After Dussehra, it is commonplace in Goa to find youth engaged in making effigies of Narkasur, channelling their imagination to create some impressive works of art. According to tradition, the effigies are meant to be burnt to ashes in the early hours of the day of Diwali to symbolically portray the victory of good over evil, light over darkness.
But in recent times, this practice of making Narkasur effigies has taken a central position during the festival of Diwali, sidelining the positive and noble message that righteousness always triumphs over evil.
Instead of holding Krishna as an ideal and appreciating his valour in defeating the cruel Narkasur and saving hundreds of women from his clutches, the inclination is more to focus on Narkasur, who is meant to be despised. It gives one insight into the mindset of people in these times when they veer towards mindlessly glorifying that which represents the dark side.
A few days back, a Goan politician made a statement discouraging the making and promotion of Narkasur effigies, saying that people, especially the younger generation, should derive inspiration from Krishna. Some of the youth and people were unhappy about this statement which was followed by hundreds of memes ridiculing the politician circulating on social media platforms. Some social media influencers rubbished this view by making parody videos and supporting the exaltation of their beloved demon king Narkasur.
Our younger generation should understand the main reason these festivals are celebrated is to remind society to uphold what is positive and good in life while shunning wickedness which is synonymous with Narkasur.
Some would argue that the Narkasur effigies provide the youth a space to display their talent. But to what good? Lakhs of rupees are invested in the making of these effigies. Then on the day of Narkasur vadh, the youth indulge in unlimited alcohol, rash driving, loud music and dance before the Narkasur effigy. Surely, this is not an authentic representation of the festival of lights.
During this Diwali, let good sense prevail, and let us devote our energy and time to cultivating loving relationships. Let us come together to help the needy, and bring the light of positivity and happiness into their lives.
May this Diwali bring happiness, harmony and wisdom to everyone.