Gujarati scientist says was denied entry to US garba event because he did not look Hindu
An India-born scientist who was on the team that made the historic discovery of gravitational waves said that he and his friends were denied entry to a garba event in the United States of America.
Karan Jani -- the scientist -- put up a series of posts on social media recounting his experience at a garba event in the US city of Atlanta. Jani, who was born in Gujarat's Vadodara, said that the organisers did not allow him and his friend an entry saying "you don't look Hindu and last name in your IDs don't sound Hindu".
Jani says he was at the Atlanta garba event along with a friend from India's Konkan region. He says his Konkani friend was attending a garba event for the first time but was left with an experience that will probably scar her for life.
The friend, according to Jani, was pulled out of the entry and queue and told: "We don't come to your events, you are not allowed to ours".
Jani's friend, the scientist says, replied by explaining that she was a Kannada-Marathi. To this, one of the organisers at the event, reportedly retorted: "What is Kannada? You are Ismaili".
My Konkani friend who came to Garba for 1st time *due to enthusiasm of us Gujaratis* was pulled out of line & was told:Dr. Karan Jani (@AstroKPJ) October 13, 2018
We don't come to your events, you are not allowed to ours
She: My last name is Murdeshwar. I'm Kannada-Marathi!
Him: What is Kannada? You are Ismaili
Jani's other friends, whose last names were Dangarwala, were similarly told that you are "Vohra, Sindhis".
The organisers, Jani says, "ganged up and told us to leave".
Jani went on to say that one of the organisers, who spoke in Gujarati, said things that "are so crude and demeaning that [they] can't be shared on public forum".
In a short video that Jani shared on Twitter, a man in a dark green shirt is seen herding Jani and his friends out of the queue.
Our IDs had Indian Emblem. Yes emblem with Satyamev Jayate right?Dr. Karan Jani (@AstroKPJ) October 13, 2018
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
The man then returns to check the identity cards of others standing in the queue even as Jani vociferously protests against being taken out of the queue.
The man in the green shirt, however, studiously avoids interacting with Jani and his friends.
Year 2018 & Shakti Mandir in Atlanta, USA denied me and my friends entry from playing garba because:Dr. Karan Jani (@AstroKPJ) October 13, 2018
You don't look Hindu and last name in your IDs don't sound Hindu
"Like seriously, last name naa karane nai aava do tame humne andar [Seriously, you will not let us enter because of our last names]?" Jani is heard questioning in Gujarati.
But the man in green nonchalantly continues ushering others in, seemingly unbothered about the commotion being raised by Jani and his friends.
Karan Jani, according to his website, is a postdoctoral research fellow in astrophysics.
He was involved in experiments at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and was part of the team that in 2015 discovered gravitational waves, the existence of which was predicted by Albert Einstein almost a century ago.
Jani has co-authored more than 60 scientific publications and in 2017 was named among the Forbes magazine's 30 influential scientists under 30.