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News & Trends - Indian Society Lifestyle Standards
Sir the latest from Delhi.
Today being the 8th Day of Durga Puja, after taking bath and putting on new dress, I went to offer Puspanjali at an East Delhi Middle class locality Puja. At around 12 noon, while the Morning Prayer services were over, there was poetry competition for small kids. I found that all the participants mostly students of Class 2, 3 and 4, recited the poems in English. Although the management of this particular Puja pandal is mostly in the hands of Bengalis, the participants were from all States including West Bengal.
There was not a single child to participate in Bengali or Hindi.
Last evening on the 7th Day of the Puja, after finishing office I went to see the deity at a Govt Colony Puja Pandal in Central New Delhi. A banner proclaimed that the Puja at that place is being held since 1945.The entry was regulated by an armed contingent of the Delhi Police and entry was through metal detector frames. All fine so far, the deity was expensively decorated and there was no dearth of devotees.
However, as part of the Puja Celebrations I found that several food stalls have been opened by reputed restaurants of the city within the complex. Being Navaratri the expectation was that all food will be vegetarian. I was totally wrong, there was hardly any vegetarian food and the main crowed was for Hydrabadi Mutton Beriyani, Kiev Cutlet, Fish Fry and Chicken Cutlet.
This is just to inform the experts of this forum, some of whom are presently abroad and some being in India may be too busy to observe such small things. My insignificant piece of information may help in the final analysis..

Durga Puja celebration is a very commercial. It is not now, but since I can recall it was most irritating and non-religious event. When I was kid, for 7-8 days we have to face loud filmy songs, rowdy drunk crowd, and loud movie show every night. Local Bengali association was forced to close down so-called Duga Puja festivity in our area Park.
I have never seen anything religious other than immersion dance etc on last day.

Don't know what is the reason behind this non-religious activity. Only Bangalies can shed light. Is it due to Commie and so-called seculars of East India?
From the level of festivities going on in various localities I find (just returned to India after 12 years abroad) that majority of the organizers and the visitors are non Bengalis. I am sure that the Bengali community in the capital is not that rich and resourceful to spend this kind of money to arrange the Puja. It has become truly cosmopolitan perhaps. As u are aware the Communists do not have any significant presence in the National Capital Region.
However, we need not deviate from the main point. Is this phenomenon has something to do with the changing mental set up and character of the younger generation of Hindus.
Mudyji may like to give his most considered views on the core region of this development.

Dear Ravish ji,

I completely agree with you. Both of these trends are to be seen on the rise -

a) English fast replacing Indian languages as the primary language.
b) Vegetarians on the decline.

I will submit my thoughts on the first one for now.

I know several friends, with mother tongue of Hindi/Telugu/Marathi but have had schooling since begining in English medium. Most of them are well established in careers now, and many of them are very good readers, but only of English literature. While they have read Ayn Rand, Maksim Gorky, or Tolstoy, but they have not read one novel of Premchand or Phanishwar Nath Renu in Hindi. They know all about Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, or Robert Ludlum - but have not even heard about Mohan Rakesh or any contemporary Hindi writer of any worth. Contemporary Indian authors they read, are also all in English. News papers they read are in English, and not only do these people ignore Hindi papers but consider these below standard. Only hindi "literature" they regulary follow is - Bollywood movies. (Yes, movies are one vidha of literature too). For them, understanding the sense of doha/pad of Tulsidas, Kabirdas or Surdas are as complex as a foreign language.

Now, I must correct the perspective though. I am not talking about "all" of this generation. But no doubt a majority of English-medium public-school educated (not necessary convent) people I know about.

My observation is, at the moment this situation is somewhat limited to metros, where elites live. Vast majority of Indian masses who live in B or C class cities is so far still getting education in Indian languages. But growing trend of English-medium education is visible there too.

