India’s ‘love guru’ seeks to woo voters’ hearts

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

NEW DELHI, April 13, 2009 (AFP) – A professor dubbed “the love guru” is contesting India’s elections on an unusual platform — more freedom for lovers and standing up to vigilante groups who frown on public displays of affection.

Matuk Nath Choudhary, who is standing in the Bihar state capital of Patna, is promising that, if he wins, lovers of all ages will be encouraged to give free rein to their emotions wherever and whenever they please.

The softly-spoken Hindi professor, who gained notoriety thanks to a very public extramarital affair with a student three years ago, is running as an independent against many well-established political names.

But the man who made headlines for defying social norms in strictly conservative India to stay with his lover, despite his wife’s humiliating the duo in front of TV cameras, appears undaunted by the challenge.

“I am in this on my own steam. Unlike my opponents who have the backing of political parties and huge amounts of money, I have limited resources,” he told AFP by phone from Patna.

“But my message — on love, education, improving society — makes sense, which is why people are listening to me. Everyone is scared of talking about love and sex. I do this openly a