Date: 27 Jan 2011


Temple stampedes claimed over 900 lives in last nine years PTI – 2 hours 32 minutes ago\\\\\\\\\\ New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) Stampedes at temples and other religious places in India have claimed nearly 900 lives in the past nine years, including those who died in melee at Sabarimala shrine. \\\\\\\\\ Most recently, on March 4, 2010, about 63 people were killed and 15 injured when a gate at Kripalu Maharaj''s Ashram at Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh collapsed during distribution of food on the occasion of a ritual, for which nearly 10,000 people had converged. On September 30, 2008, more than 200 devotees were killed and over 60 injured in a stampede at Chamunda Devi temple in Rajasthan''s Jodhpur city.\\\\\\\\ The incident took place when there was a rumour of a bomb going off. More than 10,000 people had turned up at the famous temple for a darshan of the Hindu goddess. Such a tragedy at the Hindu temple of Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh on August 3, 2008 had killed over 150 people, mainly women and children, and injured about 230. On March 27 that year, at least eight people were trampled to death and 10 seriously injured in a stampede at a temple in the remote Karila village in Madhya Pradesh. The stampede at Mandhar Devi temple in Maharashtra in January 2005, when some people fell down on the steps made slippery by devotees breaking coconuts, claimed 340 lives. \\\\\\\\ Among other stampedes, at least six people were killed and 12 injured in July 2008 during the annual Jagannath Yatra in Puri, Orissa. In January 2008, five people were killed at Durga Malleswara temple in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. \\\\\\\\ In October 2007, 11 people were killed in such a tragedy at Pawagah in Gujarat while in November 2006, four elderly people were crushed to death during a stampede at Jagannath temple in Puri, Orissa. Nealy 40 pilgrims were killed and 125 injured in a stampede at Kumbh Mela in Nasik in August 2003. Over 100 pilgrims were killed on Friday night in the stampede at Pulmedu, one of the vantage points on the route to Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple, for witnessing the "Makarajyothi". On January 14, 1999, 52 pilgrims were killed following the crashing of a hillock under pressure of the jam-packed crowd of thousands of pilgrims who had opted the spot in Pampa for witnessing the "Makarajyothi". \\\\\\\ Lakhs of pilgrims concentrate in and around Sabarimala because of the halo of "divinity" thrust upon the "Makarajyothi", the "heavenly miracle light" that "used to appear" on the eastern horizon above Ponnambalamedu of the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple when the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Ayyappa temple was opened for deeparadhana to Lord Ayyappa on the day of Makara Samkramam. \\\\\\\\\ Following the Pulmedu incident in which a hundred and four Sabarimala pilgrims were unfortunately killed on the 14th January, 2011 \\\\\\\\\\\ Sabarimala stampede \\\\\\ vilasni narayanan <> \\\\\\\\\\\\\ A friend who was there just before the tragedy says vehicles had been allowed up the path and it was one of the reasons for so many deaths as the vehicles had blocked their way preventing them from getting away from the edge of the hill. He says vehicles are not allowed but somehow these people, either by bribing the cops or just because they might be some corrupted selfish politicos had been allowed to drive up. Again such disregard for other people only happens at Hindu festivals, one never sees such selfishness or arrogance at the festivals of others. But you are right, we should stop giving money to temples until they change their ways. Going to a temple in India these days is very unpleasant, it was so different just about 15 years ago when temples were places of worship and reverence, not money grabbing enterprises. These days they find so many ways to make money out a temple. The Ganesh temple here for example is a source of revenue for everyone and everything, beggars are left there by a syndicate and they can only do it with the permission of the temple authorities, then to leave your footwear it is contracted out although they do not need the money and devotees are harassed by the chap who collects the money, the shops that sell various things, they must be collecting money from them too, so many ways. One wishes someone like Christ would come and clean out these places like he did with the Jewish temples and make them into proper places of worship again. \\\\\\\\\ Why is Makara Jyoti being targeted? \\\\\\\\\\ It is amazing how quickly and unitedly everyone, media, the courts, politicians, jumped on to this one minor point and went on to ridicule and insult the whole belief system of Hindus. The anti-Hindu newspaper devoted so much space