Friday, May 28, 2010

Diwali demon-slaying tradition triggered Goa blast?- Hindustan Times

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    • It said the Sanstha wanted the government to either ban such celebration/competitions or prevent the very organisation of such competitions.

      According to historian Prajal Sakhardande, the slaying of Narakasura during Diwali, is a tradition unique to Goa.

      "Elsewhere in the country, it is Ravana who is slain during Diwali, in Goa it is the Narakasura," Sakhardande said.

      Narrating the Narkasura myth, the Goa-based historian said that the demon had once captured some 15,000 women and made them slaves, then Lord Krishna slayed him and freed his captives.

      "To express their gratitude, the women lit lamps to symbolise the victory of good over evil, which is what Diwali is about," Sakhardande said.

      But the Sanstha feels the practice has acquired a different dimension over the years.

      "We are opposed to the celebration of the demon. In some competitions, thousands of rupees are given in reward to those groups who make the biggest or the best looking effigies of Narakasura. That's what we are opposing," a senior Sanstha member said, echoing sentiments often expressed in the Sanatan Prabhat, a daily newspaper run by the Sanstha, during Diwali.

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