‘Observe February 14 as martyrs’ day’

Rightwing Hindu organisation says Valentine’s Day “infringes upon India’s innate culture”

SRINAGAR: A rightwing Hindu organisation on Wednesday demanded that February 14 should be observed as ‘martyrs’ day’ instead of Valentine’s Day in Jammu and Kashmir and beyond in memory of over forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans who died in a terror attack at southern Pulwama district on this day last year.

Shri Ram Sena (SRS), in a statement issued on Wednesday in Jammu on the eve of the first anniversary of the Pulwama attack, urged J&K’s Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu to impose a complete ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations in the Union Territory and said that such activity “infringes upon India’s innate culture”.

SRS’s J&K president Rajiv Mahajan said, “We strongly oppose Valentine’s Day celebrations. These are anti-Indian culture and, therefore, must be banned in J&K.”

He added, “Also, we lost more than forty of our brave jawans in Pulwama terror attack on this day last year. It would be but an insult to the supreme sacrifice that they made if people celebrate February 14 as Valentine’s Day. It should be observed as ‘martyrs’ day’ instead.” Terming the Valentine’s Day as a manifestation of western culture, Mahajan asked youths not to celebrate it.

“We also appeal to all schools managements, government as well as private, to observe it as ‘martyrs’ day by holding two minutes prayer in morning assemblies on February 14 for the martyrs of Pulwama terrorist attack across the J&K,” he said.

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