The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Sunday said that Aadhaar card should be made mandatory for participation in garba and dandiya events to prevent “love jihad”, The Indian Express reported.
“Love jihad” is a Hindutva conspiracy theory that Muslim men lure Hindu women into romantic relationships in order to convert them to Islam. The Union home ministry has told Parliament that Indian law has no provision defining such a term.
But despite this, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s General Secretary Surendra Jain on Sunday said that those attending garba and dandiya events during the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri should be subjected to thorough scrutiny “to ascertain his/her Hindu identity”.
He asserted that ensuring the safety of “our women” is necessary and those who do not have faith in the Hindu religion must not be allowed to participate in the celebrations.
“Festival organisers should make Aadhaar card compulsory to verify credentials of participants,” Jain added, The Indian Express reported. “They should apply tilak [red vermillion] on the forehead and tie kalva [sacred red thread] on the wrist.”
The outfit’s Gujarat spokesperson Hitendrasinh Rajput demanded that participants be sprinkled with cow urine before they are allowed entry into the venues to separate Hindus and non-Hindus, The Economic Times reported.
On October 7, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad urged the Gujarat government to ensure that even service providers at garba events are not Muslims.
Such demands have been made since at least 2015. In 2016, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its youth wing, the Bajrang Dal, had allegedly started sprinkling cow urine on garba participants in Gujarat’ Gandhinagar despite many revellers objecting to it. They reportedly stopped it after the police increased patrolling.