May 19th, 2017
Superstition kills our common sense, and some villagers in Karnataka are the latest example for this. In a bizarre attempt to “please” a deity, villagers in Ballari village in Karnataka emptied the Ramdurga Lake, which was flourishing with water.
Indian Express reported that it was noticed by some other villagers on Wednesday who were unaware of the move. To their surprise, the lake was almost empty and fish were swimming on the surface.
Some youths had broken the bund of the lake and drained the water into nearby canals. A villager said that youths claimed they heard rumours of ‘daivi vani’ (divine voice) to empty the lake to please the god.
Because the lake was brimming with water for over three years, that had apparently angered the deity and was the reason for low rains. Villagers thought that emptying the lake would please the god.
Some villagers also believe that the act may have been propagated by the fishermen community; after the water receded, tonnes of fish were removed from the lake and fishing was on till the next day. In another speculation, social activists in Hubballi pointed out that there could be many reasons why the lakes and wells are emptied.
“Often, caste plays a role in wells drying up. If someone from the backwards caste uses water from a particular well, the water is emptied to uphold the ‘sanctity’ of the well. One must investigate why the water was wasted in a drought situation,” said an activist.
Despite the scarce rainfall in the village, this particular lake had always been full of water and a regular source for the same.
On Thursday, district officials visited the village and the dry lake. Tahsildar L Krishnamurthy said that he would request the villagers not to waste water in future.
The Logical Indian take
In an era where we are heading towards a greater modern society and progressive attitudes of communities, such superstitious practices only point to the lack of education and awareness among the citizens of our country. Reformative education is the building block for the progress of any society. Villagers empty lakes to please deities because of ignorance and lack of education. Support in this area is essential if a change is desired. Not only this, the gap between legislation and enforcement needs to be bridged manifold too.