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Vishwa Hindu Parishad demands Tilak and cow urine for Garba entrants to separate Hindus from Non-Hindus

Bajrang Dal, VHP members.
(REUTERS File Photo)

By Muslim Mirror Staff

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a right-wing Hindu organization, has ignited a heated debate by reiterating its long-standing demand for Garba event attendees to receive a tilak on their foreheads and be sprinkled with cow urine as a means of distinguishing Hindus from non-Hindus. This demand, first made in 2015, resurfaced recently when VHP Gujarat spokesperson Hitendrasinh Rajput brought it to the forefront.

Garba, a traditional Gujarati dance, holds cultural significance and is a key feature of the Navratri festival, celebrated by people of all religious backgrounds. However, VHP’s demands have raised concerns about discrimination and exclusion.

In a press statement on Sunday, VHP General Secretary Surendra Jain added another layer to the controversy, suggesting that Aadhaar cards should be made mandatory for participation in Garba and dandiya events to prevent what he referred to as “love jihad.”

He argued that safeguarding the safety of women is paramount, and individuals who do not adhere to the Hindu faith should not be allowed to take part in these festivities.

This latest development has intensified an ongoing debate over religious discrimination during Indian festivals. Several instances of hate crimes against Muslims have been reported during Hindu festivals when individuals from the Muslim community attend or participate in the events.

VHP’s demand to separate Hindus from non-Hindus using traditional markings and rituals has triggered concerns over the potential erosion of India’s long-standing tradition of inclusivity and communal harmony. Critics argue that such demands could promote religious divisiveness and hinder the spirit of unity and diversity that has long been celebrated during Navratri.

On October 7, the VHP, infamous for its role in the 2002 Gujarat genocide, urged the state government to ensure that even service providers at Garba events are not Muslims, further deepening the rift and raising questions about discrimination based on religious identity.

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