Is Indian ‘secular’ politics messing up ‘Makar Jyothi’ tragedy probe?


By K.Vijayan

Via e-mail

So far no information has been “leaked” in the media about whose jeep, or other vehicle it was which ran into pilgrims and triggered the stampede killing and injuring so many people on their way to watch “Makar Jyothi” in Kerala.. The names of those driving/traveling in the “vehicle” have not been revealed either.  But is that a road being paved for a “spontaneous stampede” theory?

The media, after that first report of a jeep being driven at “high speed” mowing down pilgrims and crashing has made no further “investigative” or “follow-up”’ reports. Nor is the Kerala High Court  “Bench” interested in finding out. Is it outside its terms of reference for probe, or the topic is beyond “cognizance?”

Whatever it may be, the usual Indian secular political three-ring circus is once again on the road with Chief Ministers, other Ministers, various government departments and boards pointing fingering at each other, and the “sound and fury” are sputtering out of judges’ mouths.

“Is the Jyothi man-made?” asks this Bench of a padiri-owned High Court.

Have they asked the vital question —  “Is the stampede man-made?”

We are yet to hear this question being asked in this, or numerous other cases where Hindu pilgrims have been rail-roaded, stampeded, burnt alive in trains, or Hindu saints murdered in their ashrams.

The Chief Minister of Kerala says that the Jyothi is a “matter of faith,” and there is no need to ask whether it is man-made or a natural phenomenon.

In going so much out of the way, and making off-the-cuff remarks about the money flowing into the temple coffers, source of the Light, etc., we wonder if this Bench will also dare to ask some simple questions like:

* What share of the temple’s revenues is misappropriated by the state for its secular purposes?

* How much of temple land, forest land or other state-owned lands surrounding the temple and on the road leading to the temple have been gifted to Christians and Muslims for promoting their religion, building churches, madrasas, mosques, etc, and whether this is causing problems, sabotage, etc., for the temple and pilgrims.

“Whether this stampede was engineered by some interested schemers to acquire land and control over the road to Pulimedu where the tragedy took place?

* Whether it is a fact that various government agencies are leeching on the temple’s revenues? For instance the State Electicity Board is alleged to extort “commercial” rates for the power it supplies to the temple, even as it charges nil or concessional rates for other religious places of worship.

* Why the Central government and all those state government boards and departments managing and running (ruining) the Hindu temples are not subsidizing Sabarimala pilgrims, not building and not maintaining a string of air terminals, guest-houses, roads, toilets etc? Is Kerala owned by non-Hindu Meghalaya?

The pillars of state seem to be going through another set of well-publicized exercise — doing nothing, but trying to cover up criminals, and using the tragedy as another chance to bash Hindus.

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