Blind - Faith Disaster
The confidence in oracles and soothsayers
A Lesson To All
The village life in Kerala is aligned in blind-faith, and faith.
Hasna is the eldest daughter of Moidu, a tea-stall owner with no education. Hasna's mother too had no luck of sitting in a class-room. She has two younger sisters aged 16 and 18 - both passed Matriculation. Hasna passed Matriculation with first class. Her father's meagre income axed her cherished hope to become a District Collector after passing IAS and earn good name for better administration. When she attained the age of 20, her parents put her on marriage banner. Many proposals came. None materialized. The father knocked the door of an astrologer to know if any horoscopical block is there. He predicted none of the sort.
The parents have heard of the astrological talents of the oracle in the nearby temple. The oracle is a graduate and new appointee there. He mastered in extra earning techniques. He soothsays and offers to do remedial rituals, of-course, for a price. The parents of the girl approached the oracle through a third-man as they cannot directly because of religious bar as they are Muslim. The oracle has no objection for people of any religion as he matters only. But, the satraps of Muslim religion will take sword against the parents.
The oracle suggested various rituals and assured the girl's marriage will take place within 6 months on completing the rituals. The parents tossed over Rs 20000 to the kit of oracle for various rituals. Three years are over since then, the girl still remains unmarried. The parents stopped knocking the doors of soothsayers and resigned to the fate.
A poor mother of a youth of 24 approached the very oracle to have her son restored to good-conduct path as he used to tread on malicious path. He suggested two courses – both to be performed by him for. The poor mother took a loan of Rupees ten thousand from a Co-operative Bank and gave to him. He conducted some rituals in his ritual-cum-soothsaying shed erected specially for such purposes and assured the mother that her son is now free of all ill-thoughts and maliciousness and that he will get a good job within a month and look after the parents. The mother returned over-happy. A week later on Onam eve-day the bicycle on which he was a pillion rider dashed on to an electric pole and died on the spot.
Still no dearth of clients to the oracle. The clients have to wait for hours to come their turn. His Homakundam (brick-walled sacrificial fire) is in flare from 8 am to 6 pm all the days.
Look at another show in the nearby village. An unmarried youth engaged in powdered spices packing and distribution one day started runnig in his compound like God Hanuman. News spread like wild fire. Coloured stories circulated by all and sundry. Among many stories, a story clicked well. There is a somewhat famous Hanuman temple about 4 km away in a coastal village. The Hanuman is not happy there. So, he vacated that place and came here in search of residence. The youth got hold of the idea. He pranced and delivered a commandment that he (he is supposed to be Hanuman when in prance) is not happy in the present abode and wanted a shelter here. His parents arranged a handsome loan from a bank against landed property and constructed a small temple. An idol of Hanuman installed and performed daily poojas. Devotees and others who wanted to get their problem solved started pouring in. Income from these people swelled the pocket of the family. The family began giving free lunch to all those present. Meanwhile, they stopped spices business which was a small scale venture. When the prance-commandments proved negative one after one, the presence of devotees thinned and income route narrowed. This was the position a year back. Recently when this correspondent passed that way a neighbour testified that not even a single devotee is turning up now and that the bank put the property on auction for recovering defaulted loan amount. The family is now struggling to meet the ends.
Faith or blind faith, pay for it.