Amid a raging debate over ‘love jihad’, a Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party MLA has asked organisers of forthcoming Navratri festival to disallow entry of non-Hindu youths in pandals where ‘garba’ or devotional dance is performed in the praise of goddess Durga.
Madhya Pradesh BJP vice president and MLA from Indore (3) seat, Usha Thakur told reporters on Wednesday that organisers of ‘garba’ should only allow Hindu youths to enter the pandals and that too on production of their voter identity cards.
“It is not appropriate to let those people who do not believe in Hindu religion enter the pandals for ‘garba’ only for dancing and singing. I have appealed to organisers to allow only Hindu youths in pandals and that too on production of voter identity cards,” the 48-year-old legislator said.
Thakur also asked the organisers to ensure that girls participating in garba festivities are “decently” dressed up.
Slamming Thakur’s statement, opposition Congress said that the MLA is “endorsing social policing” which has no place in democracy. “Thakur’s appeal neither matches Indian culture nor upholds dignity of Constitution. This cannot be tolerated in a democratic set up,” said K K Mishra, chief spokesperson of Congress’s state unit.
Mishra also asked the state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan to clear his party’s stand on the appeal made by Thakur. “Usha Thakur is vice-president of state BJP as well as a legislator. I appeal to the state BJP chief to clear his party’s view on the appeal made by her,” he said.