Kullu Dussehra: Being on the right hand of God



The Kullu Dussehra had been in news for all the wrong reasons this year. In fact, it has just shown what the clash of civilisations can actually mean. The turmoil that plagued festivities at the Dhalpur ground this year is something the Gods present there certainly might never have planned. And it might have been a great agony for them being branded as ‘at war with each other’. Or were they really? Whatever it may be, the international audience present there to witness the unique Dussehra celebrations might not have left the place with pleasant picture frames. And the dust raised by the controversy and the police action thereafter may take years to settle in the memory of devouts who believe in the ‘rule of the land.’

Though the controversy was not new, as two devtas – Balu Nag and Sringa Rishi – had reportedly been fighting for a place in the right hand of Lord Raghunath during the annual Rath Yatra for the past couple of years. However, the deadlock seemed to bother just the two devtas. But this year, God-fearing humans decided to intervene and thus it was decided to ban both the Gods from attending the congregation. Of course, that was not acceptable to the followers of either devta. Later the police somehow allowed one of then to join the procession, thus infuriating the karkoons of the other devta. The confusion that followed resulted in a near lathi charge by the police, thus creating a history of sorts with Gods and humans fighting together; the last time it happened – an epoch came to an end.

Now how do we go deconstructing the course of events that happened there? Gods in the Kullu valley have been making headlines for quite sometime now, the most recent instance being that of the Ski Village project in which case, the devtas, after a gap of nearly four decades, decided to hold a congregation to decide the fate of the project. That the local Gods are very much part of the day-to-day life in the state is nothing new to mention, but in this case the gods seemed to have taken too bold a step. And if life in the mountains have always been regulated to an extent by the Gods, then why should we even debate this? But, it seems that stakes are getting higher for the Gods and the humans as well.

May be it’s ‘divine’ politics or economics being executed to perfection. The opening up of the landlock state to outside investment has turned it a good place for a tug-of-war. There is too much confusion around with no one knowing exactly what best to pursue. A hell lot of opportunities and the fear of being left behind are probably causing all the confusion. Perhaps, it’s time to climb a hilltop, and with closed eyes patiently think of reclaiming out lives… and also the Gods.

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