The resident of Ahmedabad’s Satellite Colony, Amish Patel (changed name) is waiting for Navratri impatiently. It is not that Amish, student of B.Com. (Second Year), is very religious by nature. However, he enjoys playing Garba, the traditional Gujrati dance, during Navratri
. He also savors Dandiya Raas with great fervor. But those who have profound faith in these traditions could be astonished by the stark reality behind his unusually intense liking for these religious festivals. In reality, he misuses the freedom he gets during the nights of these festivities to indulge in ‘sex’.
This is not just Amish, but a large number of Gujrati youths are nurturing these sorts of ideas nowadays. And not only boys, but girls are also willingly participating in it. It sounds shoddy to hear the words like sex while talking about Dandiya Raas and Garba, but unfortunately it has turned into a startling reality.
Let us first understand the meanings and differences between Dandiya and Garba. The main difference between the Garba and Dandiya dance performances is that Garba is performed before Aarti (worshipping ritual) as devotional performances in honor of Goddess Durga while Dandiya is performed after it, as a part of merriment. While Garba is performed exclusively by women, men and women join in for Raas Dandiya. Also known as ‘The Dance Of Swords’ as performers use a pair of colorfully decorated sticks as symbols, the circular movements of Dandiya Raas are much more complex than that of Garba.
The state of Gujrat is famous all across the globe for its cultural heritage that includes traditional dances like Garba and Dandiya, and unfortunately, they are in the root of entire problem. Gujrat is a modern, prosperous and, to an extent, a state that may be termed as ‘open-minded’. Thus, the practice of Dandiya sex is on the rise here.
In recent few years, media has repeatedly brought the attention of society toward this malpractice caused by the freedom on the name of Garba and Dandiya during the festival of Navratri. Dandiya dances usually start in midnight and go on till the morning hours, and well-known celebrities and renowned singers participate in these events. For youth, this is a big occasion because there is no time-bondage, and they do not face any inhibition on continued celebration and dancing in long night hours.
Nonetheless, it is not the case that the entire new generation is under the grip of this phenomenon of “Dandiya sex”. According to media reports, sell of condoms shoots up 20 to 30 percent during Navratri in Gujrat. Ramesh Bhai, a hotel manager in Ahmedabad, says, “Young couples come to spend nights during it, and their number is increasing with each passing year. Even many resorts organize the program with the name of ‘Dandiya Sex’ and charge around three to five thousand rupees for one night.”
However, it is not the question of merely Dandiya sex, but it points out to the distortion of a religious celebration. Dandiya Raas and Garba are being molded in the modern forms every year, where things like attire and dance overweigh the religious sentiments. Youths start taking classes to learn dance months before this festival begins and enthusiastically discuss what should be there in their wardrobes during this time.
Meanwhile, these boys and girls misuse the opportunity and freedom they get for something, which cannot be done otherwise. Dandiya sex is a problem that is getting pervasive slowly; not only because it is done on the name of religion and faith, but also due to the fact that youth does not seem to be alarmed of the consequences caused by unprotected sex.
The festival of Navratri is just round the corner, and its celebration cannot said to be completed without Dandiya and Garba. Therefore, Dandiya is necessary, but malpractices like ‘Dandiya sex’ should be barred and it is the duty of everyone to ensure this. Parents should consider whether their children are celebrating it in a healthy way or they are taking wrong advantage of the freedom given to them. Similarly, non-government organizations should also try to spread awareness among youth about the issues like sex. This Dandiya celebration is the ripe time to commence the remedial measure to curb malpractices like ‘Dandiya sex’.