Is anything acceptable in the name of Maha Shivaratri?

By KRJ Yash

Ce qui compte vraiment… 


Why do Hindus celebrate Maha Shivaratri or any other religious festival for that matter? Why do Hindus go to temples or Ganga Talao (should we say Ganga Sarovar?)? I guess the most logical answer to these questions would be: ‘to uplift themselves spiritually’. The ultimate aim of any Hindu should be to attain moksha or liberation – to free oneself from the cycle of births and deaths. Is this really why Hindus celebrate religious festivals or go to temples? In recent years, we have witnessed a rise in the ‘spirituality’ level of Hindus. For the Krishna Janmasthami festival, there is now a huge traffic jam at the Phoenix roundabout given the increasing number of ‘devotees’ attending the ceremony. The same phenomenon can also be witnessed at Ganga Talao for Maha Shivaratri or Ganesh Chaturthi.

I was appalled to learn about the reaction of some members of the VOH at Grand Bassin on Friday last. Should media coverage be of any concern to anybody attending a prayer ceremony? This reminds me of a Buddhist book I read few years ago – a book which talks about something called ‘spiritual materialism’. What is ‘spiritual materialism’? It is when people go to temple to show off; it is when people go to temple so that others think they are spiritually uplifted; it is when people do prayers so that others say they are ‘good’ people; in short, it is when people act in a spiritual or religious way merely to display a good image of themselves. In today’s world, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ coexist in every individual. Either of these qualities can predominate in us at any point in time. But, to say the least, when one is attending a prayer ceremony, ‘good’ should prevail. Among others, good qualities constitute non-violence in words, thought and deed. Is this too much to expect from a Hindu attending a religious ceremony?

Every morning in the few weeks preceding each and every Hindu festival (Maha Shivarathri, Cavadee, Navarathri, Ougadi, to name but a few), the MBC radio broadcasts special programmes. For Maha Shivarathri, the devotees were being told what to do and where not to go on their way to/from Ganga Talao and at Ganga Talao. After observing the pilgrims on their way to/from Ganga Talao, I have understood the ‘why’ of those programmes. I can only hope that these programmes help change positively the behaviour of at least a few pilgrims every year. Otherwise, I guess the various Hindu organisations have to use other channels to convey the message – private radios, the internet or perhaps a dedicated ‘Hindu Radio’ to help promote the Hindu values…


Après le CPE, voilà le ranking pour supermarchés: on nous prend pour des enfants !

Allez dans n’importe quelle boutique, tabagie ou supermarché, prenez n’importe quel rayon, choisissez le produit que vous voulez, retournez-le et vous verrez le MRP : Maximum Retail Price. Il s’agit du prix maximum que vous devez payer pour ce produit et surtout du prix maximum qu’un commerçant pourra vous réclamer. Si l’Inde peut le faire, et ce malgré la taille de son territoire et l’immense variété de produits qui se concurrencent, pourquoi avons-nous tant de mal ?

La langue de bois est pratiquée « across the board » par ceux qui sont responsables du bien-être des consommateurs. Maurice compte, tant et plus, de « grands défenseurs » des consommateurs. Mais quelle est la dernière bataille remportée par ces soi-disant associations de défense de votre porte-monnaie ? Ce n’est pas facile de répondre à cette question, bien vrai, n’est-ce pas ?

Croyez-vous que ceux qui distribuent les subventions à ces associations ont intérêt à mettre un pied dans la fourmilière ? A chaque fois on entend les mêmes histoires ; on en reprend les mêmes et on recommence. Les années se suivent et se ressemblent: les montants se répartissent entre les associations mais voyez-vous des résultats ? Pourquoi continuer à gaspiller nos impôts pour subventionner des associations qui sont dépassées ?

Les ministres se succèdent. Ils tentent tous de trouver, sans succès, un moyen pour contrôler la marge de profit des commerçants. En mettant en place le MRP, les commerçants tout comme les importateurs connaîtraient immédiatement leur marge de profit. Qu’est-ce qui retient le ministre ?

* Published in print edition on 3 March 2011

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