With Navratri having started, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is putting up banners at entrances of select garba venues across Gujarat, asking non-Hindus to keep away from taking part in the dance programmes as it is restricted “only for Hindus”.
According to the Gujarat VHP leaders, banners are being put up at more than 100 garba venues across Gujarat, hosting dance events during the nine-day festivities.
“We put up our first such banner at Rajpath Club entrance gate on SG Highway here. Gradually, we will cover all venues hosting garba events. The VHP will put up such banners at over 100 such commercial venues across Gujarat,” said VHP media coordinator, Jay Shah.
These posters carry a common text, warning non-Hindus against entering the venue.
“Navratri is a sacred Hindu festival…People who don’t believe in idol-worship must stay away..This festival is for Hindus only,” states the VHP banner.
Last week, general secretary, VHP, Gujarat, Ranchhod Bharwad, announced that VHP would take all necessary steps to stop non-Hindus from entering garba venues.
The right-wing organisation, justifying the ban, claimed that, such steps are necessary to stop incidents of “love jihad, in which a Muslim boy lures and marries Hindu girls”.
The VHP is also recommending extension of time for garba in residential societies. At present, the time limit set by the city police is 12 am, applicable to all Garba venues.
“We demand that the residential societies be kept aside, while implementing this rule. Societies organise garba in their own private place and don’t disturb others. Therefore, VHP leaders will meet the city commissioner of police to demand that time be extended till 4 am,” said Shah.