There has been a long standing debate around public display of affection in our country. According to section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, individuals can be booked for showing physical affection in public places, especially if they’re offending anyone. 

For instance, we recently saw an alarming video of a man being thrashed in UP for kissing his wife while taking a dunk in Saryu river. 

The incident has sparked a widespread debate about how ethical it is to react with violence upon seeing PDA. 

Because there is a certain kind of vagueness in this. Obscenity and offensiveness are largely subjective, so, how do we really know when two people are being obscene and are there better, gentler ways to respond to it? For now though, here is a list of some other times Indians were assaulted for showing affection, publicly: 

1. When a couple from Kolkata was thrashed for “standing too close” to each other on the metro.

Elderly people in the train began attacking the couple, until a few of the other passengers dragged them out of the crowd. 

2. When a Tamil Nadu couple was physically assaulted for merely being seen together in an auto rickshaw. 

In this situation, an auto driver decided to start beating up a man for being seen with a woman near Wayanad. When the woman tried to intervene, he slapped her as well.


3. When in 2018, this couple was attacked by a mob in UP. 

Some of the people harassing the couple here are heard telling them that they should have gone to a hotel, rather than be out and about in the open. Unfortunately, the situation worsened and things got aggressive quickly. 

4. Then when this couple was thrashed in Kashipur, Uttrakhand. 

The video shows a couple being attacked in the middle of a wheat field in Kashipur. 

5. When back in 2019, a Chandigarh couple was attacked for showing PDA at Bhora Sahib Gurdwara.

A duo disguised as ‘Nihangs,’ approached the couple and asked one of the partners how they know each other, but even when he said that they’re engaged, the two people continued to harass and beat him up. 

The perpetrators even went on to tear up the woman’s clothes when she tried to stop the beating. 


6. This Redditor posted about being harassed by multiple older men when he was only sitting on a swing with his girlfriend in a park in Mumbai. 

He couldn’t even look me in the eye, he kept stepping back and slinked down but still shouting, ‘You know my designation’, “What disgusting things you doing in park’. All we were doing were sitting, relaxing & being a little cutesy at worst. It became a full scene in the park by then.

-Said u/bombayuppie

7. In 2018, a Meghalaya couple was beaten up in the West Garo Hills district. 

Unfortunately the couple were hurt to the extent of being admitted to a hospital! 

They were caught and beaten up. As they have not lodge any complaint, we have initiated a case suo motu. Investigation is on. The matter has been informed to the Women’s Commission. 

-Said Superintendent of Police, Dr MGR Kumar

8. When Runcil Rebello (24) and Cheryl Godinho (25) of Mumbai were fined for hugging each other. 

As per the report, there was a good amount of space between the couple, even while they were hugging. But suddenly, a group approached them and led them to the police where they were asked to pay a fine of ₹ 1,200 for ‘behaving indecently’ in public.


9.  This redditor also posted about being harassed for sitting in his car with his girlfriend, when neither of them were engaging in any form of PDA. 

This went on for a good 5 minutes and he threatened to take us to the police station, call our parents, and so on until I reached into my wallet and handed him a Rs. 500 note. He immediately grabbed it but still asked me to step outside and hand him my license and I reached out and had to give him another five hundred rupees. Only then he told me to flee off.

-Said u/CorruptPolicia

10. When recently, this UP man was assaulted for kissing his wife. 

The couple was taking a dunk in Saryu river together when multiple people around them began assaulting one of the partners. 

Clearly, there needs to be a change of some sort here. There are way too may instances where the harassment took a very ugly turn!