Another aspect of this. I was recently reading the 'Autobiography of An Unknown Indian' by Nirad C Chaudhari. He explained his upbringing, his early education, childhood, and how that had an impact on his outlook towards India, her History. He recounts that he received early education at home, in English. He was although concious of India-ness in his youth, through Bengali novels of Bankim Chand and Sharat Chand. But that was about it. Back then these novels had the impact what probably Bollywod has today. And he somewhat laments that until he was 21, there was no attempt made to teach him Sanskrit or Hindu literature. This literature he learnt later, through English translations, just as he got the message of Persian and European literature. He says all this had a deep impact on him, and the way he looks at Indian hinstory - which is from outside and not inside.

So, yes sir! I agree with you, this is an important issue. Thomas Macaulay must be smiling in his grave. Is this very different from what he had set out to acheive? : "a generation of Indians which is Indian in looks and skin, but English in outlook and manners. A generation which will abandon its heritage volunteerily?

Let us discuss "language and medium-of-education" aspect of the change, its impact on Indian/Hindu culture, flow of values through generations, and then, what can we do in this situation...
Ravish, What's your fixation with who eats what? Was meat served on temple premises? If not, I fail to see your point.

On to those kids singing non-Hindi/non-Bengali songs, if you have not personally trained a single kid in sing in Bengali/Hindi you should hardly complain. Kids I know, and living in India are as much comfortable in singing latest Brittany Spears song as they are with say Jai Jagadeesha Hare. And they have more sense than most educated elites around to be boxed into Indic/Western binary choices based on food/singing habits.

Rather than some anecdotal evidence, why not post some facts and figures around here. If you want anecdotal evidence I too can provide some - I know a lot of people who went to convent since they didn't have much choice back then. But today they have kids in schools which have Hindu sounding names. Care to list out the number of accredited <i>non convent</i> schools that have mushroomed in past 10 years or so? I don't have numbers, but in suburbs of metro I'm familiar with, it's pretty huge. Even the dorkiest self-labeled secular journalist (who happens to be Christian) there sends his kids to Arya Samaj school - go figure.

You mentioned elsewhere about girls wearing jeans as another concern. Girls might wear jeans but many are as much comfortable wearing other Indian dress and haven't yet rejected it. I've yet to see a Hindu wedding where a girl has worn anything other than traditional Indian dress. I have also had a distinct pleasure of seeing a western dressed girl transform instantaneously into the avataar of combined Kali and Durga when her own faith was questioned by some missionaries peddling their literature. Poor chaps learnt fast to not judge a girl by her dress.

If we have to discuss the trends pertaining to lack of Hindu revivalisim, let's get some numbers - has hundi collection reduced? What about the number of people who frequent temple? How often? Hindu Holiday count? Numbers in regards to say shuddi movement? States with number of forcible anti-conversion laws; and did these laws come about in vaccum? How about list of non-Indian multi-national companies holding Satyanarayan puja in their Indian division?

The economic change will bring about changes in the nations - the world is just getting flatter, no turning back there. In fact a recent issue of US News had a cover story on how yuppie generation of India and China will dictate the world shopping/buying habits.

Malls and casinos might not teach Hinduism but aren't they better if it employs couple thousand Indians and rake some profits? Which is what their shareholders expect it to do. If shareholders wanted Hinduism being taught, they'd have invested in schools or colleges - not that they are not doing so, infact lot of business house have even put millions in local Vedic schools, another positive trend.

The points you raise are similar to a friend who asked me a while back as to why should one support a whisky drinking Vajapayee than a foreigner who has adopted sari, sattvic food and hindu style Bindi etc? Needless to say, going by the govt. record of these past 3 years, this charming lady who's adopted Indian sari/bindi/sattvic food hasn't proved my initial stand wrong.

Attributing some cosmetic short-term (compared to age of Hinduism) materialistic changes to declining faith is just plain bogus. Recent global events and issues show that Hinduism is the best at adapting and adjusting to changing times when compared to Abhramic religions.

