Wednesday, 11 September 2013

To immerse or to consecrate

Normally Ganesha is immersed in water and more so if it is installed in public. Very few would are to keep the Ganesha back and Ganesha Visarjane is part of  a ritual.
Very rarely do the police or for that matter any other agency interfere in the Visarjane. The police do provide escort and security and also clear the road if the Ganesha procession is huge as in the case of Mumbai.
But, hold on. There is a locality in a city where the police are insisting that the organisers of a Ganesha which was placed in public do not immerse the idol.  The reason: They feel the Ganesha will be fished out of water by thieves and they do not want to set off a communal riot over the issue.
But wait. Why would a Ganesha be stolen unless it is an antique, priceless or valuable. This Ganesha does not satisfy the first two words. However, it is valuable as it is made of pure silver and it is worth more than Rs. 20 lakhs.
While the residents and organizers want to immerse the silver Ganesh, the police are dead against it. You see, they are scared that thieves will dive into the water, fish out the Ganesha and either melt it or sell it as it is. This, the police feel, could set off a riot and lead to a communal conflagration.
The police have, therefore, advised the organizers not to immerse the Ganesha. On their part, the residents and organizers are form on immersion. They say the Ganesha festival would come to a logical end only after the idol is immersed in water amid Vedic chants.
The “for and against” lobby is tearing the suburb of Pulianthope in Channai apart and giving sleepless nights to one and all. The police are asking residents of  Pulianthope to consecrate the Ganesha in a temple. The residents and organisers say they will row ten kilometers into the sea and then immerse the Ganesha.
The police remain unconvinced about the safety of the Ganesha after its immersion. They are sure that thieves will have a go at it. Having classified the suburb as communally sensitive, they are loathe to allow the immersion.
Their argument is that the area often sees violence and murders and till August this year, Pulianthope recorded some 30 murders and this half of all murders in Chennai.
Pointing to this disturbing trend, the police say the Ganesha issue may snowball anytime into a law and order issue. As of now, three policemen guard the silver idol on display at the Prakash Rao Colony.
The  Ganesha idol is made of 19 kilograms of silver with experts from Mysore and Udaipur designing and sculpting it. The residents of the colony decided to go in for a silver Ganesha to mark the 25th year of having these idols on public display.
By the way, Chennai, this year, has seen installation of more than 1,700 Ganesha idols on public display. Of them 165 are in Pulianthope police district.
Apart from the Ganesha row, Pulianthope is also known for another strange phenomenon. This unexplained phenomenon occurs on the narrow lane of Jafferkhan Street when life comes to a standstill after 7-30 p.m.
This is so as bricks starts falling on the houses after this hour and they continue well  past midnight.
Nobody known who throws the bricks or why. All they know is that this strange incident is confined only to this lane and it starts after 7-30 p.m. The bricks fall on four to five homes only. The police are sure that it is the handiwork of miscreants but the residents are not fully convinced. How can anyone throw bricks on roofs of two storied houses, they ask.

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