and effort to discredit the Jyoti, hasn't the court anything more important to look into except what a Hindu believes or not. Would they dare jump up and down like this if it was some totally irrational, medieval, oppressive belief of the Muslims, such as stoning people to death for minor offences or covering up their women in black cloth. This is such a personal belief that does not in any way interfere with anyone's life or belief. What can you expect from a country that dare not allow its national flag to be raised in a certain part of the country because it will offend a certain community. \\\\\\\\\\ Tragedies happen on a large scale at Hindu festivals because Hindus are selfish and disunited, everyone wants to be first, everyone wants to get the most and when something happens they just want to take care of themselves, there is no collective attempt to overcome any mishaps. Any temple one goes to people push and jostle each other to get in front, there is no discipline or courtesy, old people, women with young children, no consideration is given to anyone. I have seen only one temple, the Ayappan Temple in Tiruchy that is well run and where people behave themselves, in the whole of India and I have travelled quite a bit. And of course, our temple priests and authorities are just paid lackeys or people put into positions for their servile loyalty to whoever is in power and they are only interested in the money they can collect. Besides such tragedies just gives the sickularists another chance to take a dig at Hindu practices and rituals. Just read the comments that followed the tragedy, what has the authenticity of the Magara Jyoti got to do with what happened, as per the editorial and comment in yesterday's Indian Express. Vilasni \\\\\\\\ I have read about many tragedies wherever Hindu festival takes place. \\\\\\\\ Such incidents do not occur so frequently with other communities as it happens at the time of Hindu festivals. \\\\\\\ I wonder why the Hindu volunteers are not prepared in those cities where Hindu festivals take place and they manage the traffic and other facilities for the pilgrimage people. \\\\\\\ Every body knows that congress and most of the other parties are anti- Hindu parties and will not do any thing for Hindus.\\\\\\\\ I was surprised that there were only three policemen for SABARIMALA festival, while there was such a big rush.\\\\\\\\\ Every body complains that all kinds of governments take away the money from Hindu temples and do not spend money for proper maintenance of temples and providing livelihood to Hindu priests. \\\\\\\\\\ I wonder in such case why Hindus do not stop donating money to temples when such money is taken away by government to give same to Muslims and Christians for hajj subsidy and other social benefits to Muslims and Christians. \\\\\\\\\ During Indira Gandhi regime a law was passed that all donations of Golden Sikh Gurdwra was to be taken by the government. \\\\\\ At that time Sikh priests dissuaded public not to give any donation to the Gurdwara as all money would be taken by the government. Then people started donating only one paisa whenever they visited Gurdwara. \\\\\\\\ looking at the negligible donation and opposition of Sikhs of taking their money by the government, Indira Gandhi has to change the rule. I wonder why the priests do not tell public not to donate any money in temples as all money is taken away by anti- Hindu governments. \\\\\\\\ BJP is considered Hindu party but will not do any thing for Hindus or will raise any voice for the problems of Hindus. \\\\\\\\\\\\ These people spend all their time and energy in praising Jinnah all the time . For the BJP party Hindus are just for abuse or for taking advantage without doing any thing for Hindus. \\\\\\\\ The stampede site at Pulamedu in Idukki district, Kerala. Kerala government caught napping at Uppupara \\\\\\\\\\ According to highly reliable official sources, only four policemen were posted for crowd management at Pulmedu, where as many as 2.5 lakh pilgrims had congregated for the Makarajyoti darshan on January 14. \\\\\\\\\\ CRIMINAL BIAS BY KERALA GOVT TOWARDS HINDU TEMPLES \\\\\\\\ Hindus are aware of extra financial assistance to Muslims and Christians. Successive government in Kerala have taken over temple land and funds for nefarious activities. Muslims and Christians are provided special privileges in establishing educational institutions, financial institutions and special building funds from government. Media is in the hands of our enemies. long-term phony secular rhetoric is also dulling Hindus' minds. Our Hindu leaders and religious leaders addresses have become little more than "pontification cum ancedotalism." The urge to dumb down has been a rare constant in the history of Kerala. The anti Hindu rhetoric in its modern mode has exhibited an increased tendency to avoid references to atrocities against Hindus. \\\\\\\\ The demographic change in the land of Sankaracharya is another time bomb. Within the next ten years Hindus will become a minority in Kerala. In Kerala, according to the 2010 census Hindu population has dwindled to 56.35 of the Kerala population. Hindu slaughter will begin like in Kashmir and Nagaland once we become a minority. \\\\\\\\ PS READ IT AND SPREAD THIS OUTRAGE AROUND....SHAME ON ALL THESE POLITICIANS WHO ARE LEACHING OUR TEMPLES AND PLAYING VOTE-BANK POLITICS. \\\\\\ SHAME ON THEM ONCE AGAIN FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART AND CURSES ON THEM TOO.... \\\\\\\ As recd from a friend...