Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Hindus denied Holi celebration

April 10, 2005
By Ravindra Saini

It sounds incredible, but it is true. Can anyone believe that there may be some villages in India specially in Uttaranchal where Hindus are not allowed to celebrate their most favourite festival, Holi. Yes, there are about 10 such villages in Haridwar district, which is called the holiest place of Uttaranchal.

Talking to Organiser Shri Matbar Singh Kandari, Leader of Opposition in Uttaranchal assembly, said that villagers in more than 10 villages of Haridwar district had not been allowed to celebrate Holi for several years. Shri Kandari said that this year he, as a chief guest, was invited to celebrate Holi in a village named Ghissu Pura by a BJP worker who himself is a Muslim. “When I was going to the village to attend the festival, the police stopped me in the way,” he said. The village Pradhan Moh. Shamshad had invited him to celebrate Holi. He was also invited to visit a madarsa after the celebration. When the police stopped him without any reason, he told the police that he was going to celebrate Holi with the villagers of Ghissu Pura and it would be celebrated peacefully. But the police did not allow him to enter the village.

Then Shri Kandari appealed to the police to come with him to the village but the police tried to take him into custody. When he asked the police about his offence and the reason why he was not being allowed to enter the village, the police were unable to advance any reason. When the police started dragging Kandari, he lay on the road and told the police that he would continue lying on the road till he was allowed to go to the village. He expressed his determination that he would go to the village and not to the rest house at any cost. This news spread like fire and activists of BJP, Bajrang Dal, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and a local BJP MLA, Madan Kaushik and a huge crowd of villagers reached the spot. Witnessing the increasing crowd, the police and PAC fired about 100 rounds in the air. The crowd in reaction started pelting stones. This resulted into wounds and injuries to about 100 people. The police then arrested Shri Kandari and other agitators and kept them in Shri Ram Ashram. Shri Kandari remained on hunger strike in protest against the illegal and undemocratic action of the police.

Talking to Organiser Shri Kandari expressed intense resentment and regret for not being allowed the Hindus to burn Holi according to their traditions. He said that there was not any law in the country that prevents Hindus from celebrating their festivals. He said that atrocities on Hindus were increasing day by day under the misrule of the Congress government. He asserted that this issue would be raised in the state Assembly and the Chief Minister would be asked why Hindu could not celebrate their festivals.

The police also beat up women activists who were staging a dharna near the heap of Holika, demanding the permission of burning it according to Hindu tradition. Several women were wounded due to lathicharge by the police.

Shri Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, state BJP president, has condemned the action of the police and warned of a statewide massive agitation against the state government. He said that preventing Hindus from celebrating Holi was an insult.

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