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Update: Dec 7th 2014 

Update On The 'Kiss Of Love' Campaign In India

 We talked about the 'Kiss of Love' campaign in India back in November, campaign that encourages people to indulge in public display of affection to protest against moral policing. 

Well, the campaign is still very much going on. It had started in north Kerala’s Kozhikode city after a coffee shop was vandalized by a group of people protesting against “public display of affection” by some couples there. It soon spread across the nation.

The latest news on the campaign is that the campaign was marred by sporadic violence on Sunday in parts of Kozhikode city with those for and against it coming to blows. The police had to resort to 'lathi' charge and even took few of people into custody as per TOI. TOI also reported that at the famed Sweat Meat street called "Mithai Theruva", famous for "Kozhikode Halwas", activists allegedly belonging to Shiv Sena, attacked documentary filmmaker Didi Damodaran and her husband after they kissed each other, expressing solidarity with the "Kiss of Love" protest. 

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 Fareed Zakaria At CNN Talks About India's 'Kiss Of Love' Campaign ..

Interesting update to India's 'Kiss of Love' campaign is that Fareed Zakaria, the well-known CNN anchor person of Indian origin, covered the campaign on his show in the 'Last Look' segment on CNN in late November. Zakaria compares India's 'autumn of kissing' to America's 'summer of love' in 1967, only 47 years later. Interestingly, Zakaria took his viewers back in time to 2007 when the famous American actor, Richard Gere had dipped Shilpa Shetty, kissing her several times on the cheek during a public appearance. The aftermath of the incident involved street protests, burning of Gere's effigies and an arrest warrant issued for him. Zakaria mentions his own childhood in India when you never saw kissing on TV or movies. He says, "You see, kissing is public is considered taboo by many in India." Fast forward to today, Zakaria informs that when an angry mob objected to public display of affection, this time, there has been a counter movement against moral policing. There have been protests and rallies in many Indian cities compromising the 'Kiss of love' movement. Zakaria ends the 'Last Look' with-"I guess India will have to decide for itself whether a kiss is indeed just a kiss'.

We say you?

(Watch the video here)

Original Story From Nov 12th 2014

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"KISS OF LOVE" CAMPAIGN? WoW INDIA IS CERTAINLY CHANGING                       NOV 12 2014

(Photo Credit: Brijesh Tiwari, 'Kiss of Love' Facebook page)

If you're an Indian or PIO (the official term given to us- People of Indian Origin), chances are by now you have learned to discreetly look away when you witness PDA (public display of affection). But even in the 21st century, when you start seeing pictures of Indian couples engaged in a full on mouth kiss on Indian websites and Facebook pages, you do look again. 'Looking again' leads to unearthing what's going on, for you instinctively know something is going on.   

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What is 'Kiss Of Love'?

'Kiss of Love' is a campaign  against moral policing, as per the 'Kiss of love' Facebook page that has over 100,000 'likes'. The campaign that has swept India encourages youngsters to  indulge in public display of affection as means of protesting against moral policing that political parties and religious organizations try to do. The Facebook page describes the movement as- 'A group of young bloods join their hands together to prove the society that kiss is the symbol of love .And we start out fight against cultural fascism and Moral policing.'  

 

How did the campaign start?


According to 'The Hindu', the campaign started after a coffee shop in north Kerala’s Kozhikode city was vandalised by a group of people (the right wing groups) who were protesting against “public display of affection” by some couples there. To protest against the incident, “Kiss of Love” event was held in Kochi on November 2. The police stopped the protesters from reaching the event. However, the Facebook page fanned the interest of the youngsters prompting several similar events that have been organised in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai.


Status quo of the campaign ..


According to 'The Hindu', the campaign debuted in Delhi this Nov 8th when the protesters tried to march from the Jhandewalan metro station to the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) office. They were, however, stopped by the police who  had set up barricades on the roads. The following day on Nov 9th, a similar such event was held at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in New Delhi. The youth hugged and kissed in public at the Ganga Dhaba to protest against moral policing. Their argument, as quoted in the same article- “We want freedom to express our love. Kissing hugging has been there in our vedas, it’s there on the walls of Khajuraho,” said a student." 

Several more events have been organised all over India calling to protest against moral policing, welcoming all continuations of the protests. 


On the campaign ...

As per Reuters India, who describes the campaign as a 'mass-kissing campaign', Modi has not yet commented on the protests. But a spokesman for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said: "Our Indian culture does not permit us displaying such kinds of affection in public spaces."

Dr. Subramanian Swamy, an Indian politician (president, Janata Party) and a public figure with a sizable fan following on social media, has this to say on the topic-

 "The nations in the western world are rethinking the whole liberal hype because the consequence have not been something to be proud of- Teenage pregnancies, rampant divorces, dysfunctional families, general depression & suicides. Freedom is a human right but without ethics to guide that freedom, it usually results in a disaster for everyone concerned. So they are adopting lessons from our way of our life- the value system & discipline to best leverage their sense of freedom guided by the ethical responsibility. However, unfortunately we are copying what they have left behind. "


We say ... 


We certainly and collectively dislike the moral policing that we know goes on in many predominantly Islamic countries. Post 9/11, the world in one voice condemned 'Taliban', the Islamic extremist regime that ruled Afghanistan for less a decade.. So raising voice against moral policing makes sense. We have to admire the youth of India to stand up and take a stand. It makes sense to nip it in the bud before it blossoms. That said, the question then is what form to take to protest against moral policing? Again, will have to agree with the young that public display of affections to protest against forces that try to thwart that is not a bad idea. In fact 'Kiss of love' is rather innovative and exactly the kind of campaign that will easily garner quick and motivated support from the youth. And students have a point when they say we come from a land where our temples depict positions of 'love'. We are the land of 'Kamasutra'.

On the other hand, Dr. Subramanian Swamy does have a point when he says that the nations in the western world are rethinking the whole liberal hype because the consequence have not been something to be proud of- Teenage pregnancies, rampant divorces, dysfunctional families, general depression & suicides. If we consider this, where does that leave us? To support or not support the 'Kiss of love'??? How much we curb PDA but definitely stay away from moral policing. Agree?

What say you? 

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