\\\\\ Swami sharanam..! In a season SABARIMALA DEVASWAM BOARD gives Kerala Govt, \\\\\\ ü Rs:75 lakh for police service \\\\\\ ü Rs.3 lakh for Health service,\\\ ü Rs.20 lakh for pollution control board\\\\\\\ but.. In MALAYATTUR CHURCH season.. ALL service free by Govt! \\\\\ And... ü KSEB pay Rs17/- per unit from DEVASWAM while \\\\\\\ ü Churches & Madrassas Rs4/- only! \\\\\\\ And.. ü Rs.7 crore & alternate forest land for development.! \\\ ü extra ticket charges paid by each ayyappa to KSRTC.\\\\\ \\\\\\\ ü At the same time Rs.225 crores subsidy for HUJJ TRIP..! and big money to Christians for Bethlehem visit \\\\\\\\ See the DISPARITY between GODS...! \\\\\\\\ The governing politicians and Political parties are milking every opportunity for amassing wealth. The meaning of the word ‘secular’ differs in Bhaaratham and western countries. in the west it is almost synonymous with atheism and in Bhaaratham it was meant to be ‘treat all religions with the same standards’, and not interfering with any internal religious matter. (In Malayalam, people call this Mathetharathwam.) Now, in Bhaaratham it is practically come to be non-interference with all the so-called minority communities if they do not like it and at the same time will do anything and everything to please the minorities and themselves at the cost of any damage to the so-called Hindus. Practically this is fundamentally against the secular policy these politicians setup. Even though in USA the people and authorities try to project the negatives of our culture a lot, they don’t do things to destroy our culture as much as it is being done in Bhaaratham. Of course they adopt our cultural values. After a while, they turn around and say it was theirs. Some religious groups do this in Bhaarat also. \\\\\\\\\\ The successive governments neglected the Temples from where they get a lot (loot) of money. With that they, cater to the silly, small and every kind of needs of the minority communities at the coast of the so-called Hindus. If they had worked with discreetness and vision spending the money for the temples from where they got it, and created enough proactive measures, this kind of tragedies can and could have avoided. There was recommendation given to government after lengthy studies on the subject. However, they did nothing. Moreover, almost all the problems the so-called Hindus face are because of this habit of “keeping a smiling face” at every one including who do wrong to us. When someone does wrong and you express the displeasure and take action the doer gets a message and may change his action. However, if you keep a smiling face they will think what they are doing is correct or we like what they are doing and keep on doing the same. \\\\\\\\ We cannot avoid death. Every one born are bound to die. Nevertheless, death should not be invited in, or inflicted by anyone. That is what happened at Shabarimala. Nevertheless, here the reason was absence of vision & planning. It was even neglect of warnings and recommendations. In short, it was utter failure of administration, of all the governments that ruled Keralam since few decades from all sides of the political spectrum. In addition, everyone can do something to prevent such incidents. Write against it, complain against it, take legal action, and boycott the Temple itself. Oppose the politicians who do this. Vote them out. All these can work. In addition, the best effective way will be to educate people about the facts, what these politicians are doing. That is what is lacking. The so-called Hindus themselves are working against it by their non-action. \\\\\ We are responsible for this totally as we have never assertively taken steps for the great ancient Hindu religious practice as one of the main pillars of our faith. \\\\\\\\\\ Hindus must come out the houses to protest against anti- Hindu policies of government. Almost majority of Hindus are interested in making money for themselves and their future generation. Money is important but forgetting Dharm is not the way. Hindus got to 'get up' out of the state of slumber, pull up their straps, walk over to the polling booths, and throw all these rascals out in the Ocean. As their offsprings for whom they want to make and preserve money are going to always live for money and will not hesitate to give up Hinduism/ Sanatan Dharmis even for a second. Major reasons for bad things to prevail in a society is not because of bad people but the inactiveness/ eunuchness of the Moderates / Good people. The sad state of Hinduism to be in is all because of majority of Hindu Chakkas were born in Bhaarat after Independence fed on Macaulay's pattern of education. And that Chakka sanskriti now continuing unabated in generations after generations. