I’ve always been told that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Now, the Gujarat police is saying that you can have your birthday cake, eat it too but without smearing it on anyone’s face.
Smearing cake, adhesive tape and chemical foam in a public place, something that is commonly done during Indian birthday celebrations, can now get you arrested in Gujarat in India. The order issued on May 13 by the Assistant Commissioner of Police PL Chaudhary under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been set in motion from May 14 to July 12. Those who violate this order will be answerable under provisions of Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
“We received information about incidents in which individuals suffered injuries in a birthday celebration,” said Police Commissioner Satish Sharma to The Times of India (TOI). “On Dumas Road and some bridges, such incidents were reported. Considering this, the order has been issued.”
This move comes after multiple people raised complaints with the police over social media, alleging that the seemingly innocuous birthday celebrations by school and college students was damaging public property and people’s patience. “A young man whose birthday was being celebrated was tied to a light pole and later eggs were thrown at him. The boy fell on ground when freed by neighbours,” said sources in the police to TOI.
I’ve been to birthday celebrations where I’ve even witnessed a friend being doused in a mixture of chemical cream and Sprite in the name of celebration, after which he was chased on the streets while his best friends tried to egg his escape attempt. Birthdays in India can be rough, and not just because someone getting older gives the nosey aunties even more reason to ask the inevitable “Shaadi ka kya?” (What about marriage?) question. Between dunking your friend’s face in the cake and giving them birthday bumps, we try to use our actions to show our affection. But even our best intentions don’t always make it okay.
“This notification has been issued to give out a clear message and create awareness among people that certain types of celebrations are life threatening and they should be avoided.”, said Sharma. And in case you’re wondering whether picking a pie or ice cream to smash on your friend’s face is the loophole here, Sharma stresses that, ”Police will not only book those involved for violation of notification but for thrashing and other related offences as well.”
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This article originally appeared on VICE IN.