A banner designed by the Kiss of Love protest group for its first public kissing event.
A banner designed by the Kiss of Love protest group for its first public kissing event.Facebook/Kiss of Love

Amid threats and fears of a backlash from the fundamental groups, South Indian state Kerala is all set to hold its first public kissing event.

In India, where public display of affection is considered a 'taboo' to the extent that right-wing fundamentalist groups, often end up abusing and even beating up young couple caught kissing or dating.

"Kiss of Love"  is a protest movement against a Hindu activist group that vandalised a cafe in Calicut last week saying students were using the place to date. The right-wing group beat people up in the coffee shop after a young couple was seen 'kissing'.

Activists say they will gather at the Marine Drive in Kochi, also referred to as Cochin Sunday, to kiss in protest. "A formal request for permission [to hold the protest] is yet to reach me," Kochi police commissioner KG James told BBC.

"But I have notified that they cannot kiss publicly and create a law and order situation. We are not going to allow this," he added.

The organisers of the protest, however, say they are going ahead with the arrangement for an "informal gathering" despite the warning. They said they are "grateful and proud" that the movement has triggered state-wide discussions on moral policing.

Going by their Facebook page, 'Kiss of Love', which has over 50,000 'likes', the organisers are expecting a huge turn around.

"We expect at least one percent of those who 'liked' our page to attend," said one of the organisers of the event.

"All must carry a placard against moral policing. We want them to share stories of love. The couples can kiss, if they want to, or hug one another," he told Deccan Chronicle

In opposition to Kiss of Love, an online group called 'Ban Kiss of Love', a counter the movement, has received over 3,166 'likes'.

A report in TNIE noted that The 'Kiss of Love' campaign has already turned out to be another point of conflict between the rival student unions.

"While the Kerala Students Union (KSU) has decided to prevent 'obscene acts at public places', the Students Federation of India (SFI) convened meetings at colleges on how to provide 'protection' to those who attend the campaign aimed at 'overcoming typical Malayali inhibitions," it reported.

The report observed that while overall many students supported the group, they were 'still not ready' to publically participate in the kissing event.