Parched Madhya Pradesh seeks divine help for rainfall

June 23rd, 2009 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sanjay Sharma
Bhopal, June 23 (IANS) From frog marriages to non-stop prayers, the people of parched Madhya Pradesh are turning to every known ritual to please the rain gods.

The people of Madhya Pradesh are taking their cue from the state government which has been performing several ‘Som Yagna’ (fire rituals) in order to invoke the skies to let up. The heavy monsoon showers are already late this year.

” ‘Som Yagna’ have been performed since time immemorial to bring rains. We have already collected data of four such ‘yagna’ and it is being analysed,” said Somaji Nana Kale who runs the Veda Vigyan Ashram at Sholapur in Maharashtra. He added that the project team has included many meteorologists and physicists.

“This is an ancient ritual of ours and it will bless us with good a monsoon. Science is not against Vedas, so we have organised this holy yagna for the rain gods,” he told the media in Ujjain. But this is no low-profile yagna. The state government has ear-marked lakhs of rupees for these rituals. In 2007 alone, Rs. 64 lakh were spent to perform the rituals.

The last ‘Som Yagna’ was performed last week in the holy city of Ujjain where the state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan performed the rituals.

The Chief Minister also roped in Maharashtra-based Veda Vigyan Ashram, local NGOs and the state-run Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology for the purpose.

The story across the state, barring a few places, is the same. While in some places there is no water supply, in others there is impure water, which comes only for a few minutes.

Although the government has introduced water rationing in 115 towns and cities, water is being sold at Rs.2 to Rs.5 a bucket in several places. Supplying water through tankers has also become a profitable business for many.

Like the state’s government, its people too are turning to god and observing religious rituals across the state. Priests in Bhopal Monday performed ‘abhishek’ of God Shanker (Abhishek means consecration by sprinkling water with a mixture of milk, curd, sugar, ghee and honey) and prayed for rain.

In other parts of the state such as in Chhindwara and Dewas, people have performed marriages of frogs as it is believed this ritual can help bring heavy downpour.

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