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‘Kiss of Love’: Students Protested With Hugs and Kisses against Moral Policing

After Hyderabad and Kerala, the students of Jadavpur and Presidency Universities in Kolkata have successfully hosted the “Kiss of Love” protest against the act of moral policing across the country.

After there were arrests and charges in the “Kiss of Love” event held in Kochi Marine Drive, the protest held on Wednesday in Kolkata seemed to be peaceful while the students kissed, hugged and walked from the Jadavpur University gates to the Jadavpur police station.

A student had reportedly said before the event, "We are protesting against the organised instances of moral policing. Interested citizens are welcome to join us. From Kochi to Kolkata, instances of moral policing are not rare. A saffron wave is slowly but surely engulfing the country — be it through accusations of conducting ‘Love Jihad’ for loving a person from a different religion or attack on young people displaying affection."

The Presidency University students have held a congregation outside the iconic Coffee House strongly denouncing moral policing. Posters and banners containing popular poems on love and struggle were also carried by the students.

The students protested against moral policing said that nobody could impose or order them what should they do or how should they be. However, many of them have reported that they are victims of moral policing.

The “Kiss of Love” event was an after effect of the vandalism of the Downtown Cafe restaurant in Kozhikode. The state has witnessed widespread protests against the act of ‘moral policing’ after the activists of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha destroyed the restaurant claiming ‘immoral activities’ were encouraged in the cafe. The youth wing of BJP has destructed the hotel after a local channel aired some video footage alleging the restaurant promotes immoral activities.

The event organised at Marine Drive by a group of youngsters against the moral policing has gained attention of people all over the country. The protest has been organised by a group in the popular social media website facebook by creating a page and posting their views and ideas about the event as well as moral policing.

The posts invited people to come forward to participate in the event with their partners to kiss or hug at Kochi Marine Drive. The event was welcomed by many and has paved way for controversies too.

There were huge discussions and debates regarding the event, where some brought in the concept of ‘the culture and tradition of Kerala’. Though the permission for the event got denied from the police, it was held in Kochi on Sunday, where many were arrested.

In the facebook page “Kiss of Love,” the members in the group have expressed their disappointment and anger towards moral policing ‘act’. It said, “The only motive of our campaign is to oppose cultural fascism using the democratic methods that are backed by our Constitution.” It says, “We have clear cut politics and that is rooted in the concept of individual freedom. We are against cultural fascism and fundamentalistic ideologies. We are not protesting against the law, rather we are protesting against the lawlessness of moral policing.”

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