Actress Sara Ali Khan recently visited Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi which sparked a row after pandits and seers objected to her visit and her attending the evening ‘Ganga Aarti’ which is considered auspicious by Hindus.
Kashi Vikas Samiti has complained about Sara’s visit to the holy land of Hindus by saying that Sara is a non-Hindu.
The Samiti is demanding an inquiry and action against saints who all are responsible behind the actress’ trip to the temple and ghats.
Sara is shooting for her latest film ‘Antrangi Re' in Varanasi during which she attended the evening Ganga Arti and visited Kashi Vishwanath temple, accompanied by her mother and Saif Ali Khan’s first wife Amrita Singh, who is a Hindu.
Secretary of the Samiti, Chandra Shekhar Kapoor said, "The actor's visit to the temple is against traditions and established norms. It also raises questions on the security of the temple when there is a signboard clearly stating that the entry of 'non-Hindus' is prohibited."
Kapoor is angry with the saints of the temple who had violated norms for a handful of dakshina and publicity, reported News18.
The actress’s visit came into light after Sara shared a video on her social media account of her tour to the 'Banaras ki gali' (Banaras’s lane) which leads to the temple.
Priest Rakesh Mishra said, in an interview to News18, that Sara would be known by the religion of her father, Saif Ali Khan, who is a Muslim.
He added, "Though we appreciate her interest in the Hindu religion but the fact remains that she is a Muslim and should not have participated in the rituals. For her, all this could be 'interesting and exciting' but for us, it is a matter of religious piety."
However another priest Amarnath Bajpai defended the actress while saying that she was accompanied by her mother, Amrita Singh, who is a devout Hindu.
A local tour operator Siddhu Tiwari, meanwhile, termed it the behaviour of some 'close-minded people'.
"Any person, including Sara, can visit a temple if they believe in the deity. The 'Ganga aarti' is attended by thousands of foreigners who are non-Hindus too. People are only looking for publicity by making an issue out of this. In fact, we should be happy that Sara has given so much publicity to our temple and 'aarti'," he was quoted as saying.