Tuesday, July 25, 2006

what is rotting in shabarimala??

its a month since i wrote last time. it was a month of happenings world wide.
brazil crashed out of world cup to my disbelief.i was stunned to see my all time favorites going out.i lost interest in soccer almost instantenously.
well co ordinated serial blasts ripped mumbai once again after a break. this time the death toll fell just short of 200.following the blasts,i received lots of emails describing the greatness of mumbaikars who went for work the next day as usual. i think we are picking up wrong examples for mightiness and greatness.
thats how big cities react to any thing. they just return to their status quo over a nite. if mumbai was to make a difference, they should have brought the city to perfect stop for a day or two and that would have triggered shock waves down the spine of our government.
returning to normal the very next day would have helped every one to leave behind the trauma such an act of terrorism brought to many a families across the nation.we lost around 200 of our siblings for nothing.. our government was very prompt in their statements.they sticked to the rituals with great fervour. they warned our neighbours against their support for anti indian interests in their soils and warned terrorist organisations against the consequences.their part is done !!
and to add a lil color to the whole episode all top guns visited the survivors.beyond that did we ever reacted any time against such inhumane act of terrorism towards our citizens any time???
am not calling for a war.am pretty confident in the strength of our armed forces.why cant the government request our forces to uproot terrorism within our borders before asking our neighbours to tame it.
i wont be suprised any time if some stories disclose the immoral alliances of national leaders with the anti national groups.our governments never exhibited any determination in wiping out the internal terrorism,the clean up of panjab being an exception.
we saw an extreme to the previous incident.just when 3 of its soliders ( or was it two? ) were killed,Israel didnt hesistate to launch a very fierce attack on the neighbouring state to uproot the terrorist outfits operating across its border.they are at the verge of a full fledged war at this moment.more than 300 died in vegnance,and was it an act of patriotism? was it an act of might?
well..i have no answers..for i wish to hold my thoughts on such issues close to my heart :-)
GSLV and Agni 3 mis fired.
as we all know, its pretty common to have failures in Space Missions.but this time,it happened at a time when we never expected it to happen.these failures for sure,will take a toll on the confidence of our great scientists who are working hard to put us on the commerical rocket manufacturer's league.
Indian Army executed a text book operation to save a kid out of a tube well in hariyana.
its high time for the local governing bodies to take an account of how many such open wells are there in their neighbourhood just waiting to swallow a kid any day. we shouldnt loose our kids to our negligence. i wish we will get all such wells closed in time so that we dont loose more prafuls ( the kid who died in such a freaking accident in kasargode,kerala,india when he fell into an abandoned tube well).

thus,july was full of happenings...
last week end we had the record temperature in Sandiego. Believe me,it was 50 degree celcius.
thts the highest temperature i ever saw in my life. and what were we doing on the hottest day??
we were climbing a mountain :-). with absolutely no shades,the rocky trails of iron mountain tested our strengths on saturday. a 3 mile hike upward, was a cake walk according to me.
15 minutes after we started,i had to swallow my words :-)). but finally i made it to the top.
but it was an exhausting hike.i never felt so tired in near past.
on sunday,while visiting a chineese store,i came across some thing interesting..Muringayila
and karumoosum kaaya ( well..its just the pappaya..we have our own terminology for many a things :-).malappuram dialect of malayalam isnt all that easy for an outsider :-)) ).
so sunday nite,we cooked some thing classic.murangiyila-parippu kari and pappaya thoran..
a typical,traditional malayalee delicacy. i felt i was having my dinner in kerala that nite.
( back home in kerala,there were 2 pappaya trees behind my home. i dont remember ever eating a single piece of pappaya from those trees.i hated pappaya to the core and always avoid pappaya thoran :-). years later i realised my aversion for pappaya had ceased to exist.)

you would have already thought or atleast started thinking what is the connection with all that is scribbled and the title???..even i have such doubts :-))


Shabarimala : a scared place of worship for hindus in south india. its the second largest temple in south india in terms of number of devotees i believe.unique for its restriction on women. no women between 10 and 55 are allowed to visit the temple.
temple is located admist thick forests in western ghats and is accessbile only on certain days of the year. millions visit the temple every year.

