Kiss of Love – Protests on Moral Policing in India’s Cities
By on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

A campaign under the banner “kiss of love” has spread over various cities in India, including Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi.

Protester organisers are interviewed on JNU campus. The “Kiss of Love” campaign was heavily covered by numerous media outlets.



The campaign originated in India’s southern state of Kerala in early November 2014 when activists organized on and offline protests in response to the attack on a coffee shop in Kozhikode by a group of people attached to the BJP’s – India’s governing party – youth wing. The café’s demolition had been a violent reaction to a news channel broadcasting a couple kissing and hugging at the café. The “Kiss of Love” protest argues against moral policing and aims to reinforce the freedom to express love and claim social spaces in the city. The campaign reached Delhi’s public space on November 8th 2014 when numerous protesters attempted to reach the RSS – a Hindu nationalist non-governmental organization – office in central Delhi, before being held back by Delhi police and attacked by right wing supporters.

A second protest organized by students from Jawaharlal Nehru University went by peacefully at JNU campus on November 9th. The campaign drew in national and international news coverage and continues on social media, where a heated debate on morality and the “Indianness” of public displays of affection is being fought.