TIME India

Indian Extremists Say Anyone Using the L-Word on Valentine’s Day Must Marry

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Online teams will be monitoring social media for flirty messages

You should always be careful what you post on Facebook, especially if it’s “I love you” and you’re a Hindu in India around Valentine’s Day — you just might end up getting hitched. At least that’s what will happen if a conservative organization called the Hindu Mahasabha has its way.

The organization’s leaders say they will monitor social-networking sites on the day of love and forcibly marry any couples expressing the emotion publicly, the Times of India reports.

“Display of love in the entire Valentine’s week is equivalent to not following Indian traditions. Anyone found displaying love on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp will be caught hold of,” said the group’s national president Chandra Prakash Kaushik, adding that eight social-media teams are already in place in the capital New Delhi.

The group had announced earlier this week that it would also have people on the ground making sure couples exchanging flowers, gifts or public displays of affection tie the knot immediately. That’s only for Hindus, however — interfaith couples will reportedly be made to undergo a “purification” ceremony.

Online, Kaushik said, Mahasabha volunteers would message offending couples and ask for their phone numbers and addresses so they can start planning the nuptials.

“If they refuse to share their numbers, we will contact their parents — especially those who are active online — and ask them to get them married if they really love each other,” he said.

The New Delhi police have plans to tackle the moral police, however, and inspector general Alok Sharma told the Times that any attempts to force couples to marry would be met with legal action.

Twitter, of course, had a field day.

Indian satire website Faking News took it one step further with an article entitled “Gay couples excited after Hindu Mahasabha announces weddings on Valentine’s Day,” pointing out that homosexuality remains illegal in the country.

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