CHITRAL: Every year 14 February is marked as Valentine day world over particularly the western world. Whatever that means to others, but to Pakistanis it means a day of battle between two opposite schools of thought i.e those who do not mind it or even observe the occasion in their own way and those who not only reject the idea of observing Valentine day but physically disallow others to observe it too. Some go to the extent of observing ‘Haya day’ (chastity day) in stark antipathy to the Valentine day.
This year has been different though. There was no uproar against the Valentine day by clerics and no cases of physical judgments being passed by hardcore religious preachers. The result has been positive. There was hardly any talk about Valentine day in the society and it dissipated without getting any notice or publicity.
The mellowing effect on religious hardliners regarding various issues like this one, has greatly happened due to the influence of social media on the society. More and more soft liners are being seen on TV and social media, opposed to hardliners, interpreting various aspects of religion. The reformed attitude of Saudi Arabia on religious matters has also encouraged increasing number of out spoken clerics to come to the fore, whereas hardliners are finding it increasingly difficult to find supporters as time passes. The current change of heart on Valentine day issue is one good example. .. CN report, 14 Feb 2020