18 June, 2021

Poisoned Darts

The traders of mush were jittery, but the court's soft verdict restrains the Sena from repeating last year's rampage

Gireesh G.V
Poisoned Darts
It was a vitriolic press conference in mid-January that aggravated the tensions. As the Shiv Sena unleashed its usual harangue against Valentine's Day—calling it "a cultural invasion that denigrates Indian values"—and specified its plans to jeopardise this year's celebrations, Archies Greetings and Gifts moved court seeking legal protection from the moral policing of the Sainiks.

At a time when Cupid's dart has given way to the trident, India's biggest merchant of mush was pleading for a permanent injunction at the Delhi High Court to restrain the Sena and Sangh affiliates from interfering in the Valentine's Day celebrations and sales. Says Archies' counsel N.N. Aggarwal: "Our action was based on past experience. Last year, after issuing threats through the media, they ransacked our shops."

On February 14, 2001, rampaging through Archies outlets, fast food joints, commercial centres and other teen hotspots, the Sainiks ensured enough media attention. Twenty Archies galleries across Delhi, MP, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra were besieged as Sainiks tormented...

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