Popular musician Zubeen Garg courted controversy after his remarks on banning animal sacrifice at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.

Mentioning about Bollywood actor Govinda’s recent visit to the temple, Zubeen said that Govinda should have made a sacrifice of himself than a buffalo.

The temple authorities have expressed shock at the behaviour of the musician.

“I heard that Bollywood actor Govinda had sacrificed a buffalo here. I would say, learn to sacrifice yourself. Maa Kamakhya never seeks any sacrifice. I have always been advocating against animal sacrifices. It should be stopped,” said Zubeen during a concert in Guwahati on Monday night.

At the statement, the temple authorities have expressed deep shock. “He (Zubeen) is a widely respected and very popular musician. But he should stay away from making such stupid remarks. We are deeply hurt at this. We don’t appreciate such remarks from Zubeen which can hurt religious sentiments,” Bhupesh Sarma, one of the officials of the temple committee, told The News Mill.

Sarma, however, denied that Govinda made any animal sacrifice. “He just spent around 15 minutes at the temple. No sacrifice was made. But if someone wishes to make any sacrifice, we can’t say no. This is not for feast but a ritual for offering prayer and this has been continuing for ages. Besides, we don’t force anyone to make sacrifice,” said Sarma.

He said that out of around 20,000 people who visit the temple every day, only 50 individuals do sacrifice.

Sadou Asom Devalaya Sangha, an organization of temples in the state, has issued a warning to the singer. Kailash Sarma, secretary of the body said that they condemn the remarks of the singer. “We warn him not to make such statements in future which hurt the religious sentiments of the people,” said Sarma in a statement.

Friends of Kamakhya, an organization associated with the temple, has condemned Zubeen for his remarks and demanded an apology.

Zubeen, however, stood by his comments. “This is my personal thought. I don’t appreciate animal sacrifice. That’s it,” Zubeen later told reporters.

The musician, however, got support, in social media platforms. Ever since the controversy erupted, many shared the visuals on Facebook.

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The News Mill is a Guwahati-based digital media with focus on content from across Northeast India and beyond. We can be reached through [email protected]