Do you see couples displaying their love in public areas? Do you feel uncomfortable? Is it banned? Public display of affection (PDA) is not an unknown issue nowadays. From holding hands, cuddling/holding, backrubs/massages, caressing/stroking, kissing on the face, hugging, and kissing on the lips, anything can fall under the public display of love and affection. This year, a couple was attacked by the public in Kolkata for displaying love in public. (Ops, next time you go out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, take care!)

Is it banned in India? 

Though the law does not mention specifically about PDA, the section 294 of Indian Penal Code talks about obscenity. As per the Indian Kanoon:

294. Obscene acts and songs.—Whoever, to the annoyance of others—

(a) does any obscene act in any public place, or
(b) sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.
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Who does this section apply to? 

There is no mention as to if the law is specifically applicable to those in a ‘relationship’. Nowhere it mentions about boyfriends, girlfriends, couples, or a father-daughter relationship. So considering that the section is applicable to all, one can question if a hug between a mother and her son or a kiss between a son and his dad is permitted?

This also means that the society views obscenity in a particular way. There is always a risk if a boy hugs a girl in public. But if it’s the people of same gender hugging, it’s completely fine (but who knows if the situation changes now when 377 is read down).

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So what to do? 

  1. Always consider where you are and who is around. Everybody has a different mindset so always display your love according to the onlookers (good if you can read people’s mind).

  2. Do not cross the limit. Even if people are accepting your signs of love in public never overdo it.

  3. Don’t use PDA to seduce someone else. Many women/men love doing this. They want to grab other guy/girl’s attention.

 

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