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ This refers to the news item "Kerala Govt put 3 cops on duty for 3 lakh pilgrims". It is not possible to police the 3 lakhs pilgrims spread in the forest area with vantage points of hillocks crowded to see "the Makarjyoti, believed to be a celestial light on the Sankranti Daay by the devotees of Sabarimala's Lord Ayyappa... 8 km from the shrine" The Kerala devotees visit the temple on the day to have darshan of Ayyappa. That is why there were only four or five casualties of Malayalees, whereas the overwhelming numbers of 102 dead and many more injured were from Tamilnadu and Andhra. The Marxist Government of Kerala should be squarely blamed for the mishap because it continued with the fraud of celestial lightat the particular time. The authorities knew the light was arranged by Forest officials and should have let the people know and the rush in the forest area could have been prevented. The late chief minister Nayanar had admitted that much, but the present Marxist ministers wanted to continue with the myth to earn more and more money for the Dewaswam Department. As a result pilgrims from neighbouring states had to suffer. N.Kunju \\\\\\\\\ A tragedy caused by utter carelessness and lack of civic sense is being twisted needlessly to attack the Makara Jyoti. Nobody has ever claimed that the Jyoti is being lit by Angels or Extra terrestrials from outer space. This is a simple ritual performed by tribals in the remote forest. What was awesome was the timing of the event. In the early part of the century when there were no means of any communication, how could the light appear coinciding with the Deeparadhana in the temple. It was simply wonderful and devotees prayed the light, unmindful of who was lighting it. Now, issues are being obfuscated and the Police, Forest and Devasom departments are blaming each other or collectively blaming the Jyoti as the cause. The poor preparedness of our government departments is well known. The Police and Forest departments are collecting hefty amounts for their sloppy service from the Devasom.. Why could the Devasom not invite the CISF, CRPF, who are slightly better trained and better equipped than the State Police ? Why Private Security Agencies were also not roped in ? All government departments make a common excuse that they do not have manpower. Why did the Kerala Police not inform the Devasom Board that they are having manpower shortage ? Has the Devasom Board or the Kerala Police ever determined how much Police personnel are needed to be deployed in Sabarimala during the season ? This is a preliminary exercise needed to be done by any department. The sad truth is that no such exercise has ever been done. Nobody knows how many are needed to be deployed. Why was no assistance sought from Tamilnadu/Andhra/Karnataka Police forces ? When large number of devotees are coming from neighbouring States, why the assistance of those Police forces were never sought ? Instead of answering these vital questions these departments are throwing mud at each other. If people are dissatisfied they blame the Jyoti. What more proof is needed to realise that asses are in full command. \\\\\\\\\ Contrast this with how the Haj pilgrimage is being organised, so many millions, so many nationalities are coming. The organisation is so perfect and systematic. Some tragedies have occured now and then but contrast this with the utter sloppiness of our government agencies. Many IPS officers are being sent abroad for training but no change is visible in the day to day functioning. Only government money is being wasted. \\\\\\\\\\\ Collectively, all these government agencies are blaming the Jyoti for the stampede. Can there be anything more nonsensical? It is like blaming the Chief Minister's office being located in the Secretariat as being the cause for hartals and dharnas in front of that building. Should we ask Lord Ayyappa to be shifted out of the forest or Jyoti to be stopped because our Police forces are inadequate and we don't have the foresight to requisition additional forces on standby. There is no means to airlift them as it simply did not enter into our minds. No ambulance, no doctors, no vehicles, absolutely nothing. Some of the top IAS/IPS topbrass need to be sacked for their brazen inefficiency and lack of commonsense. \\\\\\\\\ GSK Menon 000000000