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Saturday, February 27, 2021

PHOTOS: Thousands throng to Katara to celebrate Qatar-India connection

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All photos by Chantelle d’Mello

More than 600 performers dressed in colorful salawar, lehengas, and saris will take to the stage to entertain crowds with bhangra, bharatanatyam, and kathakali dances as the second Indian festival – a two-day extravaganza showcasing music, art, food, and dance from the country’s 28 states – comes to a close tonight.

Thousands of local residents, primarily from the 500,000-strong Indian diaspora here, attended last night’s opening of A Passage to India at the Katara Cultural Village.

Young children and adults took to the amphitheater stage to perform dance routines, musical numbers and skits. Meanwhile, a large handicraft and food bazaar was held on the esplanade.

The event, now in its second year,  is organised by Indian Cultural Center (ICC) – a body dedicated to promoting Indian arts and culture under the patronage of the Indian Embassy – in conjunction with Katara.

Speaking to Doha News, ICC President Girish Kumar said that the event aimed to highlight the bond between India and Qatar and bring a piece of home to the large local Indian community.

“The first edition of the event was held in November 2013 at the Museum of Islamic Art. The idea then was to promote Indian culture, and showcase the decades-long bond that Qatar and India share.

The rupee was used here, trade routes used to come here; these two countries share a long and rich heritage, and we wanted to celebrate that.

In bringing together dances, music, and food from the 28 different states, we’re aiming to recreate a little India to Indians overseas in Qatar,” he said.

India Gate

While the event doesn’t mark the Indian national or republic days, it coincides with the recent news of the Emir’s first official state visit to India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

India Gate at Indian Festival
India Gate at Indian Festival

Standing over the crowds is a 10 meter-high replica of one of India’s most iconic monuments – India Gate, which was originally a 42 meter-high Arc-de-Triomphe-like structure erected in the country’s capital Delhi as a memorial to Indian soldiers.

The replica, built by the group Vishwakaladevi, took over 45 hours to build, and is made entirely from wood.

“This is the first time that a replica of an Indian monument is being exhibited in the Middle East. We tried to imitate it in as much detail as possible, but sadly were unable to inscribe the names of the soldiers who died in the war,” Kumar added.

At the replica’s base is a large collection of white tents housing local eateries serving various types of Indian cuisines, and other booths selling clothing, costume jewelry, paintings, home decorations and handicrafts imported from India. They are open to the public until 10pm tonight.

The original monument, located astride the main ceremonial path in Delhi, features the names of some 13,300 British and Indian soldiers and officers.

Beneath it, another monument, a small black marble structure bounded by four “eternal” flames and manned around the clock by members of the Indian Armed Forces, stands in homage to all unknown Indian soldiers and casualties of war.

Will you check it out the festival today? Thoughts?

47 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I’m not sure why they are having an indian festival I live it everyday in Doha……

Enceladus
Enceladus
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Absolutely. Just drive around and try to survive.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I thought the gate to India was in Mumbai and celebrated the arrival of their imperial masters on a visit to India in the early 20th century. Didn’t know about this other one.

Edit: just looked this up. It represents the British Indian Army and those who died fighting for the British Empire. I’m a bit surprised that India would celebrate something from their imperial masters or maybe they are still proud to have been part of the British empire.

Sadaf
Sadaf
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The one in Mumbai is The Gateway of India. The structure was erected to commemorate the landing of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder, when they visited India in 1911.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  Sadaf

Lot of the 600 participants mentioned here are young school going kids who do get a good forum to perform what they are learning – however, hope the trouble they put together to practice, personally manage the logistics of reaching and returning from the venue, costumes etc etc. gets duly acknowledged and celebrated by the ICC and organizers of this event to motivate them further!

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

If it was in appreciation of those “Indians” who fought for the empire it is nothing to be ashamed of. Wait, if you ask which side was right in WWI, it’s a different ballpark. Haven’t you heard “War is not about who is right, but who is left”!
May be they’d have built a Tajmahal, but then you may have complained that it was made by an Islamic empire enslaving Indians, and so and so!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Michkey

Most people don’t know about the Islamic invasion and conquest of parts of India or the massacres of hindus by various sultans. They just think the Taj Mahal is a nice building to take pictures next too and is probably India’s most famous symbol.

Oracle
Oracle
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Your interpretation of history of Islam in India is questionable.

However, I agree that it is a bit surprizing to see the gate here in Qatar. Especially that it commemorates indians who died while fighting for British empire, including in the Middle East, i.e., against people of Middle East. Similarly, I cannot imagine Vietnam hosting a monument for US soldiers who died while fighting in Vietnam…

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Oracle

Not really, the first caliphate launched a number of wars of conquest in what we call Pakistan, Afghanistan and India now. Tips Sultan, (there was an exhibition in MIA recently) presided over the murder and persecution of hundreds of thousands of Hindus. No one knows the true number as so many were killed.

