the only text they have heard of in Hinduism and they care or know little that our ancestors also delivered excellent treatises on numerous subjects including drama, art, music, cooking, sculpture, architecture, physics, botany, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, animal husbandry and so on....
To add masala to the event, the media covers some stray incidents of some groups of people taking law into their hands on this day and then call it "saffron attack on freedom". This is a regular pattern. On an attack on a pub a few years back, Renuka Choudary of Congress partyand Arundhati Roy, a writer gave their views as protectors of "individual freedom". S.Gurumurthy documented these responses and explained how the direction into which the debate is being moved by these so-called protectors of individual freedom is detrimental to the future of the country.
Excerpts from S.Gurumurthy's article1
" All individual- centric economies are deep in debt; but nations more family-oriented and less individual- centric, like Japan, China, India, and generally Asian nations, account for over three-fourths of global savings; the individualist West lives off the savings of family-centric Asia. Today the West says that, in the present crisis only Asia, which has huge savings thanks to family orientation, can save the West, which has almost lost its traditional family lifestyle. The idea of unbridled human rights and unrestrained personal freedom that have led to social and cultural degeneration are increasingly seen as the cause of the present economic crisis in the West.
"S. Renuka Chowdhury, a minister of state, supported a “pub bharo andolan” to take on Muthalik, thus openly encouraging young boys and girls to take to mass drinking in public. And believe it or not, her portfolio is Women and Child Development.
Came an even more mad response to Muthalik’s take on Valentine’s Day. “I support every kind of love, heterosexual, transgender, marital, extramarital”. This is Arundhati Roy sermonising to youths. Why she left out incest from her catalogue of love is not clear. Evidently, the mad act of a freak Hindu in a distant corner of India is sufficient to turn the whole of secular India into lunatics."
Here Renukas and Arundhatis advocate unbridled individualism that has undermined families and morals and dynamited the economies of the West. Renuka questions the idea public morals. Arundhati advocates amoral living. Both seem unaware that an economy built at the cost of family and social morals, too collapses on the ruins of the morals it has brought down. QED: morality supports economics; lack of it ruins economies.
It is also documented in many Western countries that there is a huge spurt in suicides and para-suicides on this day. Read article from US National Library of Medicine : Association between Para-suicide and St.Valentine's Day(2)
Background of Valentine's Day
There are various versions of Valentine's Day. The popular version is that Valentines Day is the celebration of a Christian martyr who sent a love letter to a judges' daughter while imprisoned and then was brutally executed for previously attempting to convert the emperor to Christianity.
Rajiv Dixit(3) of Bharat Swabhiman Trust in a talk reg Valentine's Day, said that while St.Valentine was trying to promote the concept of marriage in Europe as opposed to the general practise of having multiple sex partners, he was executed for doing this.As opposed to this, the concept of Valentine's day in India is being promoted by consumer product companies and so-called "liberals" in media for exactly the opposite effect. Full Video of his talk .
Promotion in Bharat
As per the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said "Valentine's Day is turning out to be a heavy buying festival with a significant jump over the past four to five years"
In 2014, this business is expected to be 300 Million USD ( Rs.18000 crores ) and is growing at 20% per year. Press Release by Assocham link
The size of the market was this large since V-Day is not a single-day fete but is celebrated throughout the week. It starts with
"Rose Day (Feb 7), followed by Proposal Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Kiss Day, Hug Day and Valentine's Day (Feb 14)" .
Celebration of love and marriage are not new to Bharat. Our society has always treated them as ennobling concepts and not mere means to fulfill unbridled individual desires. Attempts to promote vulgarity under the garb of "Valentine love" and thereby de-stabilize society needs to be addressed. Some of those who work to do this, thrive on businesses based purely on sleaze and sex and so defence of all that goes under the garb of Valentine day make business sense for them.
But this nation cannot be left at the mercy of the people who only care to exploit noble values for the sake of business interests. The ennobling values of love and institutions of marriage and family cannot be left at the mercy of these vultures.
The British historian & philosopher, Arnold Toynbee says
"It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way."
But only if the nation is confident of its ethos can it show the way.
(1.www.gurumurthy.net - Valentine's Day Morality and Hype, 2. Association between parasuicides and St.Valentine's Day - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1662519/, 3. Rajiv Dixit on Valentine Day - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1nW7hUGJws, 4. http://www.assocham.org/prels/shownews.php?id=4388)
(About the Author : Ayush is the CEO of Adroitec, an Engineering solutions company...
He is socially active in the Hindu movement and is also the All India Yuva Pramukh of Swami Vivekananda 150th Jayanti celebrations committee headed by Vivekananda Kendra.
He runs a blog www.arisebharat.com)