Why is Makara Jyoti being targeted ?

via GSK Menon published on January 22, 2011

A tragedy caused by utter carelessness and lack of civic sense is being twisted needlessly to attack the Makara Jyoti. Nobody has ever claimed that the Jyoti is being lit by Angels or Extra terrestrials from outer space. This is a simple ritual performed by tribals in the remote forest. What was awesome was the timing of the event. In the early part of the century when there were no means of any communication, how could the light appear coinciding with the Deeparadhana in the temple. It was simply wonderful and devotees prayed the light, unmindful of who was lighting it.

Now, issues are being obfuscated and the Police, Forest and Devasom departments are blaming each other or collectively blaming the Jyoti as the cause. The poor preparedness of our government departments is well known. The Police and Forest departments are collecting hefty amounts for their sloppy service from the Devasom..

Why could the Devasom not invite the CISF, CRPF, who are slightly better trained and better equipped than the State Police ? Why Private Security Agencies were also not roped in ? All government departments make a common excuse that they do not have manpower. Why did the Kerala Police not inform the Devasom Board that they are having manpower shortage ? Has the Devasom Board or the Kerala Police ever determined how much Police personnel are needed to be deployed in Sabarimala during the season ? This is a preliminary exercise needed to be done by any department. The sad truth is that no such exercise has ever been done. Nobody knows how many are needed to be deployed. Why was no assistance sought from Tamilnadu/ Andhra/ Karnataka Police forces ? When large number of devotees are coming from neighbouring States, why the assistance of those Police forces were never sought ?

Instead of answering these vital questions these departments are throwing mud at each other. If people are dissatisfied they blame the Jyoti. What more proof is needed to realise that asses are in full command.
Contrast this with how the Haj pilgrimage is being organised, so many millions, so many nationalities are coming. The organisation is so perfect and systematic. Some tragedies have occured now and then but contrast this with the utter sloppiness of our government agencies. Many IPS officers are being sent abroad for training but no change is visible in the day to day functioning. Only government money is being wasted.
Collectively, all these government agencies are blaming the Jyoti for the stampede. Can there be anything more nonsensical ? It is like blaming the Chief Minister’s office being located in the Secretariat as being the cause for hartals and dharnas in front of that building. Should we ask Lord Ayyappa to be shifted out of the forest or Jyoti to be stopped because our Police forces are inadequate and we don’t have the foresight to requisition additional forces on standby. There is no means to airlift them as it simply did not enter into our minds. No ambulance, no doctors, no vehicles, absolutely nothing. Some of the top IAS/IPS topbrass need to be sacked for their brazen inefficiency and lack of commonsense.

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