Lucknow: Saffron outfit Hindu Mahasabha has planned to oppose "western ways" of displaying affection on Valentine's Day this Saturday by floating its own traditional equivalent to celebrate the festival of love in the form of Basant Panchami.
"If there is any Hindu festival which comes close to Valentine's Day, it is Basant Panchami when new blooms add a festive hue to the atmosphere and there is a traditional way of celebrating it. "But, these celebrations are now on the wane and the youth are embracing western traditions," Hindu Mahasabha President Chandra Prakash Kaushik said.
"Our teams will visit malls, parks, historical monuments and other places frequented by young couples on Valentine's Day in major towns and cities in the country," Kaushik told PTI. The Hindu Mahasabha has chalked out a nationwide strategy to deter youth from displaying their affection in public warning that they could be married off.
"We are not against love as we are the country which has spread love all over the world but we are against the western influence on our society and by offering white flowers we will be spreading the message of peace," he said.
Hindu Front For Justice, a Lucknow-based group working "for providing justice to Hindus" has also opposed Valentine Day celebrations on February 14 saying it has no relevance nor does it suit the Hindu way of life.
"As per the shastra (scriptures), Basant Panchami is the Hindu equivalent to Valentine's Day but we celebrate it with dignity and as per the Hindu dharma and customs," Hari Shankar Jain of the Front said.