New Year: The most un-Indian celebration!

via B. R. Haran published on December 31, 2008




‘Wish
You A Happy New Year’! With this message people would have started
greeting each other from this morning onwards through SMS, e-mails,
phone calls and post cards and the ‘celebration’ would go on till the
evening of 1 January. In what way this practice of celebrating New Year
on 1st January connected with ‘Bharathiya’ culture? In no way! The only
connection was because of the invasion by Portuguese, French and the
British. Even during the British rule and for that matter even after
independence, the celebration of New Year as per the Christian Calendar
was never a Bharathiya custom. It has actually gained importance
probably in the last three or four decades and it has spread to even
villages and rural areas. It is being celebrated in a way, by which a
festival must not be celebrated! It is a classic example of an
‘un-Indian’ celebration.

 

Amongst
us, the citizens of India, we have Indian Christians, thanks to their
‘converted’ ancestors, who celebrate their New Year on 1 January and
rightly too. They attend midnight prayers in Churches, visit friends
and relatives later in the day, drink wine, enjoy feast, go to movies
and have other entertainments. This is the typical western (Christian)
way of celebrating their New Year and Indian Christians are left with
no other option to follow this system, as they have moved away from the
Bharathiya Culture.

 


But,
why should Hindus celebrate this New Year? Many of the readers may find
this question silly! Those who say so, must be either ‘ignorant’ or in
a ‘denial’ mode. The fact of the matter is that, the number of Hindus
celebrating ‘1 January’ as ‘New Year’ is far more than the number of
Hindus celebrating New Year as per the Hindu Almanac! There are a
number of Hindu families, where the Hindu New Year
is celebrated only by the older generation and the younger lots are
already out of Hindu culture and sadly the older generation doesn’t
seem to bother about it.



 






 






People
have different avenues in Star Hotels, Clubs, Theme Parks, Hill &
Beach resorts, etc and those who cannot afford these have their own
places such as roads, beaches, restaurants and cinema theatres. Star
Hotels arrange discotheques, DJs & their music and special menu of
food & beverages, etc. Married couples or pairs in love or even
‘dating’ couples, who drink, dance, dine and push off after spending
thousands of rupees, flood those star hotels. Clubs are generally for
the members only and hence a lot of families can be seen. The
celebration would start with stage performances of some of the wards of
the members and then a special ‘Thambola’ would be played and later on
an ‘Orchestra’ or a ‘Light-Music’ troop would take over the stage. This
is the only place where we can see parents (mostly fathers & some
times even mothers) drinking in front of their children and in some
families, we can see ‘grown up’ children also drinking along with their
parents. A dance floor will be there for children to play and teenagers
to shake a leg and exactly at 12 ‘o’ clock in the night, fireworks will
be lit. The celebrations at the hill & beach resorts will be
similar and the only difference is that they will be in a serene
atmosphere away from the chaotic cities.

 

 



 


In
all these places, Liquor companies, Jewellery and Textile manufactures,
Airlines and many other business establishments would sponsor gifts,
cash prizes and hampers and ‘meaningful’ awards like ‘Best Dressed
Couple’, ‘Best Dancing Couple’, will be awarded to those couples, who
dress ‘little’ and ‘dance’ more!
For example, the ‘Balloon Dance’
is very famous and couples vie with each other to participate in it.
Couples should dance without breaking or letting down the balloon
placed in between them. Even children are not spared in this! Boy
children and girl children will be forced to take part in the balloon
dance. People will retire very late past midnight and they will not see
the ‘dawn’ of the New Year, after celebrating the end of the Old Year,
as they would be sleeping till the afternoon!  

