In the heart of Pollachi city situated in western Tamilnadu is a famous temple of Maariyamman (Bhagawathy). In the festival of this temple, devotees from four districts, including Tiruppur and Coimbatore participate and celebrate it in a grand manner. In this festival, which is celebrated for 22 days, one of the most famous feature is the Temple Car procession. This Temple Car procession would take place for 3 days and one important feature is that, Hindu women of these places carry mud pots with fire in it (poovodu eduthal), and this festivity takes place for 5 days. Every day women belonging to a particular area carry these fire pots in a procession, circumambulate the temple and have a darshan of Amman (Bhagawathy). This Temple Car festival is celebrated every year during the Thamizh month of Maasi, Maagh.
The Temple Car Festival of this year commenced during the month of February on the 18th with a vrata. In connection with this, from March 4, 2014 itself, women began carrying Fire pots - poovodu eduthal.
During Pollachi Maariyamman Temple Car Festival, Hindus belonging to Sooleswaran patti Semba gounder colony and nearby places have since time immemorial gone on procession to the Temple through Thiruvalluvar Street and have fulfilled their vows. This procession normally takes place during the nights. As has been the practice every year, this year too on 9.3.14, Sunday night, over 1000 Hindus belonging to Sooleswaranpatti Sembagounder Colony and nearby places gathered together with their fire pots and began to proceed to the Temple through Thiruvalluvar Street.
On the day of the procession, i.e., 9.3.14, a function had been organised in the house of a Moslem residing in Thiruvalluvar Street, for which they had encroached upon the whole street and erected a shamiana, (pandal). Knowing full well that the procession would traverse in the road and to prevent it (even though the function at the house of the Moslem had ended in the morning itself), they did not remove the pandal deliberately, thus hindering free passage of the procession. Not knowing this cruel intent of the Moslems, the Hindus began to take their usual Thiruvalluvar Street path, carrying their Fire pots in hand; however, they were in for a shock..
On seeing the roadblock, they demanded that the Moslems remove the encroachment. However, the Moslems who had purposefully schemed to prevent the procession, told the Hindus to take a different route and refused to remove the encroachment. On hearing this, the shocked Hindus stated that this route has been their traditional procession route, thus refused to be cowed down and sat on the streets in a dharna along with their fire pots. Meanwhile, fundamentalist moslems who arrived from a nearby mosque after their prayers joined in the argument too, refused to permit the Hindus to go in a procession through the street and started attacking the Hindus. A typical riot situation was in the air.
Come what may, we will not change our traditional route and take an alternate route - stating thus, the Hindus stubbornly fought for two hours sitting on the street. Learning about this, policemen and government officials rushed to the spot, conducted an enquiry and concluded that ''by encroaching upon the road and preventing the procession from proceeding is illegal and hence the roadblock should be removed''. They then gave protection to the Hindus and permitted the procession to happen; however paying heed to the Moslem anarchists, policemen refused to permit the Hindus to raise slogans in praise of Mother Bhagwathy. Thanking God that they were at least permitted to undertake the procession through their traditional route, Hindus too carried on with their procession in a silent manner. Due to the anarchist behaviour of fundamental Moslems, the procession which was supposed to reach Maariyamman Temple at 9 pm at night, could reach the Temple only at 1.40 am.
When we contacted a locally influential personality, he said that Moslems owing allegiance to SDPI had purposefully indulged in this act of anarchism to disrupt the procession. He added that they behaved in a similar fashion during Ganesh Chathurthi procession too earlier. Moreover, he stated that during this face off, some Moslems used slanderous language against the women folk who sat on the street in a dharna.
In continuation with this, representatives of both communities were invited by government officials for peace talks. As talks were going on, representatives of Islamic groups who had come suddenly indulged in prayers in the government premises itself. Seeing this, Hindus were angered and they too went out separately and indulged in prayers. Annoyed by actions of both the parties, government officials registered separate cases against both the communities under three sections - 506/1, 448 and 353. Another important personality of the area stated that during negotiations, fundamentalist Moslems demanded that no Hindu procession should be permitted to be taken through the streets which has a mosque in it.
Moslems in the past year too created a similar type of situation and attempted to create a riot like atmosphere. This year too, they are scheming to create such a precarious situation. Many terrorist Moslem groups too are aiding and abetting the local Moslems in their attempt to create an atmosphere of arson, thus preventing the temple procession from happening. This incident is nothing but an expression of an increase in Islamic fundamentalist activities in Coimbatore district, says social scientist shri. Hariprasad.
Questions raised by this incident:
- Why was no action initiated against those Moslems who encroached upon the road and raised a pandal?
- Why was no action taken against Moslems who for no reason blocked the procession and created an atmosphere of arson?
Though the procession was permitted to go through the street traditionally taken by people of the area, why did not the officials give a guarantee to the Hindus towards undertaking the procession in the future too?
Similar incidents have been happening in the state of Thamizhnadu and are on the rise too. Government and the officials, during such incidents instead of acting in a neutral and impartial manner, speak the language of pseudo secularism and meticulously pander to the atrocious behaviour of minorities. It has been the tradition of Hindus living in Thamizh nadu to celebrate temple festivals and worship their gods, in consonance with climatic changes. If such a precarious and dangerous situation is permitted to prevail, we fear, that a day may come when Hindus would not be permitted to celebrate their festivals and take their gods in procession. However, we fervently hope that in future both the government and the police do not buckle under the pressure and atrocious behaviour exhibited by Moslem fundamentalists and protect the legitimate rights of Hindus.
புகைப்படங்கள்: தினந்தந்தி, தினகரன் மற்றும் http://www.pollachimariamman.tinfo.in/ நன்றி!