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Current Affairs

Banning Muslim vendors from temple fair

Date: 06 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Ring-wing groups in Karnataka have given a call to exclude Muslim vendors from putting up stalls during temple fairs in the state.

 

Background

The call to exclude them came after several Muslim shopkeepers closed their shops in response to a call given by Muslim organizations for bandh after the High Court verdict on hijab.

 

Details

  • The move has received criticism from many groups, saying the social fabric of the state is under strain due to communal polarisation.

  • The state government has justified the move by citing a law made by the previous government to ban non-Hindus from having stores in temple premises.

  • The rule comes under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.  

  • The rule says that “No property, including land, building or sites situated near the premises shall be leased to non-Hindus.”

 

Temple fairs

  • Temple fairs are annual celebrations of a religious place that represents the culture and traditions of specific areas.

  • Temple fairs are annual events to pay obeisance to the local deities in an area. They are social as well as religious events.

  • Some fairs are held as per religious norms and traditions but others are mostly social gatherings with less stress on religious procedure.

 

Importance of temple fairs

  • Temple fairs act as melting pot of local culture, a place to socialise and a change for villagers from the rigours of their agricultural lives.   

  • It provides opportunity for people living in urban places to visit their villages and connect to their roots.

 

Cultural values

Temple fairs have been the patrons of cultural events such as Kambala (cattle races), Yakshagana (dance theatre) or Bayalaata (open-air theatre).

 

Start of economic boycott

The economic boycott of Muslims started as a backlash after several Muslim vendors stopped buying fish from Hindu fisher folks for participating in a rally to stop illegal cow slaughter.

 

Current status

Several temple committees have banned Muslim vendors after a call given by right-wing groups while others have resisted it.

 

Way ahead

Economic boycott as an issue should apply to both Hindus and Muslims. The state government should step in to prevent economic boycott of both Muslims and Hindus.