In a bid to defy moral policing by right-wing outfits, youth groups in Kerala have planned to organise a 'Kiss Day' on Sunday, in a reaction to the vandalism at a coffee shop in Kozhikode last week by the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
On Sunday, protestors will gather at Kochi's Marine Drive for the 'Kiss of Love' with placards and will also kiss in public as a sign of protesting the attack on a Kozhikode hotel by Yuva Morcha, the BJP youth wing.
More than 3,500 people have already accepted the invite on the Facebook page, 'Kiss of Love', to attend the event, which is being organised by a group of youngsters.
"Criminalisation of affection and love is really bad. The attack against the coffee shop was just a trigger. Sadly this tendency is growing everywhere," S Rahul, one of the organisers, told Hindustan Times.
However, the "kiss day" has already drawn ire from the likes of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which has reportedly threatened to "legally challenge" the public display of affection.
In fact, volunteers for the event have already come under attack by the right-wing groups. The volunteers including women were physically assaulted by a group of men in the presence of the media and the police.
The police have also denied permission for the "Kiss of Love" drive. "We are not going to allow such an event in a public place," Kochi Police Commissioner KG James was quoted saying by The Indian Express.
Activists are already comparing the "Kiss of Love" campaign to the famous "Pink Chaddi" campaign in Bangalore in 2009 called by protestors after members of the Sri Ram Sena attacked a Mangalore pub.
Many women had sent pink underwear to the political outfit's leader Pramod Mutalik as a sign of protest against the moral policing on women.