After Karnataka government agreed that Lingayats as separate religion and sent recommendation to the Central government to accept its plea, Lingayat religion, became a talking point in the social media and in the real world.
I spoke to two professors who had deeply researched in religion and culture. Prof M N Mahadevappa has sent me many notes and spoke to me in detail on rituals of Lingayats.
Prof Sarvanan who heads the Saiva Siddhantha department in the Madras University busted many myths.
Essence of what both of them said:
1)There is no separate religion called Hindu.
2)Saivism, Vaishavism, Gowmaram, Saktham, Ganapathiyam, Sowravam are six different religions which were later clubbed together as hinduism for political reasons and administration.
2)Lingayats wear lingam in their chains but the linga that is seen in Saiva temple is different one. People often mix this fact
3)Lingayats are represented as sub caste in hinduism now whereas Basavanna who introduced this religion was very much against the caste system and varnasirma dharma.
I was in Theni two days back to cover the aftermath of Kurangani forest fire in which 16 trekkers had died in the accident. I met families of victims, doctors, nurses, Kurangani tribals, ambulance and taxi drivers, reporters from other media houses. Tears of the families, love and care of doctors, commitment of ambulance drivers, anxiety of reporters are still fresh in my memory.
Couple of incidents bothered me much.
I was in the same flight in which the family of one of the fire accident victims also travelled to Madurai. I couldnt find words to talk to the father of the victim. He said his daughter promised to return within day and even spoke to him that she had almost completed the trek.
While many journalists were waiting outside the mortuary, one journalist entered the hall, where family members were waiting to receive the bodies of their loved ones, kept questioning the distressed persons. Until a young woman shouted at him and asked him to leave, he was asking questions and taking notes. I felt bad about the behavior of the journalist.
I am sharing couple of links of the stories I had reported on the incident.
"திங்கட்கிழமை காலையில் வந்துடுறேன் அப்பா!" குரங்கணி காட்டுத் தீ-பிபிசி செய்தியாளரின் அனுபவம்
#கள தகவல்: ''அண்ணா, தீ துரத்திட்டு வருது.. காப்பாத்துங்க''- குரங்கணி சோகம்
தீயில் சிக்கினாலும் குறையாத மன தைரியம்: மீண்டு வர போராடும் அனுவித்யா #GroundReport
It was a wonderful meeting with four little ones from Perambalur district who presented their papers in the National level Children Science Congress held in Chennai.
With tender fingers three kids designed a walker for their differently abled friend and presented the same as their invention in the conference.
Kids were happy that they were able to make for the national level conference. They said when they saw their differently abled friend walked along with them, they were confident that they would win the award.
I wished them well.
I found these kids when the programme was about to complete, but managed to film them within 15 minutes. That was thrilling exercise!!
This part of digital India yet to see a government bus
Hundreds of children lined up for their evaluation at the National children science congress held in Chennai last week.
Mosquito coils made of nochi leaves, solar powered agri vehicles, cost effective easy walker for differently abled children and many more.
One group of tribal children from Andhiyur forest caught my attention. They presented a paper on how lack of government bus service has forced each villager to pay Rs.100 a day to private van service.
These kids calculated how much would it cost for an year for villagers to travel the 60 kms distance in a year. They found out that would be around Rs. ONE CRORE.
I hope these kids would be rewarded for their work. They spent a week in counting people who opt for private van and calculating fares.
Story link: http://www.bbc.com/tamil/india-42294005
Its not the rain but tears of the fishermen families drenched Kanyakumari last week post Ockhi cyclone. I heard horror tales of fishermen who witnessed deaths of their friend, relative in the mid sea while waiting for rescue boat or helicopter.
One man told me his son in law died infront of his eyes and he returned him and couldnt find words to give any hope to his daughter, a mother of two children now.
After interviews, questions raised by widows in those families echoed in my ears again and again. The images of those women and children disturbed me.
Story link :
I traveled from South of Chennai to the North last Friday to gather details on flooding in various parts of Chennai.
Packed my bags and took the help of an automan to ride from one end to another end.
Stopped to click and get bytes from people who were on streets, inside flooding houses and struggling to ride their bikes.
Adyar, Saidapet, Marina and the took the straight road to Royapuram, then to Vysarpadi, Tiruvotiryur and to Kodungaiyur.
Two little kids in Kodungaiyur asked me about my camera, they were excited about holding a mic. I recorded their byte. Though they were upset about snake entering their homes, they were happy about one thing, riding their cycles in the knee deep water.
Spoke to city corporation commissioner, ministers, sanitary workers about relief measures.
I had one question for which I did not get a proper answer: Why same areas are getting flooded in the same manner every year, why couldn't we map those areas properly and fix loopholes at one go?
My news report published in Tamil: