Well, why Indian diaspora is trampling over consensual ‘kissing’ when it is even available as the first ‘how to’ option in Google search?
I can remember, the first attempt to promote public kissing took place as early as 90s and I have seen hand written posters in Kolkata’s Esplanade area inviting youth at ‘maidan’ (the infamous ‘assemble and protest’ ground in Kolkata) in a given date to ‘kiss’ in public as a protest and promote ‘free love’ during valentine’s day (and obviously, none of them actually took place). Though, Public kissing ‘behind bushes’ (in most of the states of India) and in the beaches behind umbrella (at Chennai and Mumbai) are common scene but the ‘open’ kissing is a social mind block (even in silver screen, till 90s).
The movie directors used to find innovative abstracts to visualize love making (which often comprised of two flowers coming closer, doves making love, waterfalls etc.) which sometime were beyond artistic expression and appeared funny!
‘kissing a girl in cheek’ indeed is nothing (if its consensual) but in India, though (public) semi nudity/ nudity is allowed in the name of god (ie. Kumbh Mela, public bath) but kissing (In any form) is against the social etiquette! Chris Gregory (Australian National University and the University of Manchester) in an article on ‘kinship’ mentioned that “for the Halbi speakers of the Bastar Plateau in East-Central India kinship is defined by touch: juniors greet seniors with tactile gestures of familial respect that are reciprocated by tactile gestures of familial love. On certain ritual occasions these salutes are adorned with colorful flowers, tasty food, purifying water, sweet-smelling incense, nice-sounding words, and heartfelt sentiments. Non-kin, by contrast, are defined by non-tactile gestures of mutual respect. The general implication of this case for the study of kinship as “mutuality of sensible being,”. So, in ‘touching’ (which indeed includes hugging and kissing) as public gesture is even permitted among indigenous tribes but unfortunately not approved by the patriarchal social norms in modern Indian society. Even, court orders (Delhi High court judgement in the year 2009) dismissed obscenity charges against a couple caught kissing in public.
At Ingene, I have reported earlier about the sprotests against moral policing such as ‘pink chaddi movement’, ‘slut walk’ etc. and in the same line ‘Kiss of Love’ is another initiative that has swept the urban young demographics of India. As the Wikipedia (and believe me, for youth, Wiki is the new Oxford dictionary) states ‘Kiss of Love protest is a non-violent protest against moral policing which started in Kerala and later spread to other parts of India’ it adds ‘he movement began when a Facebook page called 'Kiss of love' asked the youth across Kerala to participate in a protest against moral policing on November 2, 2014, at Marine Drive, Cochin.’
But, again, why to deliberately ‘kiss on road’ to protest against moral policing? For a generation, who is now used to with ‘kissing’ and learns the ‘art’ digitally rather than natural indulgence is it not normal that the movement could have been more refined (such as ‘kiss of love’ film fest exhibiting movies as such, a photo exhibition, a street drama, book reading, music) and holistically thought provoking rather than giving the unnecessary credibility to the fundamentalists who craves to be in media through any issue? Also, will this movement gain momentum to broader spectrum or will die like any other youth movement in recent decade (including Anti corruption rallies)? Keeping fingers crossed to the fresh air of socialism brought in by the youth through ‘Kiss of Love’, will keep an eye to track the developments.