Young couples have voiced their distaste for the reckless attacks on those celebrating Valentine’s Day, forcing the majority of the moral police to keep away from the celebrations this year
Valentine's Day, till last year, was synonymous with overly crowded eating joints, advance sell-outs at multiplexes, red rose-overloads at florists and of course saffron hooliganism. This year, though, saffron mobsters appear to have kept away. These self-proclaimed 'nationalists' who, armed with sindoor packs, patrolled dating hotspots, vandalised gift shops and thrashed cuddly teddy bears, have taken a break. And it looks like they will be off for quite some time.
All seems to be quiet on the saffron front this year. There have been no public threats to youngsters, no volunteer armies have been assigned to beat up the lovebirds and one hasn't seen any militant posters claiming to protect Indian culture. Rather, there seems to be an air of acceptance of the inevitable. The Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have publicly declared that they would not disrupt Valentine's Day.
Om Dutt Sharma, Shiv Sena spokesperson, said in a statement, "There is no point in holding protests and demonstrations as we cannot stop people from celebrating. So this year we will not hold protests of this kind."
Bajrang Dal state convenor in Delhi, Shailendra Jaiswal, echoed the sentiments of the Asom Sena and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad to celebrate the occasion responsibly, without behaving 'immorally' in public.
The Orissa Bajrang Dal wing has chosen to use 'non-violent' means to preserve the dignity of Indian culture. This time it says that its members will record instances of public display of affection and upload these on YouTube. The usual terror tactics are absent.
But what has happened to the most impassioned 'defender of Indian culture', who even instigated the beating up of women in pubs, to remind them of their position in society?
Pramod Muthalik and his Ram Sene seem to have been wiped out from public memory. Of course, the BJP government in Karnataka is in enough trouble, and it is impossible for him to go out on a campaign of militant nationalism. Mr Muthalik will probably not forget Valentine's Day, because it was on 14 Februrary 2009 that some youngsters publicly blackened his face.
Despite all of this and a ban order from a Mangalore court, Mr Muthalik was unrepentant. Then came the hugely popular 'pink chaddi' campaign, which reduced him to a laughing stock and marked an effective public dismissal.
Two years ago, Valentine's Day was turned into a day of national protest by women who felt enough was enough, after the vandalism by the Ram Sene at the Mangalore pub. Four women decided to present Mr Muthalik with the perfect gift they thought he deserved: pink underwear. Word spread through newspapers and TV, Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with the campaign, and posters came up on several college campuses. Collection booths were set up everywhere, and contributions came through the day. On the Day, several boxes full of pink underwear were delivered to Mr Muthalik and his cohorts, which was followed by an embarrassed silence from the Sene camp.
Mr Muthalik made a feeble attempt at a comeback last year, declaring that he would send bangles to all those women who had participated in the 'pink chaddi' campaign. But both the media and the public dismissed him, and Mr Muthalik vanished from public memory. The ladies, it seems, had the last laugh.
The saffron silence about Valentine's Day is understandable. The parties have finally understood that antagonising young people will cost them very dearly. According to a news wire report, since the entry of Aditya Thackeray, the grandson of Balasahed Thackeray, the party top brass has chosen to play the employment card to attract youth. Besides, fresh elections to the civic body in Mumbai are fast approaching.
Also, the Shiv Sena's flopped campaign against the blockbuster My Name Is Khan could have sounded the warning. The public, particularly youngsters, put their foot down and marched to the theatres in huge numbers in a clear display of support for Shahrukh Khan, whom the Shiv Sena had labelled a 'Pakistani' and a traitor.
These instances have possibly been eye-openers for the moral police with the youth announcing loudly that they are no longer in the mood to take such behaviour lying down. Let's spread the love.
In a separate filing to the BSE, Reliance Infra said it has received the approval of its board of directors to buy back its own shares for an aggregate amount of up to Rs1,000 crore ($222 million) at a price not exceeding Rs725 per equity share
Mumbai: Reliance Infrastructure today posted a 10.16% rise in net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2010, to Rs405.25 crore compared to Rs367.87 crore for the same period last year, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Total operating income of the company rose to Rs3,744 crore in the October-December quarter from Rs3,287 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago, it added.
In a separate filing to the BSE, the company said it has received the approval of its board of directors to buy back its own shares for an aggregate amount of up to Rs1,000 crore ($222 million) at a price not exceeding Rs725 per equity share.
The buy-back will be made from the open market through the stock exchanges, it added.
Meanwhile, shares of the company closed at Rs 627.10 apiece on the BSE today, up 1.85% from its previous close.
Triveni Engineering net profit decline due to squeezed margins in sugar business
Triveni Engineering and Industries reported 67% dip in net profit to Rs23.92 crore for the quarter ended 31 December against Rs72.94 crore in the year-ago period due to squeezed margins in sugar business.
Net sales, however, rose to Rs591.74 crore during the first quarter of this fiscal from Rs487.24 crore a year-ago.
The company, which also makes steam turbine and gears among others follows October-September period as accounting year in line with the sugar season, its mainstay.
"Sales in both the sugar and engineering businesses have gone up during the quarter. But, our net profit has declined as the realisation from sugar was higher in the first quarter of last fiscal," Triveni's executive director Nikhil Sawhney said.
The average realisation during the first quarter of the current fiscal has dropped to Rs28 per kg from Rs31 per kg in the corresponding period of the last year, he added.
"All the three engineering businesses continue to show consistent growth both in terms of turnover and profitability. Strong outstanding order book in all these businesses gives us confidence in terms of their future growth," Sawhney said.
On the outlook of sugar business, he said the estimated balanced demand-supply scenario during the current year might bring about much-needed stable pricing in the coming quarters.
India is estimated to produce 24.5-25 million tonnes of sugar during the current year against the annual demand of 23 million tonnes.
"The recoveries are fortunately higher than last year and it will result in lower cost of production. In view of the increased volume of crush, increase in sugar production and a stable pricing situation for the allied products such as power and alcohol, the overall business sentiment on sugar seems to be positive," he added.
Swanhey said the company expects to produce 520-540,000 tonnes sugar in the current year recording over 25% increase in cane crushing.
Regarding the demerger of the turbine business, he said the legal process for the demerger was currently in progress and the court's sanction might come in the second quarter of the year.
"This will enable initiation of proceedings to list the company in which this business will be vested with," he added.
On Monday, Triveni Engineering ended 5.17% up at Rs87.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 2.67% up at 18,202.20.