It’s been a couple of months since we celebrated the Teachers’ Day and the Vinayak Chathurthi on the same day. A rather laid-back week after that and then comes comes the unceremonious ceremony of the Ganesh Immersion. I can never interpolate my memories to the time when this immersion started to become a big deal, but that’s not what I’m concerned about – it’s the way the immersion is carried out, and the intensity with which the youth are involved in the activities surrounding the immersion.
Like in all my blogs, the disclaimer is that I never intend to hurt anyone sentiments – these are my observations and inferences.
It seems that fate had chosen me to experience the awfulness too many times:
The first instance was when I was driving to Tiruvallur from Chengalpattu to meet my niece. On the way, I was blocked by a gang of boys who looked like 9th-to-11th Standard kids. They knocked at the windows and started asking for money for the Ganesh Chathurthi Ceremony. I just nodded my head in negative, and I headed towards Thiruvallur.
The second incident was on the Sunday following the Ganesh Chathurthi – that is the day the actual immersion takes place. Young men and boys hire trucks to immerse huge idols of Ganesha into the sea or a lake. That was, unfortunately, the day I had chosen to do my post-wedding photoshoot, and it was on the way from Chengalpattu to Mahabalipuram. Me and my wife were victims of harassment – the constant booing of the boys in such vehicles, and some of them even passing comments that were borderline vulgar. It pushed us so much that we had to cut off the shoot midway and head to a better location.
Verbal vulgarity is a dubious taken-for-granted in here. However, what intrigued me was the kind of influence that these young minds are driven into!
What might have been going through the minds of that boy who stopped my car? A sense of an entitlement… an entitlement that they don’t deserve, and haven’t earned! They think that it’s right to stop a random car and ask for money, and they get appreciated for collecting money from a total stranger!!
What were the boys who were yelling at the top of their voices thinking? And that too, when accompanying a holy entity on an auspicious occasion? Are they claiming their superiority by spotting and yelling, or passing comments? They think it’s cool to yell… and cool to pass vulgar comments!!
I would not entirely blame them – it’s all about the people who have messed up with their ideals, the elders who succeeded incredibly in inculcating the wrong values in and for the society. And all this blind following, I think, is a result of the pseudo-virtue called conformity that’s pressed on them right from their formative years.
If they are not taught to question things, and come to a conclusion as to what’s right and what’s wrong, it’s going to be a future that thinks that the past has always been right!!
Well.. who cares right? History repeats…and so do its mistakes!!