news Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 05:30

Monalisa Das | The News Minute | February 12, 2015 | 04:30 pm IST

Thirty-five-year old Mithilesh is a social media manager, and with Valentine's day around the corner, he is making plans on how to deal with the deluge of messages online.

But unlike other social media managers who will be pushing campaigns, gifts and love messages, Mithilesh will be scouring the net for those openly displaying their love on the internet, but are not married.

His team will then send messages, to these couples working against 'Indian culture', on marriage and how it should be the ultimate destination for love, and how public display of affection is simply not done.

Mithilesh, who handles the IT department of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, is one of the volunteers handling the social media monitoring campaign by the organisation on Valentine's day. He is a full time Mahasabha volunteer and refused to divulge too many details about his own wedding, though he believes that as 'upholders of Indian culture', the Hindu Mahasabha is entitled to advise couples.

Apart from the usual rhetoric of 'we will marry off couples roaming on the streets indulging in PDA', the Hindu Mahasabha this year has decided to go an extra step and monitor social media as well on V-Day. Several teams have been assigned to keep an eye on social networking websites. The outfit plans to 'spread awareness' among the youth, explaining them why not to celebrate February 14.

Mithilesh believes this will be a serious exercise to gauge why couples fall prey to a western concept of love. “We will focus on the trends on social media, especially on Twitter, and try to analyse why the youth is falling for such a concept”, he says.

And what will they do by monitoring trends? "We are planning to send them messages to tell them what they are doing is wrong," he says.

“That boys and girls are attracted to each other is not a new phenomenon. It has always been there. What we trying to do is give them a direction”, he asserts. Mithilesh feels that Valentine’s Day is ‘not about love but about exploitation’. This sort of a mentality is being ingrained in the minds of our youth, he states.

Valentine's Day is meant to celebrate love and though marriage is not a per-requisite for love, the Mahasabha feels that women dating men always expect to get married to the same person. “This is the tradition in India. Girls who fall in love want to get married to the same person. Ask any girl.”, asserts Mithilesh. 

In fact the conversation also revealed that the Mahasabha will use the premise of Valentine's day to monitor 'Muslim boys courting Hindu girls.'

“Many girls often come to our office crying after being cheated by Muslim boys. There might be stray cases of Hindu men cheating girls, but the number of Muslim men doing so is higher. It is a conspiracy to defame our women. Girls hailing from poorer families are often made targets”, says Mithilesh adding that such issues need to be viewed from a 'political perspective'.

Loving a person and deciding whether or not to marry them is a personal choice. Then what makes the Hindu Mahasabha think they have a right to regulate what people think or do? “We are trying to safeguard our traditions. Should we stop doing that? And then the media will talk about the crippling traditional values in the society", he states. 

Since reports of the Hindu Mahasabha hit the stands, the social media has been extremely critical of the outfit's 'moral-policing' efforts.

Mithiesh seemingly underplays the organisation's V-Day plans saying "we surely do not believe in moral-policing". "The Hindu Mahasabha does not believe in using force or intimidation. What we are doing is to spread awareness and we take is as our social responsibility to do so", he says as he signs off.

The organization however denies that they will force couples to get married to each other. “We will explain to them that what they are doing is against our culture. If they really love each other, they should not have a problem getting married”, says Chander Prakash Kaushik, National President of the Hindu Mahasabha.

As Kaushik puts it, "Love does not need to be expressed openly, love needs to be felt. What people do in parks is not love. Hindustan has taught the entire world about love, what will they tell us about celebrating a day of love”.

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