Wish this wasn’t happening: ‘Diwali Mubarak’ vs ‘Shubh Deepavali’ on social media

Hindustan Times | By
Oct 20, 2017 12:35 PM IST

The debate started after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Diwali Mubarak on Tuesday.

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’.

On Twitter, many people objected to the use of ‘Diwali Mubarak’ as a greeting.(PTI)
On Twitter, many people objected to the use of ‘Diwali Mubarak’ as a greeting.(PTI)

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!”

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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’.

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:

Those against ‘Diwali Mubarak’ as a greeting:

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