India is passing through one of its periodic fits of Victorian morality as conservative Indians attempt to stamp out behaviour they consider to be indecent and against 'tradition'. On one occasion police nearly cosed down a hotel in Chennai, southern India, because couples were kissing while dancing at a private party. On another, they fined an Israeli couple who had opted for a traditional Hindu wedding in Rajasthan but made the mistake of kissing after the ceremony. An outraged priest informed the police of their 'indecent' behaviour and the couple had to pay an US$11 fine. In the past, Hindu nationalists have attacked shops selling Valentine's Day cards and targeted couples celebrating the day on the grounds that it was 'against Indian culture'. Traditionalists often strike a chord with the conservative Indian middle class. For example, when Hindu nationalists fought to have dance bars in Mumbai shut down, many ordinary Indians supported them. And when several colleges recently imposed a strict dress code for students, many parents approved. Bombay University's vice-chancellor, Vijay Khole, triggered controversy, though, when he went even further, saying that 'scantily-clothed students could be one of the reasons why rape happens'. The fact is that Indian society is in flux. In urban India particularly, morals and lifestyles are changing fast. So the 'old India' of strict segregation between the sexes and puritanical behaviour clashes every day with the 'new India' of speed-dating, wild farmhouse parties and casual sex. Young Indians are grappling with choices about the kind of lifestyle they aspire to: the reserve of their parents' generation, which frowned at even married couples holding hands in public, or a modern culture of permissiveness and emancipation. Much of the confusion arises from the fact that the sexes are mixing more than ever before. As Indian women have become educated and joined the workforce, the opportunities for men and women to interact, flirt and mingle together are far more common than before. 'It's really women who are driving this change. Until recently, women were prepared to be docile and submit to what was expected of them but now they're not prepared to take inequality or domination,' said author and celebrity Shobha Dee.