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Defying threat, Noida temple goes ahead with qawwali singing

The Gautam Budh district administration on Wednesday provided heavy police protection at a Dronacharya temple in Greater Noida’s Dankaur after a right-wing group objected to the decades-old practice of qawwali singing during the annual Janmashtami fair.

noida Updated: Sep 13, 2018 03:33 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times, Greater Noida
threat,temple,qawwali
The Hindu Yuva Vahini’s district faction had registered a complaint with the administration and police, alleging that ‘obscene dance is performed’ at the temple in the garb of qawwali and submitted a video as ‘proof’.(Vaibhav Jha/HT Photo)

The Gautam Budh district administration on Wednesday provided heavy police protection at a Dronacharya temple in Greater Noida’s Dankaur after a right-wing group objected to the decades-old practice of qawwali singing during the annual Janmashtami fair.

On Monday, the Hindu Yuva Vahini’s district faction had registered a complaint with the administration and police, alleging that ‘obscene dance is performed’ at the temple in the garb of qawwali and submitted a video as ‘proof’.

The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration said the video was a fake. The organisation had launched a protest, which prompted the temple committee to postpone the event to Wednesday night.

“The video belonged to some other fair. It wasn’t of Dronacharya temple. We have spoken to both the parties and decided that all traditional programmes, including qawwali singing, which has been organised over the years, will continue. Police video-recorded all programmes at the fair,” said Rajpal Singh, sub-divisional magistrate, Sadar.

The Dronacharya temple committee organises a 12-day fair every year on the occasion of Janmashtami and includes qawwali as one of the 12 programmes during the festival.

“We have been organising qawwali singing for the past 25 years, which is attended by both Hindus and Muslims. The qawwali includes devotional songs sung in the praise of Lord Krishna and Ganesha and some renowned Islamic peers. A total of 20 artistes, both Hindus and Muslims, sing qawwalis. This is the first time we have faced such a problem, which led to the postponing of the event on Monday. It was held on Wednesday night under heavy police presence,” said Mahipal Garg, president, Dronacharya Temple committee.

The temple has mythological importance as it is believed that Bheel warrior ‘Eklayva’ crafted the bust of ‘Guru Dronacharya’ at Dankaur, mythologically known as ‘Khandav Prastha’. Chainpal Bhati, the president of district faction of Hindu Yuva Vahini, however, said the practice of singing qawwalis must be stopped.

When Hindustan Times told Bhati that the purported video had been found to be a fake, he said, “They have succumbed to the demands of the local groups.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 03:33 IST