Shabarimala had been the center of contraversies for a while. in the past it started with the nilakkal parish issue which almost broke into a communal viloence in early 80's, i think it was in 83.it started with some pastor un earthing a stone cross near the mahadeva temple,nilakkal.
the stone cross was claimed to be established by st.thomas.rest is history and i have no intention to talk further on that.
then came the poonkavanam project which was aimed at looting hectres of land around the sanidhanam by the last government of kerala.ministers like oommen chandy and KM Mani who deserve a golden throne in the political history of kerala, were very enthusiastic in realising the project which claims to provide great facilities to the pilgrims of lord aiyappa.
the plan was convert sabarimala to another tirupati and the motive :-) ... REVENUE.
the temple is owned and operated by Travancore Devasom board, a major revenue generator for the government.
everyone with some sense and affection for this great pilgrim center fought hard against this move there by forcing the government to withdraw the plans for time being.else they would have comfortably sold off this great temple complex to some delhi based firm, in return,would have made the decision makers billionaires over nite.

then came the contraversial "deva prashnam".
deva prashnam is a process of probing into the likes/dislikes of the god.
i dont know about the communication protocols used for this complex procedure and i dont think god is going to disclose his/her mind to any one as well.a very known astrologer of kerala used his diction effectively and spoke out many a truths which is known to public as "heavenly displeasure" spurring off another spell of debates.

This time it was regarding the presence of women in the temple complex which is forbidden according to the rituals of the temple.
he said the god is highly displeased with many a happenings in the complex including a woman touching the diety inside sanctum sanctorum.
if u had ever been to sabarimala u'll realise how impossible it is for a woman to reach the diety.
instead of disapproving such a disclosure as baseless alegation with some hidden notions,it invoked huge uproar among the devotees.giving the most dramatic twist to such a story,came an actress who claimed she touched the diety during her visit to temple.
instead of investigating how could she reach the temple complex,violating the primary law of the temple,the argument was focussed on whether wat she said is rite or wrong?
so devaprashanam ended in chaos.the only person to benefit out of it is the astrologer himself.the increase in his clientele in coming months will talk all about it. i cant see no one but a shrewd business man in him.
as all of us do he invested heavily on his skill to reap fortunes.to his fortune, religion and belief have bigger stake in lives than software :-) :-).

now comes the anti climax..
the chief priest is suspected to be involved in immoral trafficking.
that had hit the press in a big way.its really a big news for them.after taking VS Achuthanandan to power and then criticising the government for their attempts to the tame the minority power politics,the media in kerala lacked a direction. this is fortune in disguise.wat more will bring a better viewership/readership???
the most reverent priest of kerala,who is god as such for millions of devotees of aiyappa, is caught for "unethical sexual relationship".

let the arguments continue and law take its course...

i dont think the priest did a grave sin. he just went with the majority.
but he forgot the basics.whether he is guilty or not is yet to proved.
but if we can believe the print media,there is not even a bit of suspicion whether he did wat he is accused of doing?.lust took its toll on him.
i sympathise with him.the very crowd which fell on his feet till y'day will stone him. the luxury of being the cheif in sabarimala is almost gone.
he killed the golden goose.he can regret it for the rest of his life.
leaving it aside..
whether he is found guilty or not,i dont think he did any thing unpardonable as an individual.as a priest,i dont think he is eligible to be any where near a temple (forget sabarimala,any temple of any sort where he is the middle man between god and the public)any more.
he fell prey to an evil plan but doesnt deserve any mercy since the position he was holding demands toooo much.

it doesnt need any divine power to understand that the divinity of sabarimala is perishing.
when i visited sanidhanam in 94 i realised its a perfect messy place.
highly crowded,un hygenic to a power of 10000 raised to the same.
polluted,mis managed,neglected golden goose.thts wat sanidhanam is.
i decided i might not return to that temple complex. well its not a pledge of mine but just a feeling of mine which is remain intact till today.
am never sure about my tommorows.the government who eats off the big pie the temple brings (it was 690 million indian rupee last year) have no care for this holy place.if it were a minority center of worship,goverment would have made it a heaven and subsidies would made it a lovely place to be.may be u get incentives to visit tht place :-)). ( with the minority appeasing tactics displayed by the congress government of ommen chandy,i wont be surprised if government offer such an incentive too )
am afraid that criticizing baseless minority appeasing might be termed as anti minority stand these days.
the very govt which give repeated subsidies to hajj pilgrims,charge a phenomenal special rate in state owned buses to sabarimala.
a basic example for the attitude of government towards this place of worship.

its high time for the believers and worshippers to unite and save this great pilgrim destination of south india from the claws of a pack of wolves pretending as its saviours
am not an ardent worshipper any more. so it doesnt hurt or disturb me any more.but am sure,it is disturbing for many a people around me.
henceforth,i thought its worth sharing some views with my unknown readers.

apologies in advance if i hurted any sentiments of any body.
i just exercised my freedom of speech.