Earlier this week, Bollywood actress and daughter of Saif Ali Khan, Sara Ali Khan visited the Hindu teerth, Kamakhya Mandir in Assam, and posted her pictures from her visit on Instagram.
Just like the established pattern we are aware of, Instagram accounts bearing Muslim names swarmed the celeb profile to shame and condemn her and guide her to the “one true path”, Islam. Many Muslims sarcastically questioned if she was a Hindu or a Muslim, several advised that she should remove the word “Ali” from her name
Sara Ali Khan is not new to this kind of vileness. In the past, she has visited the temples of Vaishno Devi and Kedarnath, posted pictures with Bhagwan Ganesha and celebrated Rakshabandhan with her two brothers. The response from Muslim extremists on Instagram has been consistent throughout her Instagram journey. The Islamist bigotry has been exposed not only on Sara Ali Khan’s Instagram profile but also on Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan’s Facebook handles when they had posted pictures of their mixed-faith children performing Pooja or aarti. However, when Hindu celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and others visit the Ajmer Shariff and donate a chadar, Muslims shower them with praises and cannot sigh with “Subhanallah” enough.
Sara Ali Khan’s father, Saif Ali Khan, on being questioned about the growing religious intolerance in India, had said that intolerance was always there in India. We wonder if the Muslim actor born out of the inter-faith marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man, which led to the religious conversion of the woman was referring to the religious intolerance showcased by the Muslims.
Sara Ali Khan’s Kamakhya visit triggers another valid question in our mind: Are non-Hindus allowed to enter the temple premise? The Kamakhya Temple of Assam is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas, and enjoys the reverence of a billion Hindus. Devotees visit the temples in the hopes that the colossal mother figure, Kamakhya Devi will relieve them from all their pains and bless them with eternal bliss. Can those who do not believe in Her be allowed in such a holy Hindu site ? And if at all non-Hindus are entering the temples, do they take any kind of permission from the temple authorities? Shouldn’t non-Hindus be required to tender in writing that they are visiting the temple with faith, they believe in the existence and supremacy of the deity seated in the sanctum sanctorum and that they accept murti puja as a valid way of worship? Notably, many temples have strict rules for entry of non-Hindus and even Hindus of foreign birth.
While Christians and Muslims invite people of other religions to their places of worship and try to convert them to their respective religions, Hindus have stayed clean of such tactics. A temple is not a tourist spot where anyone can enter its premises, take in its astonishing architecture and click pictures for publicity. There must be some kind of prescribed behaviour that one must adhere to, while visiting a temple.
Again, we wonder why does Sara Ali Khan visit Hindu places of worship or post pictures following the Hindu culture whenever her career needs a little push? Despite immense publicity, a storied lineage, and big banners being lined up to offer her projects, Sara Ali Khan has not been able to register a single successful film. Her acting skills have not earned her any accolades. An intelligent young woman that she is, she has seen the wrath of the awakened Hindu demography on her contemporaries. Are her temple runs just a tool to engage the cinema-loving Hindu majority and winning them over? If her temple visits are motivated by faith and not publicity, she can always visit, pray and skip taking pics or uploading them on Instagram to rile up a debate. We have our doubts and they are not unwarranted.
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