Post News Network
Cuttack, Feb 11: With Valentine’s Day just a couple of days away, residents of the millennium city stepped out in search of cards and gifts to buy for their special ones.
Thanks to the moral police’s hostility towards the occasion, several youngsters are shying away from making plans to celebrate with their loved one. But the majority – an unperturbed lot – is thinking of ways to surprise their loved one on the day.
Nirmalya Swain, an engineering student, offers his two cents. “Valentine’s Day is not just for young couples, it is for whoever wants to express their love for someone, be it a friend, parent, sibling, cousin, whoever. That is the idea. Sadly, it has been portrayed by the moral police of our country as an attempt on the part of our youngsters to ‘ape’ western culture,” Swain says.
Another student Vivek Patnayak says the day is exploited by radical outfits who want to make their presence felt. “They behave as if they are the sole custodians of Indian culture. It is in fact they who lend it a bad name. My parents celebrate Valentine’s Day by buying gifts for each other. What is wrong with expressing your love?” Patnayak asks.
Link Road resident Dr Mohan Kumar Gadanayak strikes a contrarian note. “V-Day should be celebrated, yes, but with a certain degree of self-regulated decency. Public displays of affection, which sometimes tend to be bordering on the obscene, should be avoided. I don’t have a problem with people, including my children, celebrating the day as long as such aspects are kept in mind,” Gadanayak said.
“Valentine’s Day has of late come to be only for couples. What people miss out on is that it is a day of love, an occasion meant to express your love to your family and friends too,” says Narayan Mohanty, a businessman.
The significance of the ‘western’ occasion is hotly debated by rightwing radicals and so-called cultural outfits, but that hardly bothers card shop owners and florists who are laughing their way to the bank.
“I’m hardly bothered by the controversies surrounding the occasion, but what I can say is that I get to mint money on this day. The occasion coincides with the marriage season, and for florists like us, it is somewhat like a big bonus. I hope to do good business this year too,” says Sudhakar Swain, a florist near Badambadi.
With Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal publicly hugging his wife after his party’s spectacular win in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, Subhalaxmi Mishra, a student of Ravenshaw University had a word of advice for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Do not ignore your wife. Learn from Kejriwal, send her some flowers and make up. It may change your fortunes,” Mishra said.