With a heart struck by cupid’s arrows that throbs for love, if you walk into watch the latest flick My Name is Khan with your love, expecting lot of peppy moments of romance from the most romantic pair Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, you will be disappointed. It’s not because the movie is not upto the mark but it will turn your conception of love programmed in your mind by commercials and flicks topsy-turvy. Beyond the ‘love is in air’ hype with red roses, candle lit dinners and clubbing the film My Name is Khan has given a perfect platform to think about Valentine ’s Day from a different perspective. Valentine’s Day is not an occasion to cuddle up with your beloved in solitude shutting off from other reality. It is a time to get out of your space and spread the message of love in a society that is fast endorsing the culture of death and flexing muscles to show the regional might and religious intolerance.The attitude of St. Valentine who risked his life for the cause of love, the prayer of the devotees of Indian Cupid to keep a check on their desires, the daringness and magnanimity of Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) in the movie My Name is Khan will help celebrate Valentine’s Day in a different fervour.


‘Love from your Valentine’ that is where it all started. A one-liner left by St. Valentine simply meant to thank a jailor’s daughter for their friendship and loyalty written on Feb. 14, 269 A.D. set loose the romantic spirit. Valentine, a catholic priest dared the emperor Claudius order forbidding marriages and conducted secret marriages. He stood for the cause of love. However, he was jailed. At the jail, the jailor’s daughter often visited him and she used to talk to him for hours, lifting his spirit and gave much needed support. When he was freed, he left a note for her; ‘Love from your Valentine’- A note which expressed his love, respect and gratitude to the jailor’s daughter for being with him during his troubled times. The message he left was much beyond a romantic feel. This was written for a true friend, for a daughter who even defied her father’s order to be with a culprit in jail who stood for the cause of love and above all her attitude to reach out to others. However, the word ‘love’ from that note was epitomized with a romantic feel and the youth goes ‘gaga’ over love on Valentine’s Day. Love is not an app that is compatible in the romantic setting alone but also in social setting at large.


If St. Valentine’s Day had its origin from the spirit of love inspired from St. Valentine, the day should not be set apart exclusively for your beloved alone. It should be a day to reach out to others and spread the message of love in the society where Individualism and hatred rules. ‘You’ is the catchword of the age. Remember the new Yahoo advertisement – Internet is under the new management ‘You’. Your wishes, your favourite site, your love, your choice, and what not. Cornering the larger human responsibility and relying on human soft spot of selfishness and individuality, a person is made to shut the door to others or the reality outside. Valentine’s Day is a day to demolish the individual villas and to stand up to speak the message of love. Living in a society where selfish motives and lustful desires over power prick of consciousness and embrace a culture of death. It is meaningless to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a society that ruthlessly kills innocent lives during abortion. Valentine’s Day should be an occasion for young people to come together with their loved ones and send a strong message to the society proclaiming that gen next don’t subscribe to culture of death that embrace abortion, mercy killing and the like.


In the backdrop of Regionalism and regional politics waging an ugly war in Indian states spreading hatred, Valentine’s Day has the perfect setting to express your love towards India. For political gains and hitting the headlines, to be flashed in channels, narrow-minded politicians are using regionalism to the fullest. Even a popular and secular film actor, Shah Rukh Khan’s integrity was questioned and his new film release stalled for standing for one India. If Valentine’s Day is a day to express your love, give a share of your love to your mother country India. It’s not by getting to the streets or adding to the already ongoing verbal battle but a simple ‘tweet’, a ‘buzz’, a scrap , a change in your profile pic with a message, a message to your mail group and the like…all for the sake of your love for one India.


Witnessing the hatred of religion on the wake of 9/11 attacks that followed the death of the child Sam and hearing his shattered wife Mandira’s (Kajol) words, “He died only because his name was Khan,” Rizwan Khan(SRK) sets out to meet the president of United States and say, “My Name is Khan and Iam not a terrorist.” The Movie My Name is Khan portrays Shah Rukh as a devote Muslim. But his devotion doesn’t hinter him to reach out to the people of the country that too of a different faith, who even tortured him. He is shown working for the flood hit people in Georgia that too in a Church even though he was denied entry to a charity event for the reason that he was not a Christian.
Whether it be United States, India or any country for that matter religious fanaticism powered by the blind love for one’s religion is on the rise. Islamic terrorism, Hindu terrorism, and it won’t be matter of time before other religions follow suit. The spirit of love on this Valentine’s Day should seep into our mindset and promote religious tolerance and harmony so that none will have to say, “My Name is Khan/Khanna and Iam not a terrorist.”


Blinded by the commercial interpretation of ‘love’ as marketed by shrewd ad agencies especially for Valentine’s Day that stirs up the desire leads an individual to complete destruction (some lucky ones do escape). Our emotion of love should not be directed by desire as flashed to us by the media. This in no way means you have to forget your beloved or ignore giving a cute teddy or a rose but along with all these stuff, you have to move beyond the personal circles and do something to spread the culture of love, and accept other religions and express your love for your nation. The real Valentine’s Day spirit is in invoking pure love that rises above blind desires. And rightly so, St. Valentine, on the lines of the My Name is Khan would say…Iam Valentine and Iam not….a blind lover…a promoter of culture of death….or… a religious terrorist.

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