This may be an unpopular post in a perception of “modernity” where everything that questions the regressive aspects of our culture must be seen as progressive. But to give my views on the “Kiss of Love” campaign, I do need to understand what the primary purpose of this campaign is.
- to fight against the moral police by intentionally provoking them, or
- to showcase a sense of freedom in an otherwise sexually repressed culture?
- a protest against cultural barriers, or
- a sort of “festival” for people to come together and celebrate a cultural transition?
My opinion varies, depending on what the primary purpose is.
If it’s a protest against cultural fascist groups such as RSS and “custodians” of Hindu culture, it’s not a very meaningful method to use that I find worthwhile. As a protest, its purpose seems to be just to provoke the anger of people who can’t be expected to behave any better, whatever you do. You can’t just go and intentionally irritate/provoke someone and then expect them to agree to your viewpoint.
However, if it’s a sort of a “celebration” – a symbol for cultural transition, a festival for youth to come together and demonstrate a sense of freedom and to ask for acceptance, it makes a lot of sense. In that case, it falls under the same category as the LGBT pride parade – a platform to come out and show pride in yourself and what you believe in. The LGBT pride parade and a mass kissing event may still be disrupted by so-called cultural guardians, but the primary purpose will be more meaningful: to celebrate and to generate support, not to generate anger by provoking some stupid people.
The Kiss of Love as a way to provoke is built on how the other party will respond to you: you’re going to the RSS headquarters not to seek a dialogue, but to kiss so that they get angry. The Kiss of Love as a way to celebrate freedom, however, would be built on how you feel about kissing publicly as an individual in a changing India.
The two purposes are very different. I do not judge someone who participates in the Kiss of Love for the first purpose, and I do respect their method, but I certainly don’t find it meaningful enough.
Originally posted as an answer to this question on Quora: What is your take about the “Kiss of Love”campaign which is ongoing in India as a fight for morality as per agitators?.