The Sunrise….

November 1, 2008

Makarajyothi and Makaravilakku: A hoax or divine miracle??????

Over the years the Indian media especially Malayalam TV channels have been airing the live visuals of Makaravilakku with commentary, but most of them stood far off from the truth. That has prompted me write this blog.

General conception: A celestial light appears around Jan 14 every year at Ponnambalamedu in the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats in Kerala, India. This is called Makarajyothi/Makaravilakku. It is believed that Swami Ayyappan/Dharmasaasta/Hariharaputra reveals himself as this celestial light to bless his devotees. Millions of pilgrims travel from far and wide to witness this spectacle. This is what at least 80-90% Hindus believe about the spectacle.

Skeptics’ version: The skeptics say this is a stage-managed show by the Travancore Devasom Board, and Govt. of Kerala.They say the authorities lit the huge pile of camphor and produce this light. Infact in 1981,The Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham climbed Ponnambalamedu and lighted a number of fires confusing the devotees with many Makaravilakkus.

The reality: The reality lies somewhere between the two. If you go through the authentic literatures, the truth is very well explained. Actually Makarajyothy and Makaravilakku are different, not the same as conceived by most. Makarajyothy is a star that appears in the sky during that part of the year. It’s a celestial phenomenon and this can be explained scientifically. Makaravilakku is man-made fire in ponnambalamedu.

What made people believe Makarajyothi and Makaravilakku are same: Makaravilakku actually was the festival of the tribal community (adivasis) who resided Ponnambalamedu forest areas. They used lit fire intermittently 3 times each representing Lord Shiva, Lord Maha- Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Later in early 40s Ponnambalamedu was taken over by KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board).But the tribal community insisted that every year this festival has be continued without failure and this has to be organized by KSEB. Later in 60s and 70s, Travancore devaswam board understood Makaravilaaku is a duck that lays golden eggs and can bring crores of revenue. They along the mainstream Hindu organization started spreading the propaganda that Makarajyothi and Makaravilakku are same. Now people from various parts of India come to see this spectacle.

How the current stage-managed show works: The TDB authorities get themselves ready with huge piles of camphor and wet blankets in Ponnamabalamedu. When Sreekovil of Sabarimala is getting opened they will get the indication through phone (earlier days radio commentary was used). Immediately they will fire the camphor and cover with wet blankets, intermittently, to give the blinking effect.

Its high time the so-called Hindu organizations and the government organizations come in open and lay this fact in front of the public and educate them.

October 4, 2008

Sympathizing terrorism: A new fashion in modern India

Its a fact…. and its growing in dangerous proportion, manured by the so-called human rights activists, media and the political bigwigs. Be it in the Delhi cop Sharma’s murder case, Gujarat bomb blast, ban of SIMI verdict, parliament attack case or the Kashmir issue.

Soon after the media celebrated the killing of MC Sharma, started the new controversy. One of the militant arrested after the encounter, Saquib Nisar, was not a terrorist and he is an MBA student……..Why an MBA student cannot be terrorist?, and soon flashed the news from his college authorities that he attended exams on the day of Delhi blast and he had a good conduct. But after that day the news almost vanished to nowhere creating feeling in viewer that , Saquib Nisar was indeed innocent. But truth was completely different. Yes Saquib attended all exams except that of the penultimate day of the blast. And infact he was on leave from his office (where he worked part-time) on the penultimate days of all the blasts that happened in Bangalore, Ahamedabad and Delhi. Moreover the Minister of Home, one of the senior most party leader of ruling coalition, came in support of its students which was fighting against government for their release

Now the Gujarat blast case, the day after Gujarat police arrested the militants in connection with the Gujarat blast, went the MPs of the party, which leads the coalition in the Centre to sympathize with families of those arrested. On the same day of the ‘SIMI ban’ controversy, the minister for railways, and Mulayam Singh came forward speaking against the ban of SIMI. The next is the most shocking of the lot. The culprit sentence for death punishment for 7/11 parliament attack case, Afzal, gained support from the mainstream political parties, and human rights activists started agitations for his release. Then the great Booker prize laureate Arundhathi Roy coming in open asking for the partition of Kashmir.

I am not against giving human consideration to the people who deserve it. But it should not be given to terrorists who have become great threat to humanity.

The most disturbing factor in this is that the outcry for human rights is seen only in the case of terrorists. Even when the 18 Indians boarded ship is held hostage in Somalia for the past 16 days, I don’t see any action taken or even discussed for their release. Why don’t those innocent people doesn’t have human rights. Or do the terrorists deserve more human rights than these innocent people.

This precedence should be plucked at root to further reduce the aftermaths.Its time for India to raise voice against terrorism, start debating in public and corner the political parties who use these for petty political gains.

September 11, 2008

The curse of Kosi or criminal negligence….

Filed under: India,Politics — arjun2k @ 3:25 pm
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Its that time of the year again…..The TV channels and the print media is celebrating another human massacre…


 Authorities say they have so far rescued more than 300,000 people left stranded after heavy monsoon rains caused the Kosi river to flood. However, more than twice that number are still homeless and in urgent need of aid, and relief is being hampered by extensive damage to roads.


 Who is responsible for this? Is it a GOD made calamity or negligence by the authorities?


On 18 August a dam on the Saptakoshi burst, triggering the subsequent flooding in Bihar. 1956, the Kosi barrage came into being after a bilateral agreement between India and Nepal. Its estimated lifespan was 30 years. The barrage completed its estimated lifespan way back in 1986. Since then, 22 years have passed, but neither the state government nor the Centre showed any interest in constructing a new barrage or renovating the old one.


 But years before its estimated lifespan of 30 years, the river started changing its course eastward. The then Bihar government was aware of the fact, but it did not asked the Centre for diplomatic level talks with the neighboring country. But state and central governments also remained silent about the impending disaster.The Union government shying away from saying that Breach in Kosi Dam is due the Nepal’s negligence, which didn’t allow the engineers to repair the dam, but the Bihar government said the center has not taken this matter seriously with Nepal.


Despite the flood-prone history of Bihar, the state governments have never showed much interest in dealing with the situation in advance. In fact, since the country’s Independence, the Centre never initiated diplomatic talks with Nepal. Of course, floods occur due to natural causes such as incessant rains, but by constructing a series of high dams on the Indo – Nepal border the extent of floods could have been reduced.


As per the 1954 treaty with Nepal, the safety and the maintenance of embankment is India’s responsibility. The lack of coordination from the Nepalese side and lackadaisical attitude of Indian government has paved the way for this catastrophe.


 For past few years we are seeing floods in Bihar year after year. The same explanation is given. We either blame Nepal or form a committee to study the finding of previous committees. Those working on pre and post disaster management planning argue that India’s approach has changed dramatically since the act in 2005 and miracles should not be expected overnight. While in principle that is true, at least in this case there were enough indications that the embankments were breached. But these experts are repeatedly ignoring the warnings given by people the living there. Reports say the locals had predicted the floods well in advance and some even migrated to new destinations. But our authorities prefer listening to the so called experts who have absolutely nothing to do with the life as is lived in these areas.


The media and the people who boast Indo-US nuclear deal as a feather in Dr.Singh cap and emergence of new Bihar under a capable Nitish Kumar should not turn a blind eye on their respective governments’ mismanagement.

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