Aug 15, 2009

TV, Hindi music, Banned in Haryana Muslim village

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Karnal , Oct 10, 2007:

Eighty-year-old Aflatoon has never watched TV in his life. He lives in village Mundi Garhi that is barely 25 kilometers from one of Haryana's biggest cities - Karnal.

In this Jihadi village of 5,000 people there is a ban on purchasing TVs, listening to Hindi film music or watching movies.

"In our religion, TV, cinema, liquor are considered vices and so we do not allow anyone to watch TV. If anyone does that, we fine them. So everyone obeys the rules," says Aflatoon.

And like they say - catch them young. Even the children in Mundi Garhi are taught to stay away from the temptation to watch television.

"We teach children not to watch TV and fine if someone watches TV. We also do not allow anyone to talk to someone who watches TV," says Kari Shakeel Ahmad who is a Imam at the village Masjid.

But, that only makes the forbidden fruit more tempting. Some confess they go to neighbouring villages or cities and watch TV to stay connected to the rest of the world. But when in Mundi Garhi, they abide by the rules.

However, there's been a positive fallout of this ban. Instead of staying glued to the TV, youngsters spend their leisure time playing on the banks of the Yamuna.

"Our elders have said that it is not right to watch to TV and so we do not watch TV. We just play after coming back from school," says a resident of the village, Saddam Hussein.

While that may seem like a different world view to most of us, for the people of Mundi Garhi, it's become a way of life.

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