Religion has multiple dimensions - the three I can think of would be : spiritual, political and personal. It's every easy to take a point from one and argue about other two. Could be theoretically correct, but has little pragmatic value and hardly proves the point in real world.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thomas Macaulay must be smiling in his grave.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Look how many of us have turned out desipte Macualay-Marxists-Missionary influenced education? Macaulay is on his last turn. His gig is up and don't expect next generation to accept many of the things at it's face value when we might have in our schooling days.
<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> gr8 guns, Ravish!
What u r talking about is known as
Identity crisis
in Social Sciences.
What is this all talk about
Ram Mandir in Ayodhya?
About maintaining Hindu identity.
Let me put something very bluntly:
Hinduism is and remains the religion of rich!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Is Durga Hindu or Bengali?</b>
Priyadarsi Dutta
With every passing year, the number of Durga Pujas organised by Bengalis keeps on increasing. While Indians join the celebrations, the organisers are, by and large, Bengalis. The media, especially television news channels, elegantly projects Durga Puja as a Bengali festival. This rekindles the old debate between Hindu and Bengali identities.

The puja per se, whereby the theological part is implied, is Hindu. But the cultural aspect is Bengali, although nothing of it is outside the Hindu fold. The core mantras are in Sanskrit. The legend of autumnal Durga Puja goes back to Lord Ram invoking Shakti on the battlefield of Lanka to defeat Ravana, the blessed devotee of Shiva. The event is euphonically described in Surya Kant Tripathi Nirala's Hindi poem Sri Ram ki Shakti Puja. Neither Ram nor Ravana was from Bengal.

This should stimulate us to reconsider the relationship between Hindus and Bengalis. Most Bengali Hindus are blissfully ignorant of the fact that 65 per cent of those for whom Bengali is their mother tongue profess Islam as their religion. The communal percentage composition of undivided Bengal was 55 per cent Muslims and 45 per cent Hindus of all castes. Muslim Bengalis don't celebrate Durga Puja, but Eid.

But one may ask what is so Bengali or Indian about them who celebrate Eid. Muslims from Mauritania to Malaysia celebrate Eid. So, Bengali Muslims are basically Bangla-speaking Muslims. And being Bengali is not merely a function of language. Possibly this view stems from the historical fact that Muslim rulers of Bengal, including Siraj-ud Daula, were actually of Turkish origin.

Even 'secular' Bengalis - and most of them are secular - view Muslims as Muslims. They distinguish between 'Bangali' and 'Musolman', which actually proves that they are passively communal. <b>Bengal in the 19th century was the cradle of an intellectual Hindutva movement. But possibly with the growth of literature, Hindus of Bengal began to project their identity in terms of language. At times, sadly, Bengali identity got pitted against Hindu identity publicly.

This exposes a suicidal tendency among Hindu Bengalis to 'secularise' their identity; they would not accept themselves as Hindu unless mortally threatened by Islam. In Bangladesh, Durga Puja is a Hindu festival; while everywhere else it is a Bengali festival</b>. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Sep 30 2006, 02:54 PM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Sep 30 2006, 02:54 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bodhi:
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thomas Macaulay must be smiling in his grave.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Look how many of us have turned out desipte Macualay-Marxists-Missionary influenced education? Macaulay is on his last turn. His gig is up and don't expect next generation to accept many of the things at it's face value when we might have in our schooling days.
I sure hope so. Though, I feel we may be exceptions rather than the rule, as of now. Just look around and see the multitudes of pseudo-secularists and name-sake-hindus being manufactured on a mass-production scale... <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

By the way what is the thought on 'preferable medium of education' in India? My thought is:

Medium of education should be the vernacular languages and not English, at least till 12th. Along with the first language which should be the mother toungue, Sanskrit should be a second language, and English a third language. I am not at all discounting the need to learn/teach English, I am just saying it should be taught as a language - very important language - but not necessarily as the primary language...
After thought. 3 women play very important role in every happy household - Wife, Mother and an outsider maid servant. Proper balance of power and roles is required between them for good running of the house.

