Published On : Thu, Oct 23rd, 2014

Why people gamble on Diwali nights?

casino-gambling and card playing in parties during diwali in Nagpur
Nagpur Today: Mumbai may be known for its lavish Diwali parties hosted by film stars such as Jeetendra and Amitabh Bachan but Nagpur parties are no less in the glamour quotient and lavish and extravagant sums of money won and lost in gambling. This sport is catching on, among the young as well as the old folks who have been indulging in it for years.

All the recreational clubs of Nagpur like Gondwana club, C.P. Club and Maharaj Bag clubs have special sections cordoned off for serious gamblers where the stakes are as high as lakhs per bid.

Many communites like Marwaris, Punjabis, Sindhis and Gujarathis have private Card parties where minimum bidding is in Rs. 500/ notes, it is learnt.

Needless to add, drinks flow freely too as such places, with platters of non vegetarian snacks.

So serious is the passion for gambling during Diwali that one can find on line ‘astrology’ sites giving the correct time to gamble and what lady luck holds in store for individual gamblers based on their astral signs! (How accurate these are, is anyone’s guess).
It is interesting to know that gambling during this festival dates back to lores about Shiva and Parvati playing with dice during Diwali.014 Diwali Dyuta KridaThe act of gambling is known in Hinduism since Vedic period. However, it was known as game of Dyuta and called Dyuta-Krida (द्यूत-क्रीडा). The board on which it is played is known as Chaupar and dice are known as Pasha (पाश). In modern India, the game of dice is known as Jua (जुआ) and it is taboo to play Jua in many families. Most states in India have banned all sorts of gambling activities. However, many families play it during Diwali for religious reasons.

It is believed that the game of dice was invented by Lord Shiva itself and it was played between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati the very first time. It was stated by Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati, “O Devi! I have created the game of dice for those who want to play it for time pass, for those who want to amass sudden wealth and to destroy the wealth of someone”.

As per Hindu religious books, it was the day of Kartik Pratipada when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati played the game of dice the very first time. It is believed that the day of Kartik Pratipada, which is also known as Bali Pratipada andGovardhan Puja, is blessed by Goddess Parvati herself. Hence whoever plays Dyuta Krida on this day is blessed by Goddess Parvati.

Dyuta Krida is a must ritual on the day of Kartik Pratipada which is also the first day of Hindu Samvat year and known asGujarati New Year.

Many people play Dyuta on Diwali night which has no religious significance. None of the religious books mention gambling on Diwali night. The reason, why religious books suggest playing Dyuta, is not that it is an auspicious day to win but it is the day to forecast for the coming year. If someone wins in the game of Dyuta on Kartik Pratipada then the whole year would be good for that person and if someone loses then it is omen of bad luck in coming year.

But whatever the religious reasons, or excuse for gambling may be, it is also illegal. Police are officially supposed to raid such parties and stop the illegal money transactions but they seem to prefer looking the other way. Therefore popular hotels in Nagpur get away with hosting gambling parties which are often attended by city’s who’s who including many politicians and their offspring.