Only Lord Neelkanth knows why | india | Hindustan Times
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Only Lord Neelkanth knows why

Pardon our shortcomings on matters socio-cultural, but isn?t Lord Shiva supposed to be one God who revels in what a French poet once called ?the derangement of the senses??

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 03:07 IST

Pardon our shortcomings on matters socio-cultural, but isn’t Lord Shiva supposed to be one God who revels in what a French poet once called “the derangement of the senses”? If the popular perception of Shiva a.k.a Neelkanth a.k.a. Nataraja is to be perpetuated, one would have thought that Shivratri was a day of merriment. After all, not only does it mark the day the good lord was married to Parvati, but it’s also when Shiva manifested himself in the form of the lingam, Herr Sigmund Freud be damned. But if one was to go by the Delhi Department of Excise, yesterday wasn’t only not any other Sunday for Delhiites, but it was also a day when one was officially disallowed from partaking in Bholanath-style festivities. Yes, lucky ones outside Delhi, Shivratri was a ‘dry day’ in the capital.

Although it never stops true-blue Shaivites from partaking in their master’s favoured substance of choice (so what if the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act is fuddy-duddy on such matters), the less far-out of us were denied even a semblance of Shivratri celebrations.

The problem — if you didn’t stock up at home or visit your regular VAT-effected resto-bar yesterday — is that the excise department likes using the ‘dry day’ Brahmastra all too frequently. While the logic for a day’s prohibition may be to dissuade liquor-fuelled lumpen behaviour, how ‘wet days’ are more ‘dangerous’ than ‘dry days’ is anybody’s guess. It’s more likely that the government wants us to observe all religious festival days by complete sobriety, even if Shiva himself kicks up a tandava about it. The concept of ‘dry days’ is political correctness gone batty. One just hopes that the boys in the Delhi Excise Department don’t start forcing an October 2 every December 24 evening.