Wife (mother tongue), mother (Sanskrit), and maid (English).

Problem is we have long forgotten our mother, cherish the flirting seduction of the maid, and for the poor wife we have no time. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Imagine the situation of our house! Divorce is near, and destruction of family not very far.. <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Just got some time to go through some more posts.

Once again have to admit that I am not really qualified to think in this area but I have seen a similar trend happen to Navratris in Gujarat. Extreme commercialization. Extreme sexualization. So much so that the abortion rates perhaps quadruple in aftermath of Navratri. Pls dont ask me for numbers. This is just hearsay. Which is fine perhaps. or perhaps not. I dont know as I said I am not qualified. What I do know is that a society draws some lines. Those lines get redrawn every few years or so. Movies like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehnaa perhaps rewrite them or perhaps those TV serials in late eighties/early nineties (forget the name) did. Or maybe saas-bhi-kabhee-bahu-thee do. I dont know.

What I do know, having lived extensively both in India and the US that some of the decisions to redraw lines are made arbitrarily based on power-equations in the geopolitical world. In other words, if these lines are being redrawn just considering what is bad about hinduism then that is not a whole lot useful.

What is sorely lacking is what Rajiv Malhotra calls 'Purva Paksha' of the other. The Indian society has been studying the west in terms of how the west describes itself and not on its own terms. And what is worse is that the Indian society studies ITSELF ON THE WEST'S TERMS. And NOT on its own terms. <b>This absolutely has to change !!</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->From the level of festivities going on in various localities I find (just returned to India after 12 years abroad) that majority of the organizers and the visitors are non Bengalis. I am sure that the Bengali community in the capital is not that rich and resourceful to spend this kind of money to arrange the Puja. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
They are pretty well off. Go to Chitranjan Park area. Organizers make money by selling tickets. Once in a year jackpot <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Question is erosion of values. Trend is mixed. Those with new wealth and shallow upbringing are more confused. Question is what role we should play? Atleast we can see and feel erosion of values. We know what they are aping, won't help them in long run. Atleast we have seen both sides.

Those who are trying to preserve or protecting new generation are labeled by those who had erode values due to their own reasons. It is a battle between two values. I hope more people will join right side.

There was a time when it was rare to hear divorce in Indian society, now it’s common, ofcourse not up to US level above 50%. Addictions, abusing elderly or women are now rampant in India. Nuclear family is making new generation detach to its own root.
Sankrant Sanu




Well Mudy sometimes the drunk crowd comes in handy because I know usually they are the ones who beat up Muslim trouble makers and other idiots at garbas, the only reason a lot of Muslim youth come to garbas is to get girls, of course even among Hindus garbas have degenerated into some kind of pick up joints over here but atleast they used to have the redeeming feature of being a Hindu gathering, nowadays its being turned into some kind of multi faith gathering where everything is free for all. I know people in the Gujju community here and sorry to say some of these organisers evidently let in people with allah chains if they pay their 10 bucks and usually call the cops on the Hindus who object.

I don't understand why Hindus have to appear liberal and let in others for Hindu celebrations (especially people who have no respect for our faith), have you ever heard of Muslims allowing Hindus to enter mosques as if its some kind of free for all thing.

Facts and figures will not lead to any remedy. As Bharatvasrsh has rightly pointed out, who are entering the religious festivities, not always the Hindus only? There are increasingly people from other community. There is nothing wrong per see, but with what motive these people are present is more important.
Your comment as to whether I have taught mother tongue to any child, yes I have but that has no bearing and relevance in the topic under discussion. My personal contribution to the cause we are discussing has not much relivence. Give positive suggestions, face the problem straight, there is no point dodging the issue.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Your comment as to whether I have taught mother tongue to any child, yes I have but that has no bearing and relevance in the topic under discussion. My personal contribution to the cause we are discussing has not much relivence. Give positive suggestions, face the problem straight, there is no point dodging the issue.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Ravish, forgive me for interrupting, but it appears to me that:

Given the fact that, we are not going to be able to overthrow or capture the GOI anytime in the near future, <b>the only thing that matters is really our personal contribution</b>.

