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Friday, December 8, 2023

Pastor’s complaint halts Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations in Srungavarapukota, Vizianagaram

In a distressing incident in Srinivasa Colony, Srungavarapukota, Vizianagaram, a local pastor raised objections against the celebration of Ganesh Chathurthi, prompting a series of events that have left the Hindu community feeling aggrieved and their religious festivities disrupted.

The issue began when a group of Hindu youth in the town decided to set up a pandal for the nine-day Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations and to celebrate the festival with devotion and reverence. However, their plans were met with opposition from a local pastor.

The pastor reportedly complained to the police, urging them to prevent the set up of the pandal and insisting that no religious rituals or ceremonies should take place in the vicinity. This complaint raised eyebrows among the Hindu community as the festival is of great cultural and religious significance. 

In a surprising turn of events, the police initially acted against the youth who set up the pandal. They were summoned to the police station, leaving them understandably perplexed and distressed. The situation escalated when elders from the colony intervened and approached the police station to address the issue.

However, it was at this point that the police changed their stance. They shifted their focus to a different concern, requesting that the organisers refrain from using loudspeakers during the celebrations. This abrupt shift in tone did little to alleviate the confusion and frustration of the organisers and the Hindu community.

Subsequently, the youth were once again summoned to the police station, where they were instructed not to proceed with the pandal setup. The reasoning given was that it was unsafe for them to continue their preparations. This decision left the youth and their community disheartened and disconcerted, as their religious freedom was being curtailed.

However, amid this distressing situation, the Vizianagaram Zila Adhyaksha of Adibatla Sri Kalapeetham, Shri Prakash Sharma, and others stepped in to support the beleaguered Hindu youth. 

The incident has raised concerns and provoked outrage within the Hindu community. Hindus question the legitimacy of the pastor’s complaint, who is allegedly backed by the Chief Minister, leading to such drastic measures by the authorities. A festival that lasts just nine days should be allowed to proceed peacefully, as has been the tradition, without unnecessary interference.

It is worth noting that the pastor in question has previously been a source of disturbance in the village and it is reported that he regularly employs loudspeakers to deliver sermons and religious messages on Sundays, disrupting the tranquility of the entire locality. This situation has prevailed throughout the year, prompting concerns about the level of tolerance and understanding exhibited.

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