Delhi Metro has carried dozens of ads in its trains running on several routes condemning the Valentine’s Day.
The posters, claiming to be inspired by the self-claimed godman Asaram Bapu, now in jail on charges of raping a minor, have urged people to mark Valentine’s Day as Matra Pitra Pujan Diwas (Day to worship parents) instead.
The ad, which carries a dominating image of Asaram has contrasting photos of children paying obeisance to their parents and an old image of couple being punished by cops for displaying their love in public.
The ad has been placed by a group called Bal Sanskar Kendra, which has urged parents to send their children to its centre for right values to be inculcated in them.
These images have now gone viral on social media platform with many criticising Delhi Metro for ‘endorsing’ what many have termed regressive campaign.
Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, Corporate Communications told PTI, “The Delhi Metro always endeavours to ensure that the advertisements displayed inside the Delhi Metro trains or premises have no objectionable or indecent portrayal of people, products etc. The advertisements were displayed by a private contractor as all the advertising space inside the Delhi Metro premises are allotted to specialised agencies who in turn allot them to interested advertisers. The matter is being thoroughly examined and taken up with the contractor concerned for appropriate necessary action.”
Though members of Bal Sanskar Kendra say they’ve paid for the advertisements to be up until 14 February, Metro officials have indicated that the ads are likely to be pulled down.
“The picture depicts the plight of a couple who were caught celebrating Valentine’s Day in a public park at Raipur where the state government officially celebrates ‘Matri Pitri Pujan Diwas’. We want other state governments to come up with similar orders,” Manish Goswami, the functionary said.
D N Singh, another functionary of Bal Sanskar Kendra was Indian Express, “We are not aware of any directive to pull down the advertisements. We have already paid Delhi Metro for this and have put up posters and hoardings across 50 Metro stations, mostly on the busy Yellow and Blue Line for awareness among commuters. We believe the day should be observed as Matri Pitri Pujan Diwas and not Valentine’s Day.”
Ritesh Sharma, a regular commuter, said, “It is ironical that the Delhi Metro, a symbol of development, has such regressive advertisements. When I saw these on my way to work this morning, I was in shock.”
(Photo source: Twitter)