We must understand this fact:
1. Our aim (for a more traditional and less universalist practice of Hinduism) is primarily religious.
2. Many Hindus are quite comfortable with the current situation, and do not wish to disturb the status quo. The consequences of our collective blindness are not apparent to them.
3. Even if we were able to capture power and impose our religious preferences on the current lot of Hindus, they will find a way to escape these preferences.

So, I see only three ways to go from here to where we want to be:
1. Teach our children the religious tradition and the linguistic traditions of our ancestors.
2. This is the era of unlimited choice. So, <b>consciously choose our engagement (or disengagement) with each and every aspect of the modern world</b>. So,
a. we can choose to <i>not watch TV</i>,
b. we can choose to <i>not become addicted to the Web</i>,
c. we can choose to <i>perform religious worship and rituals in-home</i>,
d. we can choose to <i>keep our homes cleansed of influences from other religions</i>,
e. we can choose to hire a priest (alone or with others) to teach our children about Hinduism.
Or, <b>we can choose not to</b>.
3. Persuade others to do (1) and (2).

As far as (3) is concerned, I see no alternative to <b>systematic religious schooling</b>, in the form of pAThaSAlAs before/after normal school. Perhaps, lasting as long as 12 years, like secular schooling. Other religions have done this:
Islam has its Madrasas. In some of these, young students go to Madrasas in the early morning, and go to secular schools later in the day.
Orthodox Judaism has its "Orthodox Day Schools" in the US. I understand that secular and religious instruction is taught here for 12 years.

Before I forget, here is point (4): <b>Accept that we will not be able to persuade all people</b>.
"Thomas Macaulay must be smiling in his grave."

Until he sees the Nuevo republique du Pakistan in Britain.

London will soon be renamed to Londonabad


I do not disagree with the gist of what you are trying to convey in this thread. Facts and figures will not lead to any remedy but it's the starting point in addressing as to how deep the wound is. It'll help diagnoze the problem using measures which are quantifiable. Else it's just personal observations based on personal viewpoint of what the state or religion should be; like someone taking offense of what one eats or what one wears.
Vishwasji and Virenji ,points made by both of you are well taken.
Perhaps a Hindu should take pride to be a Hindu, then only some of the traditions and customs likely to survive.In the present day nuclear family,in many cases,both parents being from different States and different languistic background and in the absense of a grandmother around, a infant will have no one to tell him about Indian mythology and other matters.
Perhaps it may be a good idea that students are taught about religion as part of their course.This can be made applicable to all schools run or funded by the State. A child will have at least some exposure to his or her to religious thoughts.
<span style='color:red'>Desecration of Culture in Modern Durga Puja / Garba </span>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The 'Modern Garba' - Killing of the Devotional element in Navaratri

Hindus, there is ongoing perversion of our public festivals. Most of the times, forgetting the religious, spiritual and social reason behind the celebration of the festivals, the festivals are only looked upon as pleasure and fun. If one has to obtain the best example, then if one goes through the newspapers to see preparations of Navaratra, then one can see from the news with photographs everywhere of various Garba classes and various costumes, the amount of time required for this, along with the order given by the court in relation to the dispute of noise pollution. There is no mention of the God in the festival we celebrate whose blessings we are trying to invoke. While defining the festival in the science of religion it is said that- function that gives bliss to everybody is a festival. If one sees the present day festival then one will have to make a new definition that, 'making others unhappy in order to enjoy happiness (not bliss). As a result, barring a specific age group an average individual has started saying that, 'we do not want this festival, let us live in peace'. Hindus, now prove your selves ready to face the various malpractices in 'Navaratra' as on the occasion of Ganeshutsav. Forcible collection of donation, sound pollution, 'Garba' played on the tune of film songs, the ugly dance performed in drunk state with obscene gesticulation, the significant increase in the number of unmarried mothers after few months of Navaratra are the various mal practices which are the warning bell of declination of Hindu religion and civilization. In order to caution the Hindus about this danger, so also in order to protect and maintain the Hindu religion and civilization, we have undertaken this task of writing the article!

