WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ?
As Ganesh Visarjan ( Ganesh Idol’s immersion in Water) is coming close, I am reminded of an article, I wrote five years back. I kept it to myself & sharing it with you all today.
It’s 9:29 pm and I am writing this article in a complete shock.
Today is Ganesh Visarjan. Though I live in a small town, people spend lakhs and lakhs of money in pandal decoration, music and virsajan procession. While I was standing on the side of street, watching the procession, I witnessed few jhanki (Tableau) were playing Bollywood music & that too all item numbers and people were doing dirty dance on it. For a minute, I asked myself, where am I ? In a pooja visarjan or a musical party ? I am sorry if my words are hurting you but this is what I thought at that time. People were crazy and were throwing plastic all over the place. The thing I loved was everyone was equal today. The whole town was on the street and we all had one identity: Devotee of Lord Ganesha. I came back home thinking: JISKI JAISE SHRADHA ( As one’s faith). Who am I to label anyone for anything ?
When I was entering my home, I saw a cow lying just in front of my cousin’s house. There were few kids giving her water and were standing beside her. I went to see what’s happening there. She was crying and couldn’t able to stand. It is hard for me to describe her situation in words, white liquid was coming out of her mouth and she was shacking. We gave her water and called our uncle. My uncle came and after seeing her condition ran to bring a doctor. She was struggling hard to stand and something was bothering her in neck area.
We tried to cool her but she died before the doctor could come. I saw her dying and was feeling her pain but couldn’t do anything. After 5 minutes, the doctor came and confirmed her death. He told that it’s a clear case of FOOD-POISONING. She must have eaten plastic, rotten food stuff or the rat kill that we use at home. He told that, we often use rat kill at our home and then without giving it any thought, throw them on road side. He told us that, it happens every day and everywhere. I used to read about such cases on newspapers and internet but witnessed happening in front of me today. It was a heart breaking experience.
After 10 minutes everyone went home, few were blaming municipality for not cleaning properly, few were blaming their neighbours, few were blaming the Puja and procession organisers for the heavy use of plastic and few had no reaction. It was just too normal for them. But it was hard for me to leave. I was standing there and thinking, who is responsible for her death? Whom should I blame?
My inner wisdom gave me the answer.
“Its’ we who are responsible. All of us. We need not blame others. Its’ we who throw stuff on road without giving any thought. Its’ we who keep buying polythene. Its’ we who waste our food. Its’ we who give big donations and spend lakhs on such processions. Its’ we encourage other by keeping silence.”
I always used to tell kids of Sapne (a social learning organization started by our team in Jharsuguda) to not throw garbage on road but few of them saw the outcome of it today. They are not going to forget this lesson for their lifetime, neither do I. My body is still shacking remembering her situation and the dying moment.
How is this two event are connected? I don’t want to be rude, but just think about this for a moment. Are we really a true devotee of lord Ganesha? Instead of spending millions on decorations, can we not have an eco-friendly decoration & Puja ? Should we not spend the rest of money to clean our city? Should we not try to save more cows? Should we not spread awareness about such issues to all ?
Answers lies within us. I am taking my first step through writing about this issue. My intention is not to hurt anyone but still if my words are hurting you, I am sorry. Today, I want to say sorry to all the cows, who had died because of our ignorance & fault. I just pray to God to give them peace and forgive us for our deeds.
This is a five year old experience but the situations is still the same today. We still have two days left for the visarjan & I leave the responsibility to you.