September 18th, 2015
Image Source: mumbaieastwest
Recently, a photo showing a Ganpati procession maintaining silence while Muslims are carrying out Namaaz is being widely shared on social media. Though we appreciate the spirit of the people, but we are not in total agreement with it. If we bother to look carefully, there is a huge traffic just nearby.
Why should we stop glorifying this kind of extravagant flamboyant religious practices in public space?
We all see religious processions now and then. The way people place their extreme faith in their religions, these kinds of processions are going to increase in the days to come. People who enjoy festivities have arguments stating how great it is to be a part of such rituals, but at the same time they also complain about the sad state of traffic and pollution on the day of the procession / festivities and the following days. The footprints left by these rituals in the form of road full of burst crackers, noise, the polluted water are dangerous too.
Religion should be very personal to anyone, for many it is a way to lead life and for some the means to attain salvation. However, unfortunately, it has become a tool to create public disturbances, harness vote bank, spread violence and destroy the environment.
Now we see religious processions and other practices on the roads creating a lot of problems for the common public.
We are a land of diversity, have many religions, and a lot of cults. If everybody decides to come on the road and show off their religious practices, we will be left with very few days of free traffic and peaceful days. The city authorities should limit religious practices and political show-off to a bare minimum and set ground rules for noise, air and water pollution during and after the event. Any non-compliance of the rules should be persecuted/fined or banned.
Nowhere are we intending to question the age old cultural practices, rituals or customs. We are only requesting everyone to re-think on how to carry out those practices without causing any disturbance to the fellow people around us in any terms. We appreciate the spirit of the people but at the same time, we request fellow devotees to keep our cities clean and think of others who own the public spaces as much as we do. May we see a peaceful, exciting and joyful festive season ahead in Mumbai and in rest of the country.