1. The spiritual importance and the meaning of the word 'Garba'
In Gujarat during the Navaratra festival a lamp is kept in an earthen pot with multiple holes as a symbol of 'MatruShakti' (mother energy) and worshipped. With the omission of the word 'Deep' from the word 'Deep Garbh' the symbol of fertility in female worshipped for 9 days, the word Garbh and later Garba is currently used.

2. Cultural significance of The traditional Garba

In the olden times small - big, holed earthen pots are kept on one another in front of the Goddess on the first night. A lamp with four lit wicks was placed in the first pot and the lamp was uninterruptedly kept lit. Rounds of dance were performed around the lamp. There are two types of folk dances performed during 'Garba'. The dance preformed by the males standing in a circle singing while clapping with simple feet movement is called as 'Garbi' and the dance performed by females with delicate body gesticulations is called as 'Garba'. The songs praising Amba, Kalika, Randalmaa and other goddess are sung during 'Garba'. At that time in order to generate chivalry instruments like drum and clarion are used. Over a period of time there was dance on songs based on Krushnaleela, composed by saints, description of seasons, or related to social issues. Instead of claps and pinches there was use of instruments like Khanjiri, Manjiri and stack of lamps being used in the dance.

3. Garba means worship of Goddess

The organizer of Garba program for the last 55 years Shri. Nyaas from Kolhapur in this context says 'Mother Goddess protected us by slaying the Demon. We cannot pay her back; so in order to gratify her, to please her, this dance is performed. This dance is a form of worship to please the goddess like Kirtan and Bhajan'. The priest of Radhakrishna temple at Kolhapur says 'The 'Dandiya' in the 'Garba' dance is the symbol of 'Khadag' (sword like weapon in the hand of the Goddess).'It is used to tell the goddess that 'We are doing your worship'. The Dandiya dance should be done with the attitude of being a warrior. The movement of the 'Dandiya' should be like that of the sword. At the time of this dance the song should be in relation to the Goddess. The presently ongoing form of Disco- dandiya is undesirable.

4. The modern Garba and Dandiya pervert the main intention of Garba
4A. Unscientific: It is necessary that Garba is played with Krushnaleela, songs composed by saints played on the combined tune of traditional instruments; but presently Garba is played on the tune of film songs and the deafening sound of modern musical instruments.

4B.The indecent body gesticulations: It is necessary that certain rhythmic movements of the body occur during the Garba. But presently there is quenching of one's dancing enthusiasm by diverse gesticulations. In such dances as there is more of boisterousness, incidents of dashing each other, intentional body touching occur. In the Dandiya dance one has to gently touch the stick in the other's hand, but presently in the Dandiya dance they are struck anyhow in a forceful manner.

4C. Absence of piety: 'Garba' is a form of worship of the Goddess. Thus, it is mandatory to safeguard piety while performing 'Garba'. The feeling of devotion that one has while worshipping a deity should also be fostered while playing 'Garba'. However, in the present times, people are seen to wearing gaudy and revealing costumes for Garba! Thus, it has become a medium of show and pomp, rather than that of fulfilling spiritual pursuits! People performing Garba mostly comprise of drunkards in large numbers. Also, people perform it with their footwear on. All these malign the sanctity of the festival.

4D. Sexual Attraction: In recent times, young boys and girls who are sexually attracted to each other consider 'Garba' a medium to come in contact! This results in immoral acts. After performing 'Garba', these boys and girls loiter on the roads instead of going home. Police Officials report that, such youngsters leave their homes under the pretext of 'Garba' and indulge in drinking and misbehaving on the streets. A Gujarati periodical brought out the shocking news that there is a significant rise in the incidence of abortions by unwed mothers in Mumbai and Gujarat, a few months after the 'Navaratri' festival!

