Oliver Holmes once said ‘The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer’. Looking at the effects of the kiss of love protests, one can’t but consummately agree with those words . There haven’t been a single protest in India in recent times which garnered as much attention for the mode of protest alone. This protest, which is a bold act of defiance against the patriarchal, fascist forces and moral policing in our society, have been growing in popularity and is being conducted in various parts of the country today. But the protesters as well as the protest is being ostracized by a lot of people saying it is against our tradition and is a mere publicity stunt. Is it so?
If we look at this issue from an entirely different perspective, say that of an alien trapped in India like P K, we would find this issue really baffling because how can kissing in public be a sin in a country where pissing in public is the norm, polygamy is legal and child marriages still exists? Well, that’s India for you dear sir, the land of diversities.
India has always been a patriarchal society where majority of the choices of a women’s life, like what to wear and learn, how to behave and whom to marry, are made by men. As we moved forward as a society, women started demanding equality and this didn’t bode well with our cultural supremacists. They used religion and their own bogus version of Indian culture to re-establish their diminishing control over women and thus ‘moral policing’ was born.
Today’s youth, fed up of this tyrannical system which deprived them of basic rights like the freedom to love or to wear a fashionable dress they like, needed to do something. They needed to do something that will get through the thick skulls of these so called protectors of Indian culture that providing equality and basic rights to women is not westernization, it’s about loosing that final shred of ‘cave manism’.
To be or not to be a part of this protest is purely a subjective matter. By not doing anything, we are inadvertently giving them the power to have a say in our most personal decisions. The appropriateness of kissing as a form of protest will remain a matter of dispute. And there will be many who will belittle this protest saying it was all a fluke and that it has changed nothing. But no one can deny that a spark has been created. It is not about kissing in public. It’s about a youth, which refuses to be identified by this made up culture and false sense of morality. And this spark, I believe, has the ability to give us a better tomorrow.