Hindu priests concluded a nine day ritual this past Monday. What was the point of the ritual? They were praying to the gods to ameliorate the problem of air pollution. What was a major component of the ritual? They burned hundreds of mango trees.
India topped the list of countries with deaths tied to air pollution in 2015, with 2.5 million deaths. With air pollution being such a huge problem there it makes sense to try and come up with solutions.
350 priests burning hundreds of mango trees in this prayer ritual was not a solution, and instead they added to the problem by burning an estimated 55 tons of wood in their useless ritual.
Environmentalists were quick to speak out against the ritual. But the priests really believed that they were helping the environment. Girish Bansal, the vice president of the group behind the ritual, told the Indian Express, “Our scriptures dictate that a hawan [prayer ceremony] helps purify the air and if we keep doing this, air pollution will reduce considerably. We are doing our bit towards mankind, flora and fauna and the environment.”
Well, Girish, your scriptures are nonsense. Try reading some more books, preferably non-fiction.
The ritual, known as Mahayagya, was held in Meerut, a city in northern India. Hindu priests often perform such rituals to pray for things like rainfall or good luck. The ironic nature of their goals and methods in this case has made it a newsworthy event.
In an attempt to quell the angry criticisms from environmentalists, Om Prakash, the religious head of the group, told the Indian Express, "The smoke from the hawan is not harmful because of ingredients used — desi ghee has come from desi cows in Karnal. This is not like the smoke from factories, it’s pure. It’s also because of the chanting.” Yes, he really said that because of their magic butter the smoke from the ritual was completely harmless.
The amount of asinine nonsense here really is kind of mind-boggling. These people are so deluded by their religion, so ignorant of reality, that they think burning hundreds of trees while praying to Hanuman or Krishna will magically make smog go away. This kind of ludicrous thinking is not just delusional, in a country where 2.5 million people are dying from air pollution this kind of thinking is dangerous.