Thursday, September 20, 2007
Lesson 20: Water IS my birthright...
The capital of India, New Delhi, is one of the few capital cities that BEGS for its water from neighbouring states. Just before the Yamuna enters the capital, it's broken into two and the flowing waters of the river are blocked and released as channels. Six different drain pipes release untreated sewage directly into the Yamuna. Once the water is treated and 'cleaned', people are seen bathing, washing clothes and cleaning vegetables in the so-called treated and clean water. THIS so-called treated water is what comes into your houses. PLEASE go and check inside your overhead tanks and SEE if you find any living creatures in it. Frequently, my taps are blocked -- in 3 days -- because there are larvae and other insects STUCK inside. The water smells as well.
Yesterday, as part of yet another festival, 'Gods' were being immersed into the river. The concept being that once invoked for the festival -- apparently to come and bless the people -- the gods are then sent back home by way of a river/ ocean/ sea. It's actually carnage. What was shocking was that people were actually BATHING in all that shit, were going UNDER, check that picture with the boy's head merely sticking out. A few minutes after that picture was taken, the boy spat out something from his mouth. I did not have it in me to inspect exactly what.
Two women, who were paying one of the boys to take their 'idol' into the water were standing at the end and ewwwing. "Oh my god, this is so dirty", so I stopped and asked as to why they were contributing to it. I will give it to the lady, she looked confused and said, "Yes, I know what you are saying, I had not realised it is this dirty. But... religion says... Is there another option?"
Is there another option? Hmmm. Visarjan (immersion) has been a part of (Hindu) religious proceedings for ages and perhaps demanding that it not be done is... religiously impractical. Common sense though DEMANDS that we stop so immediately. However, common sense and common man -- even the Skoda/Lamborghini driving class -- do not sit well together. So I suggested that she immerse her idol in a bucket of water and perhaps keep him under a tree somewhere. Her response, "No, no, that would be such disrespect to Ganesha."
Well, and Ganesha likes to be dumped into YOUR excreta? Does he know that? Delhi is living like PIGS; we drink and eat our own shit.
PS: Is ANY environmental body watching? When celebrities can petition the government (under PETA) to become 'ele-friends', to save elephants... Can we expect SOME celebrity to petition in FAVOUR of the PEOPLE? I mean, how are we SO moved by every other living creature but our own goddarned species?
Can we ask a Pandit if there is perhaps another option than DUMPING everything into rivers? Will Religion stand by it's people or is Faith always destructive?
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