Thaipusam fever has begun. Already devotees are embarking on fasts and other austerities leading up to Thaipusam 2016.
A recap of Thaipusam 2015 and will Thaipusam 2016 be its toe through?
Thaipusam 2015 was perhaps the best Thaipusam ever happened in recent times – controlled, calm and collected. No fights, kepak dance, newfangled and outlandish kavadis, vuvuzela blaring and colourful Mohawk wigs donning machas, machas disturbing girls, alcoholism and major embarrassments.
Though, common problems like littering, wastage of perfectly edible food given by the temples and annadhanam (food donation) from devotees, gang operated illegal parking fee collection and remnants of the attributes mentioned above persist. Whether or not these problems would significantly reduce in Thaipusam 2016 remains to be seen.
Thaipusam 2016 – the change
Yet, what’s important is following 2015’s Thaipusam’s success to Thaipusam 2016. The festivities of Thaipusam have started leading up to Thaipusam 2016 and various volunteer groups have already begun to operate at Lord Muruga’s major thiruthalam across the country. These people are doing what they do to keep Thaipusam 2016 smooth and in accordance with the tacks a Hindu religious festival ought to be celebrated and determining righteous devotee behaviour.
Besides Thaipusam Task Force that is already operating in Batu Caves, Kallumalai temple, Ipoh and Thannirmalai, Penang to regulate Thaipusam 2016 festivities, a whopping amount of police and army are deployed due to ISIS threat. The pics below circulated in social media are currently heightening the fear of possible terror attacks on Thaipusam 2016 people packed venues.
But, if ISIS plans an attack on Thaipusam 2016, they would want to blend with the crowd, not stand out and be easily identified. That’s the challenge for PDRM, to find wolves in sheep’s clothing. As usual, Hindu Indians no use their brains and overreact. Paris attackers were dressed normally, like the average Parisians. Of course there’s ISIS threat and it’s very real as Thaipusam is a festivals where people throng but common sense tells you that attackers will be discreet, not explicit.
And then there’s Litter Free campaign to reduce littering. The volunteers ensure that no garbage bins overflow so that their use for garbage dumping can be maximized. They also encourage those thronging to Thaipusam bring their own garbage bags, chuck their used end rubbish into them and go home and dump them at home.
Littering during Thaipusam is an image problem for Hindu Indians in Malaysia – the next day, all the other races will see what the Hindu Indians left behind on the road – trash. So, in order to preserve our stature, don’t litter – it’s an entreat.
Amid all these, a comedy happened. Apparently, Batu Caves Murugan statue has a potbelly and it needs to be replaced by 6 packs. Apparently, Muruga is a warrior god, not a god who thinnutu, thinnutu thoongerethu (eat and sleep) so him having a belly is an insult to his devotees and Tamils. A relatively unknown NGO came up with this idea only to get thuppu (insult) from our makkal.
Thaipusam 2016 and the Malaysian Indian Hindu community
A significant chunk of our community believes that golden behaviour on Thaipusam is vital. I agree wholeheartedly. But, how about the rest of the days?A 16 year old kid was stabbed by 4 Indian men on motorbikes over a dispute of a handphone. There is no point putting on best behaviour for one day then be tharthalai (unruly) for the rest of the year. If you want to ask something from Lord Muruga for Thaipusam 2016, ask Him for him to give nalla buthi (good thinking) for all Malaysian Hindu Indians, especially to machas instead of seeking out ladies wearing jannal vecha jacket (window jackets) and calling the ladies names. Muruga ain’t gon give ya brownie points for the latter.
Vetri Vel Muruganukku, aarogara!!