In a bizarre move, the Lucknow University has banned the activities of students on the campus on Valentine’s Day. In its press statement, the university has warned the students of disciplinary action if they were seen on the campus on 14 February.
Right-wing Hindutva organisations have been opposing the expression of love on Valentine’s Day calling the celebration against the Indian culture. The state is now being governed by the BJP with Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister. Adityanath had founded the militant Hindutva outfit Hindu Yuva Vahini before becoming the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Hindu Yuva Vahini with other militant Hindutva outfits such as Bajrang Dal and Hindu Mahasabha have historically been opposed to the celebration of Valentine’s Day. This is the first Valentine’s Day celebrations since Adityanath became the state’s chief minister.
When contacted, the university’s PRO department said that it was not aware of any such advisory adding the the media in-charge NK Pandey will be able to confirm or deny the report. Pandey, for his part, has been incommunicado as attempts to contact him turned futile.
The reported advisory, issued by the university, also asked the parents not to send their children to the university campus on 14 February. It said that ‘anyone found to be sitting or roaming around the campus’ will face disciplinary actions.
In 2009, the university had hit media headlines after it banned students from carrying flowers and bouquets on Valentine’s Day. Students have termed the diktat ‘regressive’ adding that it was counterproductive to the ongoing attempts to modernise the education system in India.