Popular Assamese singer Zubeen Garg has yet again found himself in controversy after speaking against the practice of animal sacrifice at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati. In his statement, he targeted Bollywood actor Govinda as well.
Demanding an end to the ritual of animal sacrifice, Zubeen said that Goddess Kamakhya never seeks animal sacrifice and "Govinda should have sacrifice himself instead".
"Govinda should have sacrificed himself , not a buffalo. Ma Kamakhya doesn't want blood of animals. Stop sacrificing animals here, rather show compassion to animals. No god wants sacrifice of animals , so please stop this practice. I have been calling for an end to this cruelty to animals. I am making a film on a buffalo in Hindi as well as in English and once the film becomes well accepted globally , people will clap for it. I can't allow that buffalo to be sacrificed," Zubeen said during an event at Kamakhya temple on Monday, according to The Shillong Times.
International Business Times India could not verify if Govinda actually offered an animal for sacrifice at the temple.
This statement from the Assamese singer left the temple authorities infuriated. They demanded an apology from Zubeen, with the warning that if he fails to do so, he will not be allowed to enter the temple anymore.
"We condemn the remarks made by singer Zubeen Garg on the tradition of animal sacrifice in Kamakhya Temple. He is a singer and a pride of Assam, he should confine himself to his own work and refrain from making unwarranted comments on age-old traditions and rituals that are followed in Kamakhya Temple, and a shakti peeth," the publication quoted temple priest, Kabindra Sarma as saying.
Zubeen's statement received mixed reaction from people. While some have supported his views, some others have slammed the actor.
An organisation named People for Animals have come in support of the singer.
"Every year, thousands of goats, pigeons and buffaloes are sacrificed at Kamakhya without any religious justification. I myself have told the temple authorities to stop the ritual of animal sacrifice. Even after that, if I can visit the temple and offer pujas, why should Zubeen be barred?" the publication quoted PFA chairperson Sangita Goswami as saying.
This is not the first time that Zubeen has found himself in hot water. The singer had earlier triggered several controversies including the incident of hoisting the national flag wearing shorts and allegedly slapping a minor.