NEW DELHI: The capital tried to embrace ‘Kiss Of Love’, but massive police presence and counter protests by pro-Hindu groups on Saturday made the going not so easy for the protesters against alleged moral policing.
Police barricades foiled the supporters plan to march towards the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters at Jhandewalan in Central Delhi.
Over five dozen protesters, mostly from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University, gathered outside the Jhandewalan metro station to take part in the event spearheaded by a group of Facebook users.
They held hands, cuddled in public and even kissed. But when a couple was spotted kissing, they were roughed up by the counter protesters from a right-wing group called Hindu Sena.
“Why are we being stopped? The whole idea is to promote love and peace. Those who are getting into confrontation mode aren’t being stopped,” Vipin Krishna, a JNU student, said.
The movement snowballed after activists from all over Kerala decided to protest against alleged moral policing by fundamentalist groups by organising a public-kissing campaign on November 2. Organisers of the Delhi chapter said they chose the venue near the RSS because the right wing outfits have been denying them public spaces to express their affection.
Heavy police presence outside the metro station thwarted their attempts to march towards the RSS office.
And when they succeeded, police barricades blocked their way.
The police said they had orders to arrest those who tried to get past.
The public-kissing event caused traffic jams as marchers clogged the road leading to the RSS office. But they shrunk into huddles and sang love songs whenever charged upon by police or counter protesters.
“Come embrace, hold, shake hands, give high fives... and kiss. They take away our cafes, our pubs, our parks, our galis and mohallas and tell us this is no place to kiss. Let’s go to Jhandewala where the grand office of RSS is located and register our protest,” said the Facebook group of Delhi chapter.