4E. Commercial nature of 'Garba'
4E 1. Collection of Funds - A source of 'earning' money !: In the name of 'Garba', donations are demanded in some places, based on the size of residential flats in the colony, that is depending upon the standard of living of the donor, e.g. in Vapi, Gujarat, in one of the years, Rs. 1,500/- & Rs. 1,000/- respectively were collected from residents of 3 & 2 BHK flats in a prestigious colony.

The entry fees for 'Disco Dandiya' vary from Rs. 100/- to Rs. 1,000/- per day. In cities like Mumbai, popular actors and actresses are invited for 'Garba'. To participate in such a 'Garba', one has to pay a huge entry fee. 'Garba' organisers earn rupees 25 to 30 crores of rupees through this medium. People who accumulate wealth through wrong means have also viewed 'Garba' as a medium of earning money.

4E 2. Garba Organisers lead people into gambling: In some places, there is a practice of awarding a person who purchases entry tickets worth thousand of rupees for playing 'Garba', 'Dandiya/Disco-Dandiya', as a lucky winner, with gifts worth Rupees 5,000 - 10,000/- on lottery basis. 'Garba' Organisers fill their coffers by taking advantage of the faulty attitude prevalent amongst general public to 'get rich overnight'! Many such Organizers attract 'Garba' and 'Dandiya' lovers enticing them with expensive cars as gifts. Thus, they indirectly encourage gambling habits prevalent in the society.

4F. Failure of politicians in curbing malpractices: Malpractices prevalent in 'Garba', which have an adverse effect on Hindu Dharma, are on the rise. These can put an end to Hindu customs, traditions and cultural values. Despite all this, the politicians whose duty is to put an end to such practices remain passive. Politicians, with a view to safeguard their political interests, allow people to do whatever they desire, instead of guiding them on the correct path. During the festive period, rules prevalent with regard to noise pollution and morality are given a backseat. Although these are well-known facts, both, politicians and the administration ignore them. Hence, the judiciary has to interfere on such issues.

5. What do we achieve through the modern 'Garba'?
On seeing this pitiable state of 'Modern Garba', a question that come to mind is, 'What do we achieve out of all this?'

5A. No benefit of the Divine principle: As a matter of fact, the purpose of 'Garba' is to acquire the grace of the Goddess through her worship. However, nowadays the malpractices prevalent in the name of 'Garba' result in failing this objective.

5B. Rise in spiritual pollution ('Tama' components): There has been a rise in the 'tama' component and reduction in the piousness of the Navaratri festival due to incidences of looting of devotees, immoral activities that take place in the name of 'Garba', etc.

5C. Loss of future generations: Festivals and religious celebrations are the best available opportunities for impressing values of loyalty to Dharma (Righteousness) and the Nation. However, the ongoing 'Garba' celebrations do not facilitate this. On the contrary, they result in impressing wrong values!


And commercialization of Devi's image!

<img src='http://www.hindujagruti.org/navaratrifest/images/pigeon.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->4D. Sexual Attraction: In recent times, young boys and girls who are sexually attracted to each other consider 'Garba' a medium to come in contact! This results in immoral acts. After performing 'Garba', these boys and girls loiter on the roads instead of going home. Police Officials report that, such youngsters leave their homes under the pretext of 'Garba' and indulge in drinking and misbehaving on the streets. A Gujarati periodical brought out the shocking news that there is a significant rise in the incidence of abortions by unwed mothers in Mumbai and Gujarat, a few months after the 'Navaratri' festival!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

On this aspect there have been several media studies and reports.It is said that during Navratri, the parents are quite relaxed and hence the rise of this problem.It will soon become institutionalised and people will not mind such activites.

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