Indian Origin Scientist Asked to Leave Garba Event in the U.S. as Surname Not Hindu

Karan Jani, a 29-year-old from Vadodara, said that despite talking to the organizers in Gujarati, he and his friends were asked to leave the venue.


An Indian-origin astrophysicist, who had gone to attend a garba event at a temple in Atlanta along with his friends on Oct. 12, was asked to leave after the organizers thought that their surnames did not “appear to be Hindu.”

29-year-old Karan Jani, from Vadodara in Gujarat and now living in the U.S., narrated on social media how he and his friends were “thrown out” of the venue by the organizers at Sri Shakti Mandir.

In 2016, Jani had made it to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) team which discovered the gravitational waves.

According to Jani, despite speaking to the organizers in Gujarati, he and friends were asked to leave. He had been attending the Garba event for six year had never faced any such trouble earlier, he said.

“Year 2018 & Shakti Mandir in Atlanta, USA, denied me and my friends entry from playing Garba because: ‘You don’t look Hindu and last name in your IDs don’t sound Hindu,’” Jani wrote on Twitter and posted a video about the incident.

Jani has also claimed even though he and his friends spoke in Gujarati to the organizers and one of the group members even had a Gujarati surname, the organizers told them they were “Vohra, Sindhis.” “They actually kept stating other religions…. Ganged up and told us to leave,” Jani has alleged. Jani has also mentioned that how, while this was happening with his friends, other Indians were being allowed to enter, First Post wrote in a report. “Our IDs had the Indian Emblem. Yes, emblem with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ right? Apparently, it didn’t have our religion. Our caste. It was embarrassing,” Jani tweeted. He has recounted that how he was in tears as he told the organizers: “I come here to play garba for the last 6 years. How could you not let us in because of the last name?”

He also tweeted that another friend, told the organizers that she was a Marathi-Kannada Konkani, the volunteer said, “What is Kannada? You are Ismaili.”

Jani said he had never faced such discrimination “even from the Americans during 12 years of stay here,” The Times of India quoted him as saying.

Jani said that he received a call from the temple’s management later and the temple’s chairman apologized saying the temple doesn’t believe in discrimination. “He said it was miscommunication on the part of the volunteer. But the treatment meted out to us was embarrassing,” the publication quoted him as saying.

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