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B Upendran | HENB | Kochi | March 230, 2022:: A Muslim dancer has claimed that the organisers of a Hindu temple festival in Kerala’s Thrissur telephoned her on Monday and cancelled her invitation to perform, saying “non-hindus are not allowed” in the temple.
Popular Bharatnatyam dancer Mansiya VP, a Muslim-born woman, was to perform at the 10-day National Festival of Dance and Music organised by the famed Koodalmanikyam temple in Irinjalakuda. The festival is to be held from April 15 to 25. Around 800 artists are expected to perform at the temple during the festival.
“The organisers called me over phone and told me that I cannot perform. When asked why, they said non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple. I said it is a national dance festival. I also said that I am a human being,” Mansiya was quoted saying by news agency PTI.
The dancer, married to musician Shyam Kalyan, claims she was asked if she has converted to Hinduism.
“I told them that even though I was born a Muslim, I don’t follow any religion. The official asked whether I have converted to Hinduism as I have married one. I told them that I don’t have a religion to get converted to,” she told the news agency.
Koodalmanikyam Devaswom Chairman Pradeep Menon said the decision was following the tradition of the temple.
“Since the programme is being held inside the temple premises, the decision was taken following the tradition of the temple. As per the existing temple tradition, non-Hindus are not allowed. Even the advertisement for the programme clearly said that only Hindus need to apply to perform at the temple,” Mr Menon said.
He said the temple officials respect the artiste but it also has to follow the tradition.
“We respect her a lot. She is a great artiste. But we need to follow the temple tradition. Our programme is dedicated to the deity of the temple. However, Mansiya VP is not a Hindu nor she believes in any religion at all. Her performance in the programme is meaningless. That’s all,” Mr Menon told the media.
But, the matter is being communalised from some quarters of Congress and other political parties.
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