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'Surname doesn't sound Hindu', Indian astrophysicist thrown out of garba event in US

"Year 2018 & Shakti Mandir in Atlanta, USA denied me and my friends entry from playing garba because: “You don’t look Hindu and last name in your IDs don’t sound Hindu”, Dr Jani said in a series of tweets. 

Reported by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: October 15, 2018 11:28 IST ]
Image Source : KARAN JANI WEBSITE

Dr Karan Jani 

An internationally acclaimed Indian astrophysicist, who now lives in the US, was allegedly thrown out a garba event in Atlanta recently because his surname did not sound Hindu. 

Dr Karan Jani, who is a renowned scientist and a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) team which discovered gravitational waves, on Saturday took to social media to allege that he and his three friends were asked to leave from a garba function at Shakti Mandir in the US city because they did not look Hindu or their surnames did not sound Hindu. 

"Year 2018 & Shakti Mandir in Atlanta, USA denied me and my friends entry from playing garba because: “You don’t look Hindu and last name in your IDs don’t sound Hindu”, Dr Jani said in a series of tweets. 

He added that he has been visiting the temple for garba for past six years, but he never faced such a situation before. "I’m equally shocked and embarrassed," he said. 

The scientist, who hails from Vadodra, said that he and his friends were picked out of line and asked to leave. He even tried to reason with the organisers in Gujarati, but they refused to listen, he said. "I was told by that organizer, a senior person, things in Gujarati which are so crude and demeaning that it can’t be shared on public forum. Just to ensure we don’t dare to enter the temple again. Such fuss just for Garba in Navratri - With friends - to celebrate Indian culture," one of his tweets said. 

He further added that one of his friend, who is Konkani and had come to see garba for the first time, was told “We don’t come to your events, you are not allowed to ours”. When she explained that  she was Kannada-Marathi, the organiser told her “What is Kannada? You are Ismaili”, Dr Jani sai on social media. 

His 'Gujarati' friend was told that he was “Vohra, Sindhi”. 

"Our IDs had Indian Emblem. Yes emblem with “Satyamev Jayate” right? Apparently, it didn’t have our religion. Our caste. It was embarrassing. I had tears in my eyes saying them: “I come here to play Garba for last 6 years. How could you not let us in because of last name”

According to reports, the temple authorities have since reached out to Dr Jani and have apologised for the incident, claiming that it was the result of a miscommunication between organisers and volunteers. 

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