Amidst a raging debate over inter-faith marriages, a BJP legislator has asked organisers of forthcoming Navratri festival to prevent entry of non-Hindu youths in garbas or devotional dances performed in the praise of goddess Durga during Navratri.
Usha Thakur, the BJP MLA from Indore-3 assembly constituenc, told a section of press that garba organisers should allow only Hindu youths to enter the pandals and that too when they produce voter identity cards.
She said it is improper to let those people who do not believe in Hindu religion enter garba pandals only for dancing and singing. She also asked organisers to ensure that girls participating in garba festivities are decently dressed.
Thakur has been associated with Rashtra Sevika Samiti, the women's wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, for over 25 years.
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 MP Congress Committee chief spokesperson KK Mishra.
He said that state BJP president Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan should clear his party's stand on Thakur's appeal. The nine-day festival will fall in month end.