Villagers in rural Odisha seem to be passing through an embarrassing phase after panchayat elections. Villagers divided into multiple groups fought elections during two months. A few candidates won while several bit the dust. But the elections left behind indelible divide. For next months, villagers who positioned themselves in different political poles will be finding it difficult to unite for common cause. As per reports, many villagers are deferring their marriage ceremonies apprehending non-cooperation from their neighbours.
But veterans of many elections hope that villagers would get back to normal talking terms once they approach crop season. But now the divide among villagers is so deep that people have stopped visiting their houses of neighbours.
Those who still have doubts regarding old adage ‘pen is mightier than sword', should remember that in this present world at times journalists can be mighty enough to make deities wait for their arrival for the rituals. On the day of Shivaratri special ritualistic ‘abhishek' was scheduled to be held at several Shirdi Sai Baba temples in the city. Persons at the helm of management of these temples showed extra interest in having this ritual at their temple reported in the media. For it they were in regular touch with media cameramen and reporters. After visits to several Shiva and Shirdi Sai temples the group of media personnel had sat down to cool up. It did not stop authorities to call them up. When the media men replied that they may be late the answer from other side was, “They would surely delay the abhishek of the deity till arrival of persons who will report the event”. It again proved that in this era of publicity men in media are surely more powerful than the traditional devotees as they can make the deities wait for them.
(Satyasundar Barik and Sib Kumar Das)