Devdattsinh Raol, 35, a garba reveller who had fiercely resisted Bajrang Dal, which was hell bent on sprinkling gau mutra on him as part of its ‘purification drive’ to keep non-Hindus from Navratri venues, has gone to the cops to teach the goons a lesson. Dismissing threats issued by Bajrang Dal activists at the venue, Devdattsinh Raol, 35, who runs an IT company at Infocity, submitted an application against them to Sector 7 police station.
He said that it was high time that people stood up against such rogue Hindutva outfits that thrived by spreading fear among people. Mirror had reported that on Tuesday night, Raol had fought off the activists at a garba venue in Gandhinagar’s Sector 11 after they tried to sprinkle cow urine on him. Strongly objecting to the “ridiculous practice”, he had called the cops at the venue after which he was let in without being “purified”. “Sprinkling gau mutra violates all limits of a person’s tolerance. I don’t think I need to prove to anyone that I am a Hindu,” he had told the activists as cops rushed to his rescue. An ardent worshipper of Goddess Amba, Raol belongs to the Darbar community that performs extensive rituals during Navratri; this includes the pooja anushtthan during the morning and evening. He told Mirror that his faith was not so fragile that it needed validation of any kind, particularly from a right-wing outfit masquerading as protectors of Hindus.
WHAT HIS APPLICATION STATED
In his application to the police, Raol said: “We are staunch Hindus. We conduct Navratri pooja in the morning and evening. Around 9 pm on Wednesday, after the pooja, we decided to visit the Thanganat Garba Mahotsav in Sector 11. I was accompanied by my wife and brother-in-law. I was taken aback when few people at the entrance of the venue came forward to sprinkle gau mutra on us. They had worn saffron belts and were carrying knives. When I stopped them from applying tilak on my forehead they threatened to throw me out.”
Sensing that the matters would get out of hand, his wife Jainikaba intervened but they misbehaved with her, too. That is when Raol called the cops at the venue and managed to get in unharmed. The incident, however, left him disturbed. “I had bought passes for Rs 200 and I was forced to undergo such humiliation. I am a staunch Hindu and my country gives me the right to practice my religion the way I want to. I do not need to prove anything to anyone. I thought that as a citizen of this country, it is my duty to stand up for my rights. So, I thought of registering a formal complaint with the police,” he told Mirror.
“Somebody has to take an initiative. If I do it today, tomorrow others may follow suit. This is the only way to counter such hooligans,” he added. Raol’s wife Jainikaba said: “Merely applying a tilak or sprinkling gau mutra on yourself does not make you a Hindu. At the venue, these activists were trying to instill fear among people under the pretext of religion. That is simply not right.” The Bajrang Dal, which believes that sprinkling cow urine on revellers was the perfect way to keep non-Hindus away from revelry, is, however, adamant it will continue with the ‘purification drive’. Amit Upadhyay, president, Bajrang Dal (Gandhinagar district), said, “We have been receiving a positive response for the drive. A few people objecting to it means nothing to us. We will go ahead with it in full steam. We are planning to conduct the drive at other venues.”