The whole problem surrounding PDA (Public Display of Affection) needs to be addressed. A campaign started in Kerala after members of the BJP youth group vandalized a café in Kozhikode citing reason that such public display of affection went against the country’s culture and amounted to obscenity. How can a public kiss amount to obscenity? It is irony that we live in the largest democracy in world and still are enslaved by the shackles of religion, culture and sexism. It is yet another irony that our constitution was made taking references from the constitution of US and UK which should have acted like a good influence but in many matters, we are still regressive.
Public Display of Affection does not necessarily mean we are aping the West. It simply means that we are progressing as a nation, or rather we are evolving as human beings. Some issues are fundamental as we are all humans and difference in their treatment just because of differences in cultural norms does not take away the core which is same to all as we all are humans. So free yourself from the clutches of religion, culture and societal pressure and embrace PDA as we popularly call it.
Leaving all barriers, let us address the fundamental question. Does PDA make onlookers uncomfortable? If it is so, then why? It is not as if people planting a kiss is stripping naked in the middle of the road or are being overtly sexual. They are just merely planting a kiss. It is celebrating a companionship. So why should we be so ashamed or scandalized by the act? On the contrary, we should learn to be comfortable. Take for example, if you have a three year old daughter and she is scared of darkness, wouldn’t you teach her the futility of her fears or will you make sure that she never comes across darkness? The latter would leave her weak mentally. Similarly, one needs to do away with the uncomfort one feels when witnessing a lovebird planting a kiss on her partner’s cheek.
Another reaction may be some loafers passing lewd remarks or deriving sexual pleasure out of it. This is what needs to be prevented. Another thing which needs to be prevented is society members bad-mouthing such people. What else needs to be prevented is politicising such issues and being aggressive damaging property and harming people. What needs to be changed is the mindset of people. PDA involves crossing barriers of caste, religion and law to celebrate love and that is how it should be viewed. Development just does not mean a raise in the standard of living or increase in per capita income. It means evolution in the thinking of people. Development also means progress in the socio-cultural ethos with changes in time. After all, society was made for man not man for society.