A Kutch outfit has decided to impose a ban on entry of non-Hindus into Navratri venues. Hindus who want to enter the said venues will have to apply a tilak on their foreheads and sprinkle cow urine on themselves before entering the venues, according to Hindu Sangathan Yuva Morcha.
The morcha claimed this was being done to check cases of harassment of women, at the venues. This kind of screening will ensure that genuine garba enthusiasts will be allowed, it added. There are around six garba venues open for the public in Mandvi.
Morcha president Raghuvirsinh Jadeja told CNN-IBN, “Anyone who looks at our mothers and sisters in a bad way is a sinner.”
Garba enthusiasts, on their part, do not like the diktat. Leaders of minority community have appealed the diktat be revoked.
“Whether its Eid or Navratri, we celebrate the festivals with enthusiasm,” said a garba enthusiast Qasim Traya. Another enthusiast Ravindra Sabharwal said, “Such diktats do not help communal harmony. Giving communal colour to festivals like Navratri, which are celebrated by one an all is unfortunate.”
This is not the first time that such attempts are being made in Gujarat. In 2014, an organisation had banned members of minority community from entering garba venues, in Godhra.