Wednesday, 16 September 2015

If India Needs To Ban Something Right Now, It Should Be This!

Over the last few months, India has witnessed a number of bans followed by the extreme and prompt reactions of people. Social media has assumed such power in today’s world that people now express their thoughts, views and opinions clearly on these platforms which has been making issues larger than ever! Amidst all these chaos, the government failed to determine things that actually need to be banned other than the ones that actually faced it. After the popular meat ban issue, many people came up with their own ideas of what needs to be banned in our country. And, whether it actually happens or not, here is my viewpoint on what the country actually needs to ban and ban it RIGHT NOW!

Recently, the month of Shravan (a month on the Hindu calendar that is considered sacred when people sacrifice on having non vegetarian food) came to an end. Since the month is considered sacred, many people also fast during this month on Mondays and Saturdays. Fasts, in India, have been typically associated with paying visits to temples where several offerings are offered to the idols. So, during the month of Shravan, I myself witnessed several devotees offering milk to Lord Shiva in temples. Some others make donations in the form of money while some come up with grains and other stuff as offerings to the God.

Basically, I am not against worship or paying visits to temples in any way. Everyone has their own set of beliefs and different ideas of prayer. But, this is one thing that I should think the government should impose a ban upon! And that is offering milk and grains to idols in temples! I perfectly understand that these practices have been going on in our society since ages and people are simply continuing them. Most of them feel that they are making donations to God so that he can solve their problems. But, in this process, does anyone know how much milk is wasted? Temples literally bath their idols in milk which later goes into the drainage. Is this really important or even relevant for that matter?

We know what condition that draught has caused in entire Maharashtra. Farmers are dying of hunger or killing themselves because they are unable to support and feed their children. And, there are so many children who actually stay on the roads in big cities and take up ways such as theft to fill their stomach. The number of malnourished people in India will leave you awestruck, forget about the world! While the conditions are getting more grave and difficult for farmers and the poor, on the other hand, even the literates in the city are wasting several thousand litres of milk by spilling it on idols in temples. If the same milk is offered to the poor, the homeless kids on roads or to the farmers, do you know how many lives it can save? Or simply how many stomachs would it fill for at least a day?

It is very unfortunate that the number of people dying out of starvation and hunger in our country is rising day by day. And, with Ganesh festival fast approaching, such wastage of milk, grains and even money is inevitable. Not only milk, people even make handsome offerings in cash at Ganesh pandals or at famous pilgrimage places. Although many of these pandals and pilgrimage places have their own charities set up in order to help the poor, why can’t we simply help the poor ourselves instead of making offerings at these places? Why can’t we simply sponsor education for a child or help someone who is fighting death in hospitals?

I know it is very difficult to change this mindset of people since these practices have been going on since ages. But, we can at least try to be different this year, isn’t it? Let’s just pledge not to waste milk or foodstuffs on idols this Ganesh festival and divert these offerings to the poor farmers in our state instead! Remember guys, if farmers die at this pace, we would soon have nothing to eat!