Ahmedabad: Navratri, meaning ‘nine nights’, is one of the most popular and widely celebrated Hindu festivals in many parts of India. Gujarat, however, is the only state that erupts into a nine-night dance festival, perhaps the longest in the world. Each night, all over the state, villages and cities alike, people gather in open spaces to celebrate feminine divinity, referred to as Shakti.
This year it will begin on 13th october but state’s border district kutch’s Hindu garbi mandli has issues a special code for entry for Hindus.
A right-wing group said it has issued a “diktat” barring entry of Muslims at Garba events during the upcoming Navratri festival at Mandvi town in Gujarat’s Kutch district to prevent “love jihad” incidents.
“We have issued a diktat barring the entry of Muslims at Garba events in Mandvi,” said president of Hindu Yuva Sangthan, Raghuvirsinh Jadeja, who is also chief of Vishwa Hindu Parishad of the Mandvi tehsil unit.“Incidents of love jihad where Muslim boys lure and marry our Hindu girls happen at Garba. Our only aim is to protect our girls,” Jadeja told here.
“We are getting a good response from the people and if the people from other regions respond to this movement, then we will spread it to their regions as well,” he said.The organisation will ensure that any person entering the Garba pandal has a tilak on his forehead, and ‘Gaumutra’ (cow-urine) will be sprayed on him, he said.“If a person does not apply tilak and hesitates to be sprayed with Gaumutra, he will not be allowed to go inside.“My people would do patrolling outside and inside Garba events and if they find any non-Hindus, they would exclude them,” he said.
When asked how will they identify non-Hindus, he said, “We can identify such elements.” Last year, VHP leader Pravin Togadia had demanded that Muslims be banned from garba events, and that the identity cards of every person entering the venue of garba events must be checked at the door. “Navratri is the festival of Mother Amba’s prayers and worship, so we cannot allow beef-eating Muslims to enter into Garba places,” Togadia had said.
This latest attempt at dividing India into Hindus, Muslims and other religions, comes as a brutal incident played out in UP’s Dadri district. Earlier this week, a mob beat to death a fifty five year old Muslim man and critically injured his son after rumours surfaced that the family was eating beef. BJP leaders from UP, where the murder took place, condoned or at least excused the violence.
Clerics appeal to Muslim youth to stay away from Graba:
Many Muslims have actually fallen in line with the ban. Several mosques in Anand, Patan and Godhra have asked Muslims to stay away from garba because “it is against the tenets of Islam to do so.” Some garba organisers in the state have announced that “only those Muslim boys dressed in traditional attire and accompanied by their families will be allowed to participate in the festivities.”The artistes feel the festival is being needlessly communalized.
The VHP has also issued a warning to the Anandiben led BJP government to ensure that Muslims do not participate in the official garba events. The outfit also said Hindu organisations would constitute own intelligence teams to keep track of Muslims getting into garba events.
“Garba organisers and the state government should ensure this. Otherwise, the VHP will initiate direct action against Muslims,” VHP guidance unit leader Mahant Akhileshwardas said.
He said that the VHP would object to entry of Muslims into garba venues in a “democratic manner” and carry out state-wide awareness drive to explain why they should not be allowed at venues where the Hindu religious festivals are celebrated. State VHP general secretary Ranchhod Bharwad said if Muslim youth wished to participate in garba events, they should first convert to Hinduism.
By Abdul hafiz lakhani