What has Sufi Imam Mehndi Hussain said?
Sufi Imam Mehndi Hussain, a cleric in a Kheda village came to limelight in 2011 when he offered Narendra Modi, the then Cheif Minister of Gujarat, to wear a skullcap.
Recently while talking about the garba festival he said that it has been taken over by demons. He had said, "Garba is not a religious festival but entertainment for rakshasas."
When everone started criticising him for what he had said, he tried to give an explanation and said, "Sadhus and sants are not seen at garbas. Film actors and people with criminal backgrounds dance in provocative clothes."
He also talked about 'love jihad' and said, "People say that 4.5 lakh Hindu girls have been lured by Muslim youths. (Others say) Muslim youths shouldn't be allowed in. Do these sentiments suit a religious festival?" A festival unites communities, said the imam.
What triggered this controversy?
Earlier, a BJP MLA in Madhya Pradesh had triggered controversy by asking her party workers to ensure no Muslim youths participate in the garba celebrations during the upcoming annual Navdurga festival. Usha Thakur is also state BJP vice-president.
She had alleged that Hindu girls are lured by them and converted to Islam as part of the "love jihad".
How did the political parties react?
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad denounced his remarks and also said that he should be arrested for what he has said.
Ranchhod Bharwad, the general secretary of VHP Gujarat was quoted as saying in TOI, "The imam should be arrested. If he's not, we will hand him over to the police."
After this statement, a communal convulsion struck Gujarat's run-up to the festival.
How are people reacting to this?
After knowing about the statement made by the Imama, the clamour for Imam's arrest is growing and the hastag #Arrestimam started trending on the Twitter. Criticising Imama for making the statement Twitterattis are saying that he should be arrested for making such statements.
Here are few of the reactions of the twitterattis:
Imam is safe under the Secular skull cap once famously refused by Modi that Paidmedia is unwilling to see anything through. . #ArrestImam— Vishal Thaker (@thakervm) September 22, 2014
Imam Mehndi Hussain shd hav avoided giving "provocative & vague remarks on Navaratri, see #Arrestimam is trending— Rahul Easwar (@RahulEaswar) September 22, 2014
Nadaan He..Mehandi tu..!! #Arrestimam— Nimesh Gandhi (@NimGandhi) September 22, 2014