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Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Tragedy January 14, 2011 – More than 100 dead – One more addition to the long list of Temple Stampedes in India– When will we awake?

In a temple tragedy on Friday, January 14, 2011 at the famous Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala more than 100 pilgrims have died in a stampede – the pilgrims numbering more than 200,000 were returning from Pullumedu in Idukki after witnessing the Makaravilakku and Makarajyothi on January 14, 2011. More than a million devotees had gathered in and around the mountains in Sabariamala to witness the annual Makaravilakku and Makarajyothi which concludes the two month long pilgrimage, which is believed to be the second largest pilgrimage in the world.
Temple stampedes during festivals and auspicious days is nothing new in India. (Naina Devi Temple tragedy in 2008 – 145 Dead, Wai Temple Stampede in 2005 – 265 dead, Chamunda temple at Jodhpur (2008) – 147 dead, 63 after a temple gate crashed in UP in 2010...the list is endless.
Government, politicians and public react to such incidents with usual statements and immediately forget about it.
Stampede happens repeatedly and finally we find an easy excuse - insufficient security to control crowds often causes stampedes and deaths.
One life or hundreds of lives lost, we all are responsible for tolerating the lacklustre attitude of temple authorities of some of the most famous shrines in India, which attract millions of people during festivals and other auspicious days.
Money is never a problem for the popular shrines in India but the problem is in the attitude of government, local authorities and temple authorities – the appalling apathy shown towards poor Hindu pilgrims. The ‘WHO CARES’ attitude has to stop.
Just at Sabarimala temple – the revenue is expected to be more than 100 crore – 1 Billion Rupees. Where is all this money going?
At this moment we can only pray for those that lost their precious lives in the tragedy at Sabarimala on January 14, 2011.
But we need to wake up and do something for the numerous stampedes that are in the waiting?