~ Written by Muskaan Sayed
The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020 is unofficially referred to as the ‘love jihad law’. The Uttar Pradesh state cabinet cleared the ordinance on 24 November 2020 following which it was approved and signed by state Governor Anandiben Patel on 28 November 2020. As the law was introduced, thousands of citizens voiced their concerns and disagreement with respect to the draconian aspects of the law. Just when inclusivity had begun to normalise in the country (with the removal of Section 377), the government came up with a law that unfairly limits the basic human rights of citizens to love and choose a partner.
Hence on 14th of February, Valentine’s Day we the youth decided to do a campaign Jashn E pyaar, which celebrated love.
For the campaign a poetry workshop was held by Aquila Nazma Khan and other facilitators. In this poetry workshop they focused on the idea of freedom of love and diversity in love, personal choice. The workshop resulted in multiple poems that describe love and the participants personal opinion about how this law will impact their generation. A Twitter storm was held in which people uploaded their pictures along with their partner, friend or with anyone they are celebrating valentine’s day. For the Twitter storm hashtags were used which themselves are very powerful and challenges the mindsets #pyaarkronafratnahi #pyaarkiyatohdarnakya #aazadlove.
Then many of us decided to go to Bandra Bandstand, a place where couples meet to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We sat by the sea, sang songs that celebrated love, read poems, and shared laughter.
This is how we celebrated the day and hope that on future everyone celebrates love everyday and understands that love is boundless.