Bajrang Dal stopped the play due to Muslim character and inter-religious angle Pi News

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The incident is from Shivamogga district of Karnataka. A theater group was staging a play by noted writer and lyricist Jayant Kaikini. Bajrang Dal activists raised slogans and raised slogans on the stage, alleging that the play had some Muslim characters and angle of love jihad. He said that it would send a wrong message to the society.

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New Delhi: During the staging of a Kannada play, members of the Bajrang Dal allegedly had to stop the play after they raised slogans and climbed the stage. The incident took place on Sunday (July 3) evening at Anavatti in Sorab taluk of Karnataka’s Shivamogga district.

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The Hindu has reported in a report that Shivamogga’s theater group Rangabelaku was staging the play ‘Jotegiruvanu Chandira’ (meaning the moon will be with us) by noted writer and lyricist Jayant Kaikini. The play is a Kannada adaptation of Joseph Stein’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.

The event was organized by Kannada Sahitya Parishad, Karnataka Janpad Parishad and Kannada Sanskritik Vedike.

According to The Hindu, as soon as the play began, members of the Bajrang Dal under the leadership of Sridhar Achar started pressurizing the organizers to stop the play. His reasoning was that there are Muslim characters in the play, so it should not have been allowed to happen in the village.

Kotarappa G., a senior member of Rangabelku Dal. Hiremgadi said, ‘A few minutes before my entry, some people started shouting slogans and climbed on the stage, we were shocked. We never expected this.

Sridhar claimed that the play with Muslim characters could not be performed in the marriage halls of the Veerashaivas (a sect within the Shaivite community under Hinduism). He asked the audience to leave.

Hiremgadi told The Telegraph on Monday, ‘They were shouting ‘Bolo Bharat Mata ki Jai’. They threatened to occupy the stage and forced us to switch off the lights of the stage. He also rejected my request to finish the last scene.

Hiremgadi further added, ‘(He said) the play will not be allowed to continue with Muslim characters wearing caps and hijabs, as this marriage hall belongs to the Veerashaiva community.’

The Veerashaivas are an orthodox Shaiva community, which is well represented in the Sangh Parivar organizations in Karnataka.

However, members of the right-wing group also claimed that there was a ‘love jihad’ angle in the play.

According to The Telegraph, Bajrang Dal’s state convener Raghu Sakleshpura said, ‘I was told that the play has an angle of love jihad, in which a Hindu boy marries a Muslim character. It will send a wrong message to the community.

‘Love Jihad’ is a tactic often used by Hindu right-wing groups to harass inter-religious youth. The Bharatiya Janata Party has also made laws against it in various states.

Hiremgadi said, ‘Our troupe has been staging plays for the last 15 years. We have chosen drama as a medium to spread communal harmony and peace in the society. A team of 22 artists including 6 women was in the village to stage the play.

The police reportedly reached the spot after the play had been disrupted. Hiremgadi said that the police will not file a complaint, as there is no point in doing so.

Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the incident was an act of “cultural terrorism” by members of the Sangh Parivar. “The state government should arrest and punish all the miscreants involved in this act,” he said.

Categories: india special society

Tagged as: Bajrang Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communal Harmony, Fiddler on the Roof, Hindu Right Groups, Jayant Kaikini, Joseph Stein, Jotegiruvanu Chandira, Kannada play, Love JIhad, Muslims, News, Rangabelaku, Siddaramaiah, The Wire Hindi

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