Public Display of Affection (PDA) – Cool or Not Cool

May 11, 2018

This is not first time incident on PDA got highlighted in media, it keeps cropping up in news. However this time on Kolkatta case it's a mix reaction, it has got equally condemned and protested as supported.

What does PDA mean?

What does law of the land say?

And what are the do’s and don’ts?

A PDA, or public display of affection, is any form of physical contact between couples in a public setting. It includes everything from kissing and cuddling to holding hands or exchanging light touches. Technically speaking physical affection has been defined as "any touch intended to arouse feelings of love in the giver and/or the recipient.
Displays of affection in a public place, such as the street, are more likely to be objected to, than similar practices in a private place with only people from a similar cultural background present.
Law of Land:
As per law that prevents obscenity in the open, the “Indian Penal Code Section” 294 (a) states “Whoever, to the annoyance of others does any obscene act in any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both”.

Do’s and Don’ts
Below actions meet the criteria as PDA?
  • Kissing your partner compassionately in a public place
  • Sensually touching the genitals of your partner in a public place
  • The Act of making out in public
  • And of course, Having sexual intercourse at a public place (not sure which nut will do that)

Below actions do not meet criteria as PDA?

  • Holding hands of your partner in Public
  • Hugging your partner in public
  • If kissing is done as a means of greeting your partner
  • Expressing your love for your partner verbally
  • Putting your arms around your partner’s arms
( list above is not all-inclusive, it's from secondary sources)

Unlike the West, we Indians are not allowed to show affection at least in public. The famous United States phrase "get a room" is commonly used now in Indian societies as well wherever one sense excessive public display of affection.
Basically what’s happening is that PDA is somehow perceived as interlinked with sex in India? For instance, we think that mouth-to-mouth kissing is a western concept and therefore not really something that we should be doing in public. But many of us do not know the origins of kissing were first mentioned in the Mahabharata. Historians have found the earliest references to the practice of lip kissing in the Mahabharata dated 1500 B.C. and the reference continued with the Kama Sutra with many descriptive verities of kissing and having sex. Another interesting point is that the conquering armies of Alexander and his army learned the art of kissing from the Indians. This doesn’t mean Indians were the first to invent kissing; it simply means that it was first mentioned in texts where people appeared to be kissing (a report says).
We live in a country where rape is common, undercover is considered almost acceptable, there are sensuous sculptures on temples expressing love in its unique forms, men peeing on the side of the road but human intimacy is a curious contradiction. However, with the remarkable achievements in every other aspect, society has managed to abolish the conservative norms up to a prominent extent. 
I feel each individual is mindful enough to decide on its own and in the near future, we may hope to put an end to such established set up entirely.
pic courtesy

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