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Don’t give it a religious colour

I feel nauseous when I read in newspapers that garba/dandiya during Navratri  are now out of bounds for Muslim youths for fear that they may woo Hindu girls and elope with them. Ludicrous idea, to say the least. Who’re these extremely fanatic (Hindu) elements who can go to the extent of slamming the doors of ‘Hindu’ festivals to the faces of Muslim youths? First of all, festivals are neither Hindu nor Muslim. Every year I wait for Eid  to have sheer-khurma at my numerous Muslim friends’ place and many of them are overjoyed to see me at their threshold, uninvited!

Despite belonging to no religion, region and community whatsoever, I used to take my Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim friends to Bengali association’s Durga Pooja in Edinburgh (UK). Our only aim was to have the tasty prasad and of course, appreciating gorgeous Bong females with absolutely no mala-fide intention. No one ever stopped a non-believer like me or my multi-religious friends. Festivals are the most appropriate time to enjoy and are above all religious concerns and considerations. Don’t degrade them by giving religious colours and hues. Let all visit garbas and play dandiya, irrespective of faiths and (religious) beliefs.
 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2014 on page no. 2

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