According to Hindu fundamentalist groups, Valentine's Day and other Western holidays should not be observed [EPA]

Activists of Bharath Sena, a Hindu fundamentalist group, protested outside hotels organising New Year celebration in the city of Coimbatore in India's southern Tamil Nadu state early on Saturday.

Hundreds of demonstrators carried banners and flags and shouted slogans hailing India and its culture.

They said that the New Year celebration organised in hotels - especially cabaret dances - is exploiting Hindu culture.

"We strongly condemn such kind of cultural exploitation in our country," said Ramesh, a Bharath Sena activist.

Senthil Kannan, state secretary of Bharath Sena, said that such show of Western culture would hamper Indian values and traditions.

"In the name of English New Year celebration, the Western culture has intruded into our Indian culture, which spoils the younger generation," Kannan said.

Today, he said, in many hotels, men and women "consume liquor and dance".

"We want that this type of cultural exploitation should be stopped immediately, otherwise we will intensify our struggle throughout the state," he said.

The protesters urged the government to take steps to stop the "evil practice" of cultural exploitation in the country with such celebrations.

Over 100 activists were later arrested by the police.

People across the globe ushered the year 2011 and across India there were events such as live concerts, dances and theme parties.

Source: Agencies