The Jharkhand government has created a two-member panel to probe the “kissing competition” that was conducted for tribal couples at Talpahari village in Jharkhand’s Littipara, Hindustan Times reported.
According to the report, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Jitendra Kumar Deo and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Navnit Hembrom visited the village and inquired about the event from the residents.
“Prima facie it seems a case of indecent behaviour in public place, which is a violation of sections 292, 293 and 294 of Indian Penal Code. If it is established, the offenders would be prosecuted accordingly,” Deo told HT.
BJP Demands Suspension of JMM Leader
The BJP on Tuesday, 12 December, demanded the suspension of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislator Simon Marandi from the state assembly for organising the contest.
Jharkhand BJP Vice-President Hemlal Murmu alleged that JMM legislator Simon Marandi organised the event on the direction of the church and Christian missionaries.
Murmu, who hails from Santhal Pargana region, said that there is no such tradition of 'kissing' among the Santhal tribes. He said that events like these are a "blot" on society.
We appeal to the state Assembly Speaker to suspend Simon Marandi from membership of the Assembly. The Santhal tribes do not touch each other’s hands while extending their greetings. In Santhal, tribals greet by saying ‘Dobo Johar’ in which the people place their closed fist on their forehead as part of greetingsHemlal Murmu
Sarnas Bandhan Tigga, a religious leader, told the Hindustan Times that men and women from the community together take part in events, festivals and dance competitions but kissing has never been a part of their culture.
The BJP leader also questioned the name of the event. He said that the event was organised in the name of freedom fighters Siddo-Kanhhu despite the fact that the day did not coincide with the birth or death anniversary of the fighters.
Organising a kissing contest for strengthening the husband wife relationship is nothing less than insanity, Hemlal told the Hindustan Times.
It is ridiculous that such contest having prize money worth Rs 900, Rs 700 and Rs 500 for first, second and third position respectively will restrict growing cases of divorce and differences in Santhal tribal community.Hemlal Mumuru
The district administration of Pakur district has initiated a probe into the incident.
Contest Aimed at “Promoting Love & Modernisation”
Marandi organised a kissing competition of tribal couples at Talpahari village situated under his assembly constituency Littipara late on 9 December.
More than 18 couples locked lips as part on the kissing contest in front of a crowd of people belonging to the Pahariya community. This was organised as a part of the festival, known as the Siddho-Kanho mela, which features a number of events for the locals, primarily Santhali population.
Three tribal couples were awarded after the competition.
The JMM lawmaker told reporters on 11 December that "the kissing competition was organised to promote love and modernisation. Tribal people are hesitant. The hesitation of tribal couple will end by kissing openly in the competition".