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Many videos and news articles of the past says that couples who roam freely on Valentine's Day, are subjected to moral policing and the media will cover such incidents, which leads to public insult.

My places of interest are from north Indian states Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Roaming freely in the sense of going to hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, walking on roads, movies, staying in a hotel, park etc.,

Is it safe to roam in India with my girlfriend and is there any way to bypass those issues?

Note: This question has been asked in the male perspective.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Hanky Panky, bytebuster, choster, Giorgio, JonathanReez Feb 13 at 21:04

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    @Hindu It might well depend on how you are behaving whilst ‘roaming freely’. Walking side by side ✔️ Engaging in public displays of affection ✖️ – Traveller Feb 13 at 8:09
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    @Traveller That's an answer to the question and should be posted as such so it can be properly vetted and discussed. – pipe Feb 13 at 13:03
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    Are you male, or female? This could make a big difference to the answers. – Vicky Feb 13 at 13:09
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    All couples in India are (potentially) harassed on Feb. 14? Married, unmarried, friends, etc? Can you clarify? – BruceWayne Feb 13 at 15:55
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    (@Hindu - what about your post or question makes it obvious you're male? Is this not a question women might also have?) – BruceWayne Feb 13 at 19:42
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Although the law is on your side, the people engaging in moral policing is on rise in these days, especially northern India.

Be cautious. Let me address the situations one by one.

  • Going to restaurant - Safe
  • Shopping Mall - Safe
  • Walking on roads - Mostly Safe, refrain from PDAs (Public Displays of Affection)
  • Movies - Safe, Stick to multiplexes.
  • Park - Can be unsafe. Strictly abstain from PDAs, parks can be targets for hooligans
  • Hotel stay - Depends, On higher end hotels, its not an issue. Or stay with couple friendly rooms. Most other smaller hotels outright rejects unmarried couples.

Take extra cautious and escape if such hooligans appears. Don't hesitate to call police on them. Sometimes, police can also get to moral policing like calling your parents, even if you are an adult. Law is completely on your side, use it.

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    @everyone PDA = Public Displays of Affection . Wiki link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_display_of_affection – Philbo Feb 13 at 14:08
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    @everyone: "Public Display of Affection" - i.e. kissing, hugging or holding hands in public – Oddthinking Feb 13 at 14:08
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    @EricDuminil Not supposed to be political, but the BJP rule actually made situation worse. Now hooligans are there to 'protect culture'. Indian consitutions ensure privacy as a fundamental right, yet these type of people roam freely. Police is afraid to touch them because of political influence. Awareness and proper law enforcement is the only solution. Its unreasonable to expect in the states he mentioned above. – Anish Sheela Feb 13 at 14:08
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    Does the fact that it is Feb 14th make any difference? – DJClayworth Feb 13 at 17:57
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    @JonathanReez In India just wearing ring people won't consider you as married that's another issue! – Pradeep Simha Feb 13 at 21:08
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In India, PDA (again, that means Public Display of Affection) is generally considered inappropriate, at least a lot more than in the US or in Europe. That includes kissing, hugging, sometimes holding hands while walking or over the table, or stuff like grinding). This is little related to Feb/14, but applies all year.

Couples walk all the time, talk, smile, laugh, and nobody cares, and larger cities tend to accept a bit of kissing also, unless it becomes serious making out.

Note that in many Indian cultures, it is not uncommon for men to hold hands with other men when walking, and that does not imply a homosexual relationship as in the western world, just good friendship. Of course, women touch each other too all on the time, with the same meaning - just good friends.

It is generally a good idea to learn and understand the culture of the country you visit, and maybe adjust behavior to show respect for it. So just leave the kissing part out when you are in India in public.

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Adding to everybody's advice of no "Public Display of Affection" (PDA's), I think it's pretty safe to "just" roam around. I mean what could be the harm? Yes I know around this time of the year, we have "Bajrang Dal"(groups of people who search for lovers and beat them up if they are found doing PDAs) memes here in India but the ground reality is too many talk about joining such groups but most of them rarely actually do. Maybe they are busy with their own loved ones. I have never heard of any couple getting beaten down this way. Ending with a little bit of my own experience, few years back I "roamed" around with a girl the whole Valentines week(in Delhi), and all went pretty well.

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    What could be the harm? – Eric Duminil Feb 13 at 17:09
  • @EricDuminil these are cases of Kerala, I don't know about the situation there. But as you can see the guy is clearly talking about northern states. I know now you would add some links where such case happened in northern India, but I am just saying the situation is not that bad as is often portrayed to us – Vipul Sharma Feb 14 at 5:49

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