Monday, January 08, 2007

Ganges too polluted to defecate in, say Sadhus

The All India Association of Sadhus, Swamis and Snake Oil Sellers (or NAMBLA), has claimed that the extraordinary degree of pollutedness of the Ganges river is severely affecting their ability to use its water for their daily toiletry.

In a press statement, the committee of visibly constipated Godmen declared that the huge amount of pre-existing fecal matter in the water of the river, along with fertilizers and pesticides, was making it hazardous to use this water as a medium for cleaning excrement off their bodies. As a result, many of them had not had an opportunity to empty their bowels into the depths of the river, thus adding to the health risk. This problem was causing particular hardship to the millions of Hindu devotees who throng the banks of the river this time of year during the Ardha Kumbh Mela to perform a ritual discharge of their waste into its putrid but soul-purifying waters.

The polluted waters have also been blamed for an increase in the occurrence of skin diseases. Earlier, the only skin diseases caused were those that were passed from one bathing devotee to another. Now however, the water itself brings forth the microbes that cause these maladies.

Other Sadhus have also expressed apprehension regarding the future of their own remains once they have passed on to the next life. Many Hindu holy men prefer to incinerate their mortal remains on the banks of the river and disperse their ashes into its waters, a process which reportedly guarantees them rich dividends in the heavenly afterlife. However, with the river being dangerously polluted, these Sadhus are now reluctant to share its water space with foreign feculence not of their own making.

Maintaining a united stand on the issue, the Association of Sadhus has threatened that if the government were not to take immediate and drastic steps towards cleansing the river, all ten million of its members would boycott the Mela this year and refuse to deposit their body waste into its waters, eternal salvation be damned.

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