A video of a group of women in a Dalit home fending off Hindutva supremacists in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district emerged on social media on Wednesday, The News Minute reported.
The widely shared video showed the women questioning the men who reportedly barged into the home and tried to stop the Christmas celebrations on Tuesday. The incident occurred in Bilidevalaya village in Tumakuru’s Kunigal taluk around 7.30 pm.
The men belonged to Hindutva group Bajrang Dal.
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Inspector Raju P at the Kunigal police station told The News Minute that complaints had been filed by both the groups involved in the dispute. However, a case has not been registered yet.
“Police reached the spot immediately when we got a call and we spoke to both groups,” the officer said. “The family was celebrating Christmas but few men had gone there and disrupted it. It was only an argument and there was no violence.”
The men reportedly asked the women why they were celebrating Christmas and the reason for not wearing “sindoor” or vermillion as married Hindu women do. The group also asked why some of the family’s members had converted to Christianity, reported NDTV.
But one of the women asked the men to provide proof that any conversions had taken place. “Where has this [conversion] happened,” she asked. The woman also told the Hindutva group that it was solely their decision if they wanted to celebrate Christmas.
“Who are you to question us?” one of the women asked. “I can remove the ‘mangalsutra’ [a necklace worn by married Hindu women] and keep it aside.” She then asked the men to “get out” of the home.
Bajrang Dal leader from Kunigal taluk, Ramu Bajarangi, said that a gram panchayat leader in the Bilidevalaya village had informed them that the family had been celebrating Christmas and holding prayers in their home.
The incident comes amid several reports of Hindutva supremacists disrupting Christmas celebrations in the country.
Last week, members of a Hindutva group disrupted Christmas celebrations in a school in Pandavapura town of Karnataka’s Mandya district. In a video, the men could be seen shouting at teachers of the Nirmala English High School and College, asking them to stop the Christmas festivities.
Earlier this month, a report released by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties listed 39 incidents of violence against Christians in Karnataka between January and November. The report noted that the state has seen a sharp increase in violent attacks by Hindutva groups on Christians during prayer meetings.
Another fact-finding report by the United Christians Forum, Association for Protection of Civil Rights and United Against Hate ranked Karnataka as third in the list of states with the highest number of attacks on Christians, reported The Hindu.
The Christian community in Karnataka has also expressed concerns that the state’s new anti-conversion Bill was targeted at them. The Bill proposes maximum punishment of a jail term of 10 years for forcible religious conversion of women, minors and people from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes.