With the nine-day Navratri festival round the corner, the VHP has issued a diktat not to allow non-Hindus, including Muslims and Christians, at garba events in residential societies across Gujarat.
The right-wing Hindu organisation said its volunteers will keep a close watch at the garba venues across the state to see whether non-Hindus were trying to enter the venues.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) further said that those Muslims, who still want to enjoy garba, will be given an option to “embrace Hinduism” at the venue.
Gujarat VHP’s general secretary Ranchhod Bharwad told reporters here today that the ban on non-Hindus is applicable at small garba events organised in residential societies only and not at the clubs and other commercial events.
He said the ban is necessary “to stop incidents of ‘love jihad’, where Muslim boys lure and marry Hindu girls.”
“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 added.
“Apart from love jihad, it has to be kept in mind that Navratri is a sacred religious festival of Hindus. Thus, it is not proper to encourage others to be part of it. Apart from taking measures from our side, we will also convince societies to implement this ban at their level,” said Bharwad.
Those Muslims, who still want to enjoy garba, will be given an option to convert to Hinduism at the venue, he said.
“Those Muslims, who want to enjoy garba can only do so after converting to Hinduism. VHP will make all the arrangements at the venue if he wishes to do so. But, we are sure that no one will show the courage and eventually drop his plan,” said Bharawad.
When asked about the relevance of such diktats when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitches for “inclusive growth” and “sab ka saath sab ka vikas (development of all with all)”, Bharwad claimed that Navratri is not a government function.
“Navratri is not a government function or a constitutional set up. This is purely a Hindu festival. Thus, idea of inclusive growth does not apply here. This is a religious festival of Hindus and we have to protest to keep the sanctity of this festival,” Bharwad said.