A series of billboards displayed at metro stations across the Indian capital New Delhi are urging people not to celebrate Valentine's Day and instead worship parents on 14 February. The advertisements are displayed across 35 metro stations and feature two contrasting images.
In one of the ads, two children can be seen worshiping their parents, while another photo shows a couple holding each other's ear, as police are seen in the background, suggesting that they have been punished for indulging in public display of affection.
However, the ads did not go down well with daily metro commuters who slammed the billboards. Following the criticism, Delhi Metro has promised to launch an inquiry into the matter.
"The ad was displayed by a private contractor as all the ad space on the Metro premises are allotted to specialised agencies which, in turn, allot them to advertisers. The matter is being examined and taken up with the contractor for necessary action," Anuj Dayal, chief spokesman of Delhi Metro said in a statement, according to The Times of India.
The advertisements were displayed by an organisation called Bal Sanskar Kendra (Child Welfare Centre).
"We are not aware of any directive to pull down the advertisements. We have already paid Delhi Metro for this and have put up posters and hoardings across 50 Metro stations, mostly on the busy Yellow and Blue Line for awareness among commuters. We believe the day should be observed as Matri Pitri Pujan Diwas (worship your parents day) and not Valentine's Day," a functionary of Bal Sanskar Kendra. D N Singh, told the Indian Express.
The posters have sent a stern message and youngsters have been asked to stay away from Western cultures. Here is how one of the ads read (translated from Hindi): "Mother-Father worship day – let us worship those who gave us life."
Another ad read: "Police take strong action against those who celebrate 14 February as Valentine's Day in broad daylight. Say 'no' to Valentine's Day.
Angry commuters slammed the organisation for the ads. Below are some of their tweets.
Previously as well, political groups and religious organisations have created problems for those celebrating Valentine's Day. Some groups have also gone on to assault young couples celebrating the occasion.