Activists Call for Ban of Gujarati Hindu Festival

January 23, 2006

Source: Khaleej Times

Wire Service: AFP

On January 23, 2006 Agence France-Presse reported, "Activists yesterday called on the federal government to ban a Hindu festival which they allege is aimed at intimidating the Christian minority and converting tribals in Gujarat. The three-day Shabri Kumbh Mela (Urn Festival) is scheduled to begin on February 11 in Dangs district where Christians were attacked in the past, allegedly by right-wing Hindus. 'It is nothing but a process of Hinduisation of tribal people, who do not belong to Hinduism but follow their own gods and goddesses like trees and animals,' said Shabnam Hashmi of the group Act Now for Harmony and Democracy. 'We want the (national) government to ban the festival,' Hashmi said, noting that the state’s government was unlikely to do so."