Tuesday 6 September 2022


Tradition associated with Onam Festival is in fact the remembrance of a bygone era ruled by the legendary King Mahabali (also known as Maveli in Malayalam language). It is believed that he ruled the part of earth now known as southern part of India, particularly Kerala, nicknamed as God’s own country. He was a kind, righteous, secular and moral king. In his kingdom, all were treated equally not like the present legal (de jure) equality but factual (de facto) equality. His country was prosperous and wealth was equally distributed and not accumulated by handful persons. Therefore, there was no corruption, theft, etc. in those days. Jealous of his popularity, his enemies dethroned him by deceit taking advantage of his generosity and charity nature. Thus the era of corruption and all kinds of vices started then onward.

When he was dethroned by his enemies and sent him to underground (Pathal), he begged with them for visiting his People at least once in a year. He was so attached to his people. His request was allowed. Onam is in memory of that annual visit. Hence it is treated as a secular Kerala State festival and celebrated by all people of Kerala irrespective caste, creed or religion. To my knowledge, it is also celebrated in other parts of India by different communities on different names.

India Government also declared one day as Vigilance day annually  as a way of making aware of the people the evils of corruption. On that day anti-corruption Oath is taken by Government servants. But in most of the cases it is a mockery – a corrupt higher officer administering the oath to his corrupt subordinates pledging that they would not indulge in any corrupt practices. So this Vigilance Day is only a farce ceremony without yielding any result.

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