Sep 1, 2011

Hindu god idols cause environmental pollution and more

Ganesh immersion ceremony in Mumbai, India

Hindus across India and the world celebrate various religious festivals in September and October every year, paying homage to deities like Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga.

Elaborately painted and decorated idols are worshiped.  Donations for these idols are collected.  Folks who do not donate are sometimes threatened by neighborhood thugs.  Part of the donations are sometimes diverted to liquor consumption.  Complaints to police regarding the thuggery are not a recourse for many smart people.  Crazy mass processions which disrupt life for 24-48 hours, take them to nearby rivers, lakes and the sea where they are immersed in accordance with Hindu faith.  Local politicians see this as an opportunity for vote bank politics. 

The idols are often made from non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, cement and plaster of Paris and painted using toxic dyes.  Traditionally, the idols were made from mud and clay and vegetable-based dyes were used to paint them but now it's more like a stupid competition between households and between corporations who sponsor the idols to gain publicity.  Materials like plaster of Paris do not dissolve easily and reduce the oxygen level in the water resulting in the death of fish and other aquatic organisms.  The paints used contain heavy metals such as mercury, chromium and lead which are carcinogenous.

What are the odds that the Hindus will change this ridinkulous practice?

No comments: