Valentine’s Day is today, right here right now. While singles will sulk over the absence of someone to make them feel special on this day, couples will seek new and innovative days to celebrate love. Valentine’s Day transmissions will run through all leading channels. While entertainment channels will enjoy a galore, even the news channels will not stay behind in plugging the greatness of love in one way or the other in their programs. Even the grocery stores will celebrate love and place special offers on various items in general and chocolates in particular.
The same Valentine’s Day will also be celebrated by the right-wing as an attempt to sabotage the cultural norms of Pakistan and India. Protests against Valentine’s day have been happening as long as we can remember the hype of this day. The couples going to restaurants to date each other might even have to face the fury of hell later and that of the right-wing extremists right away. Every time you wonder it doesn’t get more ridiculous than this and you get a slice of the religious extremism which proves otherwise.
Most of the restaurants will require a pre-booking today (yeah, even if you want to take your family of three children and a spouse to devour some fried chicken). Chocolates will become as scarce as happiness on the faces of most people. People selling the balloons might have the time of their life today. There are offers at literally all businesses including jewellery, clothes, and yeah even the local chemist who has one deal or the other to celebrate the spirit of love.
The card shops and book stores will have a whole new makeover. There will be love in the air and hearts everywhere.
While Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love and everything beautiful associated with it, we can also not ignore the capitalist angle associated with it. The success of the capitalist model is based on the manufacturing desire which is not possible without creating the urge to buy among the buyers. When diamonds were discovered in South Africa, there was a need to romanticize diamonds because the supply was in abundance now. Marketing slogans like ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ were created to make the buyer believe that there existed no life beyond diamonds and those who did not possess diamonds were made to feel deprived.
In this scenario, Valentine’s Day is also a perfect opportunity for the capitalist circle to make the most out of people’s newly created desires and needs. Those who do not celebrate this day with material goods are made to feel like they have lost on the most precious moment. The expression of love is wrapped around one particular day in shiny wrappers and expensive goods.
If Valentine’s Day is all about love, why should the expression of love be bought according to the standards set by the capitalist mode of production? Why does love need to be told in the language of diamonds and overpriced chocolates only? would we keep fuelling what the manufacturers greed for more money at the expense of our own sanity?
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments. Till then, happy Valentine’s Day!