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PoliticsIndiaGarba organisers in Madhya Pradesh ban entry of non-Hindus

Garba organisers in Madhya Pradesh ban entry of non-Hindus

Organisers of Garba events across Madhya Pradesh have banned the entry of non-Hindus into the venues. In Ujjain, they are applying tilak, which Muslims normally object to, on the forehead of every entrant while also asking for identity proofs of everyone at the gate. Posters prohibiting the entry of non-Hindus have been put up at all Garba arenas.

Entering the debate over the entry of people into Garba venues before the start of the Navratri festival in the state, Madhya Pradesh Minister of Culture Usha Thakur insisted on making identity cards mandatory for entry into Garba pandals. She observed that Garba pandals had become a “means of love ” (a term that refers to Muslim men waylaying Hindu women for courtship, marriage or just fraud). 

Checking identity cards at the Garba venues became a statewide phenomenon since the minister made the statement, with several Hindu organisations volunteering to help in the screening exercise.

Our Ujjain correspondent reports that organisers of Garba Mahotsav in the Nanakheda area of the city are checking ID cards of all visitors, applying tilak on their foreheads and only then allowing their entry. A certain Seva Hi Sankalp Sanskriti Samiti has put up a poster at the venue that reads: “Non-Hindus should not enter the pandal.” 

At Narmada Puram, it is mandatory to show an ID card. Here, they have a dress code. Women can attend the Garba here only in saris or salwar suits while men can enter the Garba pandal only in kurta-pyjamas.

In Indore, eight Muslim men in all, who had reached two Garba venues, were caught and handed over to the police. They are accused of making obscene remarks about girls and women and taking their pictures without permission.

In Khandwa, it is mandatory to show the identity card to every person going to the Garba pandal, whether it is a woman or the whole family, everyone will have to show identity proof.

In the capital Bhopal, the administration has given instructions to the Garba organisers to ensure the identity of every visitor is verified.

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