TODAY -

Polling : 5th March too is religious

Free Thinker *



Have you heard of Shani Dev and Saroi khangba ? Saroi Kangba is the day on which the spirits and malevolent energy are appeased or fed by our priestesses, mothers and grandmothers at the crossroads , so that they donít harm humans .

Saroi khangba is performed on the first Saturday and last Saturday in the month of Lamta ( normally the month of March ). The 5th March, which is the second polling day, is the first Saturday of Lamta month and first Saroi khangba day . Normally people are asked not to move out of their homes on this day because of the presence of hostile energy around (Belief).

As far as local folklore is concerned one Henjunaha , a handsome young boy was killed by the baleful spirits on one of the Saturdays of Lamta tha ( March ). It is believed that his soul was snatched by the spirits . Since then our ancestors and grandparents have been warning us not to venture out on Saturdays in the month of March, particularly at night.

And they also started a ritual since time immemorial to offer the best seasonal flowers, vegetables, fruits, grains, fish to the unknown forces and spirits. This ritual, Saroi Khangba is conducted in every locality by the mothers and grandmothers with or without priestess.

The oldest of them would lead the spiritual procession towards a junction of three roads for the ritual. This is to drive away or appease the spirits and negative energy.

Again, according to the Hindu tradition Saturday is the day of Lord Shani , a powerful god of Justice in the pantheon. When he is angry, he can destroy everyone/ anyone. Only Lord Hanuman can save from the rage of Shani ji. Perhaps Shani Maharaj respects Hanuman ji as He is immortal and also the incarnation of Lord Shiva.

A particular Polling day has been postponed in Punjab as it falls on a religious day. Respecting the religious sentiment of the people of Punjab, date is changed.

Now, here in Manipur since 27 February is Sunday, religious day (prayer day) the polling has been postponed to Monday, the 28th February. Monday is the day of Lord Shiva; it seems the competent authority has little or no consideration for Lord Shiva and his Bhaktas.

Election Commission of India , ECI had already made the announcement regarding the schedule for Manipur State Assembly polls by a circular on 8th Jan 2022. As per the notifications issued later on 1st Feb and 4th Feb the first phase polling will take place on 27 Feb. and second phase polling shall be on 4th March 2022 respectively.

ECI team a few days back visited Manipur on 7 & 8th Feb, to see the progress and preparedness of the polls and hustings. They had a fruitful tete-a-tete with the State government representatives including the Chief Secretary, DGP, Chief Electoral Officers and other agencies and representative of political parties. I donít know whether BJP representative was there or not.

ECI having considered all the inputs and representations, ground realities and facts and circumstances of the matter has decided under Section 153 of the Representation of the Peopleís Act , 1951 to revise the polling dates of the General Election of Manipur Legislative Assembly. The first phase election polling shall be held now on Monday, 28th Feb. 2022, instead of Sunday , the 27th Feb, 2022.

And the Second phase polling will be held on Saturday, the 5th March 2022 in place of Thursday, the 3rd March 2022. Thursday is the day of Lord Vishnu; the competent authority has respected Lord Vishnu , fine , the Bhaktas will be happy . What about Shiv bhaktas- now the first polling is on Monday; and what about Shani bhaktas as the second polling is fixed on Saturday.

It is again the day of Sani Maharaja ; the Govt and ECI official perhaps have forgotten the significance of Lord Shani . We have very few Shani Temples ; that does not mean that this god is not worshipped . Once Shani ji is provoked or shown disrespect the result will be disastrous. Moreover the Saroi Ngaroi of Lamta Thangja ( Spirits of Saturday in March) may create havoc.

So, if we want to avoid any untoward incidents on 5th March(Saturday ĖLamta Thangja- Saroi Khangba day) , which is the polling day of the second phase election , I am pleading the ECI and the competent authorities to change the date to 7th March, which is Monday the innocuous day of Shiv ji, who has no ego or pride .

He will accept the schedule. Rather he will be happy to see a sea of people roaming around the streets with some cash in hand enjoying good food and drinks offered by Parties and Candidates.

But still I canít understand the Constitutional logic of fixing and refixing polling dates on the basis of holy days. Every day is a holy day or religious day. Then, why polling is held on Saturday which is Shani day and also Saroi Khangba day and why on Monday which is again Shiva Ji ka deen (though He is extremely liberal and accommodative)!


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on February 14 2022 .



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