The Story So Far

Scene 1: A Boy and a Girl catching each other’s hand, walking in the street. The Boy puts his hand over the girl’s shoulders. In a bus they both sit next to each other catching each other’s hands.

Scene 2: Two men who accidentally hit each other’s bike on the road, start quarreling which leads to the extent of physical violence and physical injuries and bloodshed.

P.S: I want you to pause for a second and think of the instant reaction that you will have when you see such things. Along with that, also try and imagine how our society in general, views at all these scenes.

Common reactions to the above scenes would be the following:

Reaction for Scene 1: “Please take a room”; “Their parents have not groomed them properly”; “The character of the girl is not good” etc.

Reaction for Scene 2: 99% of the people around always remain silent and try to completely detach themselves and do not try to stop the situation in the fear of getting into trouble.

As a reader you might be trying to speculate the message that I am trying to convey through this.

According to Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Public Display of Affection (PDA) is a criminal offence, which amounts to punishment with an imprisonment up to three months.

In India, public display of affection (PDA) is a growing phenomenon. The relaxation of previous generations’ social norms has made public displays of affection more common among India’s younger demographic.
Public displays of Affection are acts of physical intimacy in the view of others. In our Indian society, the definition of acceptable display of affection is ruled by our culture and traditions. PDA is a personalized act and logically it should be controlled by one’s perceptions and thoughts.

All this concludes to one single question – Has Public Display of Anger (PDA) taken over the expression of Love, Care and Affection? Are we not able to tolerate and accept the expression of Love; but accepted the expression of anger, violence, and bloodshed? Has the emotion of anger taken over affection? It is the question on our perspective tolerance anger and love into our system. It is the question that has to be considerable thought. It is a battle of our thoughts before it is expressed.

With an increase in terrorism, communal violence etc. it is time to break the silence. Let’s stop being judgmental hypocrites and be mature enough to speak up at the right context. It’s time to think and evolve ourselves as individuals and as a society. It is our responsibility to fill our lives with love and warmth, and to make this a better place to live in.


  • Well that is the true nature of our society today, but it has its deep roots somewhere. I have no clue where?

    Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Public Display of Affection (PDA) is a criminal offence………..similarly is there a sec against public display of anger?

  • S Saravanan

    Nice thought provoking article. Basically in all these cases it comes down to defining what is morally right or wrong. Morality continues to evolve in all societies according to their cultures traditions etc . Western countries are higher on this curve while India with its religion and cultural diversity will obviously take longer but one thing is for sure the evolution will happen. For now though we have to live with section 294 as far as PDA is concerned.

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