Raj
Raj
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Is it more than what the Atheist Mao killed? 78 million. Or more than what Stalin killed? 15 million.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Raj

Neither killed because of an imaginary friend. Chinese died mostly through starvation due to disastrous policies of Mao, Stalin was a paranoid lunatic but 15 million sounds too high, unless you are including WWII deaths as well.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Typical hindu bigot comment. The hindu kings have killed many in wars amiong various hindu kingdoms not to forget the buddhists who were massacred and forced to flee from India. Not to forget the lower caste dalits and brutally killed by the hindu kings. Wars between kingdoms and slaying of people were commonplace in monarchies whether it was the conquest of Latin America or the slaying of the native populations in Australia and US.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

Yes that is true. As you rightly point out religion poisons everything. Islam has no monopoly on violence in history.

Hindu bigot lol. I guess you don’t read many of my posts

Busybee
Busybee
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

This is the first time I m commenting on DN and that’s bcoz of your dangerous and false comments. Tips sultan was a secular leader who even gave grants for building of temples unlike your fathers in rss who are Hindu fundamentalist. Tipu was the first king to fight against the British and died in the war fighting british. Second your comment regarding the first caliphate . It is false and offensive to Islam . Islam never spread by sword. this shows you are a typical ill informed and brain washed Hindu fundamentalist who is anti muslim writing false and provocative comments . I request the mod. To take note of this and ban him from DN as such people are very dangerous for the society . And I request Mimh to wear a chaddi and go back to his father in rss.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Busybee

You cannot deny the facts of history and you are just following the line you have been told. Do you know nothing of the caliphates? Of Al Malik? muywaiah? Marwan? The various sultans of the Ottoman Empire? The early muslims lead to the decline and destruction of the Roman and Persian empires, through invasion and conquest. Or do you serious belive the Persians after 3000 years of history decided to abandon Zoroastrianism and covert on mass to islam while their women were taken as slaves for the arab victors? Or perhaps the whole of North africa woke up one morning and said ‘lets abandon our own languages, start speaking Arabic and become muslims”

You seriously need a history lesson if you do not think islam spread through conquest. (You know little of Prophet Mohd as well who fought many wars and was an excellent general) Islam is not alone in this, Christianity also spread through conquest of various parts of the earth as well as some other faiths. The conquered tend to take on the cultures of their oppressors. (Like Indians aped the British. Would Indians play cricket now if it wasn’t for 200 years of colonisation?)

However I do find you a typical religious bigot that calls for people to be silence because you don’t agree with them. If you cannot accept the facts of history then that is your problem, but do not try to deny the truth to others.

busybee
busybee
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Again i would like to reiterate that Islam never spread by sword but by the goodness of its teachings.No doubt Islam is the fastest growing religion of the world today. is somoone holding a sword on their neck to convert ?Islam spread to Africa and India by the arab traders. And if some muslims fought wars , it was to defend themselves.and certain rules were followed during wars like not to hurt women and children and prisoners of wars were dealt with justly. If some muslims didnt follow this , then dont blame islam. mughals came to India to stay , to mix with the Indian culture unlike the british who came to loot .Again I would recommend you to read about Islam and prophet mohammed with an open mind from secular authors not by right-wing authors so that you get the correct perspective and not mislead

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  busybee

Seriously you cannot be that naive or the education you received was extremely biased. ( don’t listen to religious scholars alone they have their own agenda) All empires of conquest once victorious like to paint themselves as liberators or bringers of civilisation. Islam is no different and also the British beliveed in divine providence or the White man’s burden to bring civilisation to the savage.

As your knowledge of history is poor here is the list of wars and conquests by islam starting with Mohd. I’m sorry if your illusion of the religion of peace and love is shattered but understanding the truth is the path to enlightenment.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_conquests#Muhammad.27s_campaigns

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  busybee

Except that Islam is not the fastest growing religion in the world today – for better or worse, that would be evangelical Christianity.

As for not being spread by the sword, yeah… keep telling yourself that.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

evangelical Christianity is spread by exploiting poverty in Asia and Africa. They dole out food and money and force people to convert in exchange.

