A scientist from Gujarat has claimed that he and his friends were barred from entry into a "garba" event in Atlanta, US. They were denied entry to the garba dance venue by the organisers on the ground that their last names and look weren't "Hindu".
"Year 2018 and Shakti Mandir in Atlanta, USA denied me and my friends entry from playing garba because: 'You dont look Hindu and last name in your IDs dont sound Hindu", Karan Jani, from Vadodara, tweeted on October 12.
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Jani works as an astrophysicist in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), a large-scale physics experiment and observatory operated by Caltech and MIT to detect cosmic gravitational waves.
Jani alleged that he and his friends were denied entry on the ground that they were "Ismaili, Vohra and Sindhis".
In his tweet, Jani narrated a conversation between one of the organisers and his friend.
He said:"My Konkani friend who came to Garba for 1st time due to enthusiasm of us Gujaratis was pulled out of line and was told: 'We dont come to your events, you are not allowed to ours' She: 'My last name is Murdeshwar. Im Kannada-Marathi!' Him: 'What is Kannada? You are Ismaili'."
"My other friends last name had 'Dangarwala'. We spoke in Gujarati to them. They still said we were 'Vohra, Sindhis'. They actually kept stating other religions!! They ganged up and told us to leave. While we saw other non-Indians being entered (which they of course should!)," he further tweeted.
"Our IDs had Indian Emblem. Yes emblem with 'Satyamev Jayate' right? Apparently, it didnt have our religion. Our caste. It was embarrassing. I had tears in my eyes saying them: I come here to play Garba for last 6 years. How could you not let us in because of last name'," Jani tweeted.
"Shocked and embarassed," Jani said he had been attending the garba event at the venue for the last six years.
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Meanwhile, Karan's father Pankaj Jani, who lives in Vadodara, told media persons that "volunteers stopped him and told him he does not look like a Hindu and even his surname does not appear to be that of a Hindu. They checked his ID which had the national emblem on it. Despite that, he was asked to leave. Later he talked to me over phone and sounded nervous".
Garba dance is an Indian traditional form of dance performed by women folk during a Hindu festival. The dance is said to have its origin in Gujarat.