India: political, religious hardliner groups protest Valentine's Day

...because teddy bears and heart-shaped chocolates represent Western imperialism:


In Rajasthan capital Jaipur, Bharatiya Kamgar and Students' Federation of India, organisations affiliated to the Shiv Sena and CPI-M respectively, said they would "blacken the faces" of those making public displays of affection. Another group, Sanskriti Bachao Samiti, said teams of youth would move around college and university campuses to "detect couples abusing public places".

Apprehending trouble, authorities at the Banaras Hindu University on Tuesday removed a stall selling Valentine's Day cards from the institution's premises. In Maharashtra, seven Shiv Sena workers were detained by police for allegedly burning Valentine's Day cards outside Hinduja College near Charni Road station in Mumbai.

Link (via Bruce Sterling).

More than 150 people were arrested in India today when Valentine's Day protests in Madhya Pradesh turned violent:

A 'rath' (decorated vehicle) prepared by the protesters, mainly activists of the Dharam Sena, for "forcibly marrying couples found celebrating Valentine's Day" was seized in Jabalpur, Additional Superintendent of Police Manohar Verma told PTI.

Link. Apparently, these guys run around every year harshing on everyone else's Valentine's Day mellow. But I NEED photos of these violent "forced marriage floats" of which they speak. And photoshoppery will do just fine. Image above courtesy of ibnlive. More details here, and more upbeat commemorations of the holiday in India are documented here.