Terming Bombay High Court’s order banning participation of those below 18 years of age in the human pyramids during Dahi Handi celebrations as “unjust”, an umbrella body of Govinda groups today said it would continue the “age-old tradition” regardless of the directive.
Court passed the order on Monday.
“We have been playing this sport from ages and it is unjust on the part of the High Court to disallow children from participating. We will continue our tradition no matter what,” said Bala Padelkar, president of Dahikala Utsav Samanvaya Samiti (DUSS), talking to reporters.
The state government would be responsible if the High Court’s order created any law and order issue, he added.
“We are requesting the state government to step in and pass a government resolution and allow us to continue doing what we have been doing. If the state government does not do something, it will be held responsible for any law and order problems should they arise,” Padelkar said.
When asked whether he will take the responsibility for mishaps, Padelkar said the mandal (organisers at particular Dahi Handi) where the mishap takes place would be be responsible.
He urged the government to make Dahi Handi a recognised sport, so that rules and regulations would be framed. “Lakhs of people play this sport each year. We want the government to grant it recognition as a sport so that there are rules and regulations, which we will follow,” he said.
“For now we will also approach the Supreme Court and pray for reversal of this order,” he added.
Replying to a question, Padelkar said height of human pyramid will depend on the height at which the organisers hang the Dahi Handi.
Apart from banning participation of minors — in view of incidents of children falling off the pyramid and suffering fatal injuries — the court has also capped the height of pyramid at 20 feet.