 


A
lot of individuals, bachelors and groups of friends, who simply buy
liquor from wine shops, drink them for the sake of drinking, drive
their two-wheelers and four-wheelers zipping fast on the arterial roads
of the cities, shouting ‘Happy New Year’! These people are ‘famously’
called as ‘Revelers’ or ‘road-side Romeos’ and they make the lives of
policemen miserable throughout the night. Most of them are school and
college students, who would be drinking without the knowledge of their
parents. Many would land in the police net and many others would meet
with accidents causing immense trauma to their parents. Many ‘Adams’
would indulge in ‘Eve-teasing’ and ‘Eves’ are not far behind in
drinking, smoking and ‘Adam-teasing’. These people always finish their
celebration with a movie of their favourite star on the 1 January.





 

There are many ‘Residents Welfare Associations’, which organise New Year celebrations
within their premises. Those people who feel shy of celebrating in
hotels, clubs and resorts, but feel compelled to celebrate for the sake
of it due to peer pressure, form the major part of these associations
and even here, the ‘tenants’ would not join though they belong to the
category of ‘residents’. The residents associations arrange for soft
drinks and a buffet with varieties of dishes prepared by the residents
themselves. They conduct games for their wards and give them prizes.
Some of the men secretly go to the terrace for a drink or two in
between the celebration and if the celebration goes on in the terrace,
they go to the parking lot and have their drinks. Some of them would
forget to have a count of their drink and finally act as ‘jokers’
entertaining the gathering, getting a ‘handful’ or a ‘mouthful’ from
their spouses after all the celebrations are over.

 

There is an ‘ignorant’ lot, which visits temples to have a ‘Mid Night’Darshan. This is the most outrageous thing, which can happen to Hindu culture. As per ‘Agama’ rules, Temples must not be opened during mid nights and the Deities must be allowed to rest after the late evening puja. The rules permit only ‘Six-time worships’ (Aaru Kaala Puja), starting from early in the morning during ‘Brahmma Muhurtham’with Thiruppalliyezhuchchi
(waking up the Deity with devotional hymns and traditional music) and
ending in the late evening with allowing the Deity to rest. Each pujacomprises of Abishekam (bathing), Alankaram (dressing), Archana(praising), Naivedyamor Nivedhanam(feeding) and Aarathi(worshipping). Midnights are considered inauspicious as per Hindu tradition and keeping the Deities awake at that time is a SIN. Even the non-Agamic temples are not supposed to be kept open during midnight.

 

The
HR & CE Department in the atheist-Dravidian government keeps some
of the Agamic-Temples also open in the name of ‘New Year’ worship. In
this context, it must be remembered that this atheist government did
not allow the special pujas for the ‘Thamizh New Year’ celebrations last April, as it passed a resolution in the assembly changing the Tamil New Year from ‘Chithirai’ (April) month to ‘Thai’(January) month, with a sole motive of taking the Thamizh New Year
into the Christian Calendar. Though the Hindu religious leaders have
been advising the people to refrain from following this un-Hindu
tradition, their advices have fallen only on deaf ears! The Hindu
organisations have been trying their level best to create awareness
among the people for the past few years, but only in vain due to the
sad fact that the Hindus have been slowly and steadily getting
alienated from their original culture, thanks to the westernisation
being imposed by the different types of mass-media.

 

The ‘secular’ brigade, which mislead the gullible masses, argue that the New Year revelry is an occasion for communal harmony and ask, ‘why shouldn’t Hindus celebrate English New Year’? But they do not have an answer for the question, ‘how many Christians celebrate Hindu New Year’? As
far as they are concerned, the so-called secularism is only for the
majority community and the minorities need not practice it, for they
are privileged. But then, communal amity can always be maintained
through expression of wishes by greeting the Christian community on
their New Year celebration. 

 

Many people say,
‘there is nothing religious about New Year celebration. This kind of
celebration has place only in foreign culture and Hindu festivals are
normally associated with religious traditions and we cannot celebrate
them in this manner. More than everything, we need a ‘reason’ to
celebrate and foreign culture provides us with many such reasons’.
But, does one really need a reason for such a celebration?

 

Though
the ‘concerned’ people feel hurt and perturbed at this kind of an
attitude, they feel that the practice of opening Temples and performing
pujas during midnight must be stopped. This point of view must be
respected not only by the government but also by the people. 

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