AHMEDABAD: The nine-day Navratari season is round the corner and people are all geared up for the big celebration. Garba nights are amongst the most celebrated during the festival and people enjoy them with a lot of enthusiasm. But, raising a wall between religions, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has issued a diktat to not allow Non-Hindus including Muslims and Christians to attend the gala event in different societies across Gujarat.
 
According to the reports, the right-wing Hindu organization is prepared to keep a close watch at all the garba venues in the state to ensure that non-Hindus are not able to enjoy the charisma of the event. 
 
The VHP further added that those Muslims who are still willing to enjoy garba will be offered an option of ‘embracing Hinduism’ at the venue. 
 
According to Ranchhod Bharwad, General Secretary, VHP, the ban on non-Hindus is valid at small garba events in the residential societies of the state but not at the clubs and other commercial events. Bharwad believes that the ban is necessary to ‘stop incidents of love jihad where Muslim boys try to attract Hindu girls and end up marrying them’.
 
“We warn all the non-Hindus, be it Muslims or Christians, to refrain from entering the garba venues across the state. Such Hindu festivals are used as a tool by Muslim boys to lure our girls. Such a ban is necessary to stop love jihad incidents,” he said, adding, “Apart from love jihad, it has to be kept in mind that Navratri is a sacred religious festival of the Hindus. Thus, it is not proper to encourage others to be a part of it. Apart from taking measures from our side, we will also convince societies to implement this ban at their level.”
 
Talking about embracing Hinduism, Bharwad added, “Those Muslims, who want to enjoy garba can only do so after converting to Hinduism. VHP will make all the arrangements at the venue for them to do so. But, we are sure that no one will show the courage and will eventually drop the plan.”
 
On being quizzed over the relevance of such diktats when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aiming for ‘inclusive growth’ and ‘sab ka saath sab ka vikas (development of all with all)’, the VHP General Secretary claimed that Navratari is not a government function.
 
“Navratri is not a government function or a constitutional setup. This is purely a Hindu festival. Thus, the idea of inclusive growth does not apply here. This is a religious festival of the Hindus and we have to protest to maintain the sanctity of this festival,” Bharwad said.
 
 
 
 
 
First Published | 7 October 2015 3:54 PM
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