As for believing the sword, keep telling yourself that.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

Much like Islam is spread to the poverty stricken of the Philippines? Much the same way ROTA does its thing? Much the same way that the Kuwait Fund does its thing? Good, looks like they have been learning from each other. Either way, it is the fastest growing, for better or worse. Add this together with the growth of agnosticism and atheism among former Muslims it does make for interesting times forecasting the future. As for Islam’s history of violent territorial expansion, it is very well known. Not saying that it is in any way unique or exceptional in that regard by any means, but to deny the violence is disingenuous.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

It is time you get your facts right. Do you even know who Malik Dinar was? He was the first to land in Kerala on the coast of India and spread Islam. Islam was spread in the coastal areas of India by the Arab merchants. People were attracted to its beliefs of equality something which didnt exist in the society then. In northern India, the scholars who came from Central Asia as well as the Sufi saints had a profound impact on spreading Islam there. rather than blabbering “facts” from books written by so called western scholars to promote their superiority it would be prudent to improve your knowledge.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

Yes I do know who he is but we know very few facts about his life or what he did. The evidence is just not there. It is true that Arab merchants did bring Islam to Kerala and also married indian women but it is also true there were subsequent muslim invasions of what we now call Pakistan and India. So yes some peaceful but limited introduction of Islam to the sub continent followed by full invasion and subjugation of the native people.

There is plenty to read about the various invasions and sultanates established and they even imposed jiyza in the ultimate form of discrimination against non Muslims. Could you imagine Indians welcoming new overlords who told them they will be taxed because they are the wrong religion?

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The invasions were by kingdoms in Central Asia. They were kingdoms and invading and capturing territory was the norm then. It wasnt a muslim invasion. It wasnt like every muslim was ruling over everyone else. The ruling class consisted of few hundreds. Plus once these kingdoms were established, various scholars from Central Asia as well as the sufis have also played a major part in spreading Islam in the subcontinent, something people like to gloss over. The jizya tax is even debatable. It was imposed on non muslims but was a protection fee. The muslims didn’t pay any as they were enlisted in the army. The others weren’t.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

tell me about the massacres of buddhists by hindu kings and their subsequent migration. And what about the lower caste dalits. Not to forget the various wars between hindu kingdoms where they were slaying each other. Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor for his wife Mumtaz. It is appreciated all over the world for its architectural brilliance. And lastly everyone on DH knows your an Indian Hindu. Stop playing this ” I am not Indian” garbage. Your hindu fundamentalist garbage is fit for the dolts in the Indian govt.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

Do you know everyone on DN? Did you have a meeting and decide I’m a Hindu fundamentalist. I guess your problem is you jump to conclusion very quickly informed by your own prejudice

DohaNewsRe
DohaNewsRe
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

The great secular Tipu Sultan killed millions of Hindus. And the tomb that is Taj Mahal was dedicated to one of his wives, Mumtaz, who was the fourth out of seven. Secular Shah Jahan killed Mumtaz’s husband to marry her and soon after her death , the honorable secular married her (younger) sister.

MIMH is suddenly an RSS- bigot because he knows history and Ism, Michkey are bonafide seculars because they whitewashed it. This is how it rolls these days.

DohaNewsRe
DohaNewsRe
5 years ago
Reply to  DohaNewsRe

Correction : It appears she came one down ie. third wife.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  DohaNewsRe

Tipu Sultan used to give annual grants to 156 Hindu Temples, he used to send grants to the Shankaracharya of Shringheri. He was a brave ruler who fought valiantly against the British unlike the Hindu kings who were busy becoming slaves to the British. Tipu fought the British bravely and was the innovator for the world’s first rocket. Khaki chaddis can never digest the facts. For them Savarkar who begged the British to release him from jail is a “freedom fighter”.

DohaNewsRe
DohaNewsRe
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

If you worship one of the worst barbarians in world history I am not going to stop you. It is what you have become. It is not even vile and despicable really.

DohaNewsRe
DohaNewsRe
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

Name calling just betrays your (infinite) inadequacies. If this country was somewhere closer to the North Pole I could have and many of them who read your BS could have said stuff that would clarify whose forefathers were good at what. But alas, we have to respect the customs and traditions of the country and we live in (plus DN). Even if that means tolerate creatures like you.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  DohaNewsRe

The world is tolerating stone age idol worshiping pagans.

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I thought Indians are proud of their culture of amalgamating foreign invaders and get richer culture in the process. They had a culture stronger than the invaders so it did not lose its identity. But it seems that you lived so long in Qatar that you started to think otherwise!!

Before retorting, please give it a thought mate!

MP
MP
5 years ago
Reply to  Michkey

This nonsense of amalgamating foreign invaders culture is spread by self-hating westernized Indians who believe that somehow India benefited from successive invasions. In reality these invasions didn’t give anything to India apart from some structures here and there (which were as such build by destroying earlier grand structures anyway) and took away its long standing tradition of science and mathematics from it. Invaders burned down millina old universities and colleges which were never replaced (even today India don’t have anything comparable to Nalanda university). The invaders who subjugated Indians systematically dismantled Indian economy and India’s share in global GDP dropped from close to 25% in 1750 to less than 2% in 1950.

