Ban on turban tying in Kashmir shrines: Mehbooba calls it ‘hypocrisy’

Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board’s decision to ban the turban-tying of the politicians in shrines and mosques in Kashmir has prompted harsh reactions from People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti.

Mufti shared pictures of people felicitating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha with turbans.

“Hypocrisy has no limits since BJP themselves leave no opportunity to get turban tying ceremony done whether at a mandir, dargah or gurudwara,” she said in a tweet.

She alleged that the party’s divisive agenda was aimed to dismantle “our religious traditions”.

“They aren’t ready to stop until they dismantle all our religious & Sufi traditions to take control by implementing their divisive agenda,” she said.

She also accused the administration of steamrolling J&K’s culture. “Steamrolling J&Ks cultural & traditional practices – arresting religious leaders, prohibiting sajad nasheens from performing their traditional duties and now banning Dastarbandi (turban tying), which is a universal ceremony of giving blessings at religious places,” she said.

In an order on Monday, J&K Waqf Board said that it received several complaints regarding the “unethical use” of the platform of shrines to appease influential people, particularly political leaders, through turban-tying.

“The leaders continue to be invited to the shrines, and their dastaar bandi (turban tying) is carried out based on party affiliations to promote political agenda at sacred religious places,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmad, executive magistrate, J&K Waqf Board, in the order.

The order completely banned the practice at all religious places governed by the Waqf Act. “However, dastaar bandi of people for religious achievements shall be allowed with the prior permission of the central office Waqf Board,” it said.