ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design

41. The Wrath of the Goddess

illustrazione: su sfondo arancione due occhi adirati di una divinità femminile

Eight hundred years ago, in Alaknanda, there was a terrible deluge that destroyed the temple of the goddess Dhari. The idol of the goddess was dragged by water and got stuck between two rocks, near a little village. The inhabitants heard the goddess’ complaints and recovered the statue.

Then, Dhari Devi rested in the Char Dham pilgrimage site.
Or better: she used to rest there: on June the 16th 2013, she was moved to a higher side of the vale, since the rivers were about to swell again and there was the project of an hydro-electric implant going on. The removal of the statue, said many newspaper and many people there, awakened the anger of the goddess, a manifestation of goddess Kali, the destroyer. That must have been the reason of the flood in Uttarakhand, and many witness tell that as long as the statue was removed from the pedestal, the sky turned black and it started to rain.
According to the myth, the wrath of the goddess was unleashed against a demon, eternal enemy by many shapes. In this case, the demon was humankind, and its obsession was concrete. For the most rational of us, it was nature himself to raise against the humans: deforestation, house build inside rivers, streets badly built on slopes and many other reasons (hydroelectric plants, dams…)
Himalaya is a young mountain chain, with precarious weather and still struck by earthquakes and landslip. The tragedy, of course, was not predictable, but on the other hand we can almost tell that humans are to blame for that. A lack of attention towards the ambient encouraged the spoiling of natural resources and the growth of religious fanatism.
The wild environment exploitation is not uncommon for Uttarakhand’s mountains. In the seventies, one of the first environmentalist groups of India generated the Chipko movement, headed by women of the vale that hugged trees to prevent them from being cut down. (see Vadana Shiva’s interview)

Hindu’s faith is not decreased in any way. The legend of Dhari Devi offers a very Indian reading key of the happenings. Just like the perfect condition of Shiva’s idols in the destroyed Kedarnath temple.
It would be awesome if the strength of the myths could boost the respect for nature. But the thirst for money and energy is stronger now, and not in this part of the world only. Otherwise, how can the most holy river in India be also the most polluted?

 

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