Far from enriching India succesive invasions ripped apart India’s culture, tradition of mathematics and science and economy.

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  MP

That GDP argument is retarded but I get the spirit! So your India is a Hindu India? Ok! Whatever floats your boat!
The Hindus invented arithmetic but without the Arabs algebra could never be born who took it to India but you could argue on that too so let me share my personal experience.
I once had Indian food called “Hyderabadi Biryani” and it was beyond delicious! I guess the Hindus could never achieve that masterpiece on their own!

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  MP

It seems you like reveling in your ignorance. The Mughals have given many contributions to India. They constructed water channels and improved the irrigation facilities. They have massive contributions to the urban infrastructure. Some of these infrastructure structures are still intact. Drainage systems were developed by them. They founded efficient foundries and improved the metallurgy technology that was used. Their contribution to the development of weapons and cannons is well documented. In the field of alchemy, they produced soaps and shampoos.The seamless celestial globe is another contribution from them.
In addition their contribution to architecture is well known. It is even considered an essential school of architecture. Their literary contribution are the development of Urdu. Food and their impact on the culinary styles is well known.

Inspector Vijay
Inspector Vijay
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

An Indian who does not know the difference between gateway of India and India Gate. Wonderful, maybe a white slave like you should first learn about your own country.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Am I an Hindu bigot or white slave, hard to know on these forums…

Lostinqatar
Lostinqatar
5 years ago

I find it hilarious (if not embarrassing) that fellow countrymen who cannot differentiate between Gateway of India and India Gate go on to provide expert opinions on colonization and historical invasions of India. You should find and spend some time in a library and not waste it here on DN. Also, these comments and offensive to someone who’s forefathers served and fought for the British Indian Empire.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Lostinqatar

I don’t understand why people think I’m an Indian, I’m most certainly not.

Thanks for the advice, but I read enough. Others on here would do well to read as well, not just pamphlets that supper their pre concived ideas.

DohaNewsRe
DohaNewsRe
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

They are not calling you an Indian, they are infact ‘accusing’ you of being a Hindu male. The oldest continuous civilization which preaches “Vasudeva Kudumbam” (the whole world is one family and created by the Creator) . You must be ashamed.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  DohaNewsRe

Sorry to disappoint but I’m not Hindu either.

Can’t say I’m ashamed to not be Hindu as much as I am not ashamed to say I am not christain, Baha’i, muslim, zooastrain or animalistic.

DohaNewsRe
DohaNewsRe
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I never said/thought you were. I was just taking the case of some self attested secular scientists.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  DohaNewsRe

The civilization that doesn’t even treat people equally till this day. The very same that gave us the oppressive culture of caste which considered some people beneath others, which treated some as slaves just because of the family they were born in. And even till this day this culture goes on. Just last week, in Tamil Nadu some low caste people were forced to drink human urine by upper caste men. Another contribution is the system of devdasis where women were forced to become devdasis to please their “gods”.

DohaNewsRe
DohaNewsRe
5 years ago
Reply to  Ism

So your faith preaches equality ? You must ask Ahmediyyas and Shia Muslim in Yemen , pakistan, Iraq etc. Boko Haram, LeT, ISIS , JuD, IUML all results of equality , the gift that keeps on giving. Hindu caste system has long been the favourite punching bag for self certified secular people like you and why not. The caste system was misused to protect certain (selfish) interests. A quick check on Google will prove that even today Muslims and Christians have practice caste system. So nobody can acquit any community from caste politics.

Ism
Ism
5 years ago
Reply to  DohaNewsRe

Caste system is the basis of basis of hinduism. The very idology where the upper caste can ensure a supply of slaves. In addition there is the devdasis system where girls are forced to become prostitutes to “please their gods”. Wonder what perverts are their gods. But then again nothing much can be expected from people who worshiping the p*n*s. Muslims dont have any caste system. The attempt of hindu nationalists to pass the buck on muslims is laughable.

Coco
Coco
5 years ago

Interesting discussion…I’m sorry I missed it. The title does sound like some sort of plague or invasion was taking place.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago

And here was I coming to the comments to see the feedback from the events,as I missed them……….the usual pointless jousting and mud slinging I see. Getting REALLY boring for those who want to read more than name calling, defense of religion x or defense of culture x. (Yes, I could stop visiting blah blah blah, but I live in hope things will improve). Some great pics by the way!

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