The preposterous does not require neutrality

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Times of Sunday, October 4, 2009, reported on the visit to Guyana of Canadian based Pandit Natarajan Shiva Charya. According to Pandit Rudranauth Sharma, one of the spiritual leaders of the Radha Krishna Mandir, the visiting Pandit was invited to “breathe life into the murtis (idols)” at the mandir. Pandit Sharma declared that Pandit Charya specialized in Vedic rituals which allow the invoking of life into the idols which were imported from India.

Pandit Charya, revelling in the credulity of the local flock, gleefully announced his intention to soon return to beautiful Guyana.

As is the wont of Hindu priests who are loath to impart the wisdom of the Vedas to women, the lower classes and other such undeserving beneficiaries, Pandit Charya would not have disclosed the opinion on Pandits contained in the Rig Veda at 10:82-7:

“Those who recite hymns are glutted with the pleasures of life;
they wander about wrapped up in mist and stammering nonsense.”

Guyana Times reported “the miracle mission” deadpan and not in its ‘Believe it or Not’ or humour columns. Newspapers should strive for balanced reporting but the preposterous does not require neutrality.

Would the report on a conference on the Flat Earth Society be reported in the news free of chuckles? How can all of the seemingly intelligent persons who attended the commissioning of the Radha Krishna Mandir sanction this paganistic absurdity?

Perhaps the only positive thing coming out of this fiasco is that the superstitious pandits have succeeded in breathing life into the spirit of skepticism concerning ridiculous claims.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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