Durga has spoken!
What has been touted as ‘The tallest Durga in the world’ has been brought down to size on Maha Panchami, leaving all, except possibly, the organizers, liberally red-faced. A stampede occurred (described by the media as ‘a near-stampede’—what is the difference, we wonder?) that injured many, including women and children, which could have proved fatal, and which exposed the massive inadequacies, incompetence and insensibility of those appointed for the purpose of ‘crowd control.’ Apart from what is euphemistically called ‘the blame game’ it was impossible to find even a word of sympathy for the victims of callousness/carelessness, whichever word suits the vacuum of apathy. Can we expect doles for these victims also from the Government or from the organizers who still hope for the police to rescind their withdrawal of permission to hold the Puja? Did the organizers wish to revert to worship, or to milk the commercial rewards resulting from the multitudes visiting the various stalls offering food, drink and other items of merchandise. Well, the Goddess willed otherwise. And, as usual, it is the underlings who will eventually bear the brunt of the higher-ups. After proper ‘enquiry’.