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.

  • 5
    @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, 2019 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, 2019 at 13:03
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    Are you male, or female? This could make a big difference to the answers.
    – Vicky
    Feb 13, 2019 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, 2019 at 15:55
  • 4
    (@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, 2019 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 1
    @everyone PDA = Public Displays of Affection . Wiki link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_display_of_affection
    – Philbo
    Feb 13, 2019 at 14:08
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    @everyone: "Public Display of Affection" - i.e. kissing, hugging or holding hands in public Feb 13, 2019 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. Feb 13, 2019 at 14:08
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    Does the fact that it is Feb 14th make any difference? Feb 13, 2019 at 17:57
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    @JonathanReez In India just wearing ring people won't consider you as married that's another issue! Feb 13, 2019 at 21:08

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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