Wish this wasn’t happening: ‘Diwali Mubarak’ vs ‘Shubh Deepavali’ on social media
The debate started after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Diwali Mubarak on Tuesday.Updated: Oct 20, 2017 12:35 IST
Not even Diwali greetings are free of fights over semantics. People on social media this week have been debating if the greeting should be ‘Diwali mubarak’ or ‘Shubh Diwali’.
The debate started on Tuesday after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted a picture of himself in a black sherwani, lighting a lamp, saying: “Diwali Mubarak! We’re celebrating in Ottawa tonight. #HappyDiwali!”
Many Indians replied to Trudeau’s greetings, criticising him for using ‘Diwali Mubarak’, which according to them, is associated with Muslim festivals such as Eid. They said the appropriate way to wish was to say ‘Shubh Diwali’ or ‘Happy Diwali’. But others countered this argument by calling out the hypocrisy in taking umbrage at ‘Diwali Mubarak’ but being fine with ‘Happy Diwali’.
The Arabic word ‘Mubarak’ literally translates to “blessed”, but is often used colloquially to say congratulations or give greetings. A day before Diwali, prime minister Narendra Modi had tweeted good wishes at the start of the Gujrati new year, wishing them ‘Saal Mubarak’.
Saal Mubarak to all Gujaratis across the world. May the coming year bring happiness, prosperity & lead to fulfilment of your aspirations.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 20, 2017
Those who were opposed to the idea of ‘Diwali Mubarak’ were at pains to point out that the usage was different in both cases. While Shubh Deepavali is the most usual way to wish in many parts of India, Diwali Mubarak is a fairly common greeting as well. This is the first time a debate has started over the usage of the term.
Pakistani actor Mahira Khan’s ‘Diwali Mubarak’ greeting on Wednesday was also ‘corrected’ by some users. Abhay Shrivastava commented on her tweet: “Its Happy diwali. But yeah!! Thankyou. Same to u. (sic)”
Twitter user Nupur, a right-wing supporter who authors a blog ‘Saffron Scarf’, was at the forefront of the conversation, alleging the “massacre” and appropriation of Hindu culture had begun. “Blocked an idiot friend who sent me a “Diwali Mubarak” greeting on WhatsApp. Bloody idiots,” read one of her tweets.
Here’s what both sides of the Diwali Mubarak debate had to say:
Those all for using ‘Diwali Mubarak’ as a greeting:
'Happy Diwali' is acceptable but 'Diwali Mubarak' is objectionable because Britishers were better than Mughals.— Rofl Gandhi (@RoflGandhi_) October 19, 2017
There is I think a real chance the objection to "Diwali Mubarak" is in part rooted in either Hindu nationalism or anti-Muslim sentiment.— navneet alang (@navalang) October 17, 2017
Hinduism has the space to accommodate "Happy Diwali", "Shubh Deepavali" & "Diwali Mubarak". That *is* its essence. Not Hindutva's though.— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) October 19, 2017
Those against ‘Diwali Mubarak’ as a greeting:
I have never seen anyone wishing "Shubh Eid" or "Shubh Christmas" 🤔— Surya (@heartpatent) October 19, 2017
My last few words on this subject. Today it’s "Diwali Mubarak". Tomorrow, it’s "Jashn-e-chirag mubarak". That’s how they kill culture— Nupur (@UnSubtleDesi) October 20, 2017
Diwali Mubarak? What nonsense! Don't disrespect Deepavali by contaminating it with ur Arabic shit. Moreover who cares if u wished or not?— Jayaprakash Kini (@jayaprakashkini) October 18, 2017
Word to the wise : It's "Shubh-Deepavali", (Auspicious Deepavali), and NOT "Diwali Mubarak". "Mubarak" is Arabic, not Indian. @CanadainIndia— Truthsayer (@a_truthsayer) October 17, 2017
First Published: Oct 20, 2017 12:34 IST