Monday, April 27, 2015

Shaken Sikkim to propitiate guardian deities to keep State and its people safe

Rebuilding from the devastation of the 18 Sept 2011 earthquake is still a work in progress in Sikkim. It will also not be untrue to suggest that the Sikkimese had barely gotten over the trauma of that earthquake that the horrors of the Nepal temblor invaded their homes over the weekend. The Nepal quake of 25 April rattled homes in Sikkim even though a bulk of its destructive force was cushioned by the granite bulwark of the Khangchendzonga and its attendant mountains of the Singalila range. Since then the visuals of the devastation in neighbouring Nepal and the roll of the aftershocks have kept Sikkim on tenterhooks. The sense of fear is apparent in the near hysteria with which Sikkim empties out into the streets with every aftershock. Given the jumpy nerves around, it is perhaps apt that apart from awareness generation on disaster mitigation and preparedness, the State Government has also now decided to propitiate the State’s guardian deities to keep Sikkim safe. “The Sikkimese people have a strong belief and faith in our deities. In the wake of the tragedy that struck Nepal and some parts of our country, the State Government has felt it pertinent to seek refuge in the propitiation of our deities,” informs an official press communiqué received from the Ecclesiastical Affairs Department. Sikkim, incidentally, is the only State of India to boast of an Ecclesiastical Affairs Department. This Department, the press release informs, has “requested high incarnate Rinpoches  to perform all necessary rituals and pujas to prevent  the occurrence of  natural disasters and to protect the people from calamities”.

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