[Updated] Maha Shivratree 2013 – Kanwar’s top part removed to start pilgrimage
This happened in Triolet yesterday evening. A kanwar was so tall that it was unable to move along the main road of Triolet. With the help of a heavy duty vehicle, people climbed on the top to disassemble the upper part which could not only easily damage electrical or telephone lines but could also cause accidents.
Below, people on the heavy duty vehicle trying to reach the top of the kanwar:
Now, just imagine its height and the danger of doing this thing!!!
Below, the sight of the electrical wires in the way of the kanwar, hence putting its journey to a stop:
Below, the “reduced” version of the Kanwar, once the cut-off intervention completed:
Lowering their height of Pride
As per information gathered, the kanwar was built in Triolet itself. This topic was initially discussed in 2009. Some days ago, Dultumun made the following request, I quote from DefiMedia:
“[…]nous réitérons notre demande à tous les pèlerins, comme les années précédentes d’ailleurs, de ne pas se rendre à Grand-Bassin avec de grands kawars.”
“[…]Pourquoi après tout transporter de grands kawars ? Les grands kawars attirent-ils plus l’attention de Shiv Shankar ? Est-ce une marque d’une plus grande dévotion ? Un kawar doit être petit et être transporté sur l’épaule. Et il sert comme pièce sur lequel on suspend la ‘ Ganga jal ‘ collectée dans une bouteille, eau sacrée qu’on ne déposera pas par terre », a ajouté Somduth Dulthumun.”
For once, I really appreciated that this guy talked sense. But soon after, a group that self-proclaimed themselves as the representatives of the hindu community claimed that they do not agree on the fact that devotees should be restricted. Below is an extract from the same newspaper:
“Bane camarades kipé fer sacrifice, pu lève zot kawar peu importe ki dimension selon zot capacité, selon zot moyens. Nu nu d’accord ek ca. Tradition reste tradition ! », a soutenu Nuvin Unoop, vice-président de l’organisation, en conférence de presse, mardi 26 février.”
The size of the kanwar does not matter. But your devotion, beliefs and respect towards others do.
If you want people to respect you and your kanwars, respect others too. (Mostly) Everyone has the same rights in this country. Last year, another Mauritian blogger even wrote on some basic instructions for a safe journey to Grand Bassin. You probably noticed, the roads become quite a mess or rather a “dépotoire” after the pilgrimage. Plastic cups, bags, banners and other decorative items can be seen practically everywhere.
I’m not asking to ban kanwars. Far from that! Like others, I really admire and respect the glorious work done to build such kanwars. Sometimes, hats off to their creativity and devotion!
But just like other responsible people, I believe that the kanwars should be of reasonable size. It should not be about winning prizes (even if such competitions still exist nowadays). Religion is becoming some sort of fun rather than religious activity. On top of being a potential hazard to road users and the persons carrying them, many try to act as police officers to regulate traffic and to give priority to their kanwars.
Are the authorities waiting for a few to be electrocuted or killed due to their carelessness while building or carrying their kanwars to take appropriate and strict measures regarding Kanwars?
UPDATE (09 March 2013)
You won’t believe your eyes!!! The kanwar shown above had another serious facelift during its pilgrimage journey. As per this picture shot yesterday, its size has been decreased to nearly 1/2. Take your own conclusions 😉
I still stick to my words. Some kanwars and pilgrims are a shame to the hindou community.