Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

People keep wild elephants away by worshipping

By Correspondent

JORHAT, Sept 2 � Elephants have been worshipped by the people here from time immemorable and this tradition is still continuing to stop the men-elephant conflict in the riverine areas near the biggest river island Majuli. At a time when the men-elephant conflict on the rise in these areas and the forest department has almost failed to stop the wild herd of elephants living permanently in the Chapories of the river Brahamaputra , the people here have tried to keep the heard of wild jumbos away from their residential areas by worshipping the animal these days.

Yesterday, at Kemeri Chapori, under Numaligarh forest beat office people unitedly offered worship to the wild elephants to leave the place. And according to the version of the eye witness, the elephants crossed a stream last night and went to another nearby Chapori. From this observation people of other chapories and localities adopted the same method to satisfy the elephant-god.

Today, at Dhodang Chapori too people have organised a 'Gorokhiya Sakam', a worship done by the cowherds to keep the herd of wild titans away. For several months, the elephants have been doing enormous harm to the cowsheds in the Dhodang Chapori here. As the Chapori was the centre of the production of milk in the district, huge portion of milk used to come from it to the town. But due to the terror caused by the wild elephants there, the 'Khuti' (cowshed) where the cows and buffelos were kept have gradually become deserted. The supply of milk from the region was also reduced day by day. In such a situation people there have no other way left except offering prayer to the wild elephants.

Only in Jorhat district, as many as six persons were killed by the wild tuskers during this year. Likewise, several elephants also got wounded in the hands of men. One of such elephants wounded by spears was rescued by the forest department a few days ago from the Hatishal area here. Both the constructing methods of doing harm to the animal and making prayer to it have been going on parallelly among the people for the same purpose of keeping the wild jumbos away.

According to the source of the forest department, a herd comprising of more than 80 elephants have been roaming over the riverrine areas. They have acquired an unnatural food habit. They mainly live on the paddy kept in the granaries of the people there. The chapories full of reeds and wild shrubs have become their comfortable shelter.

According to a folk belief in Assam, elephant is considered to be the representative of 'Burha Dangoria', a kind of gentle spirit (god) who does not inflict harm to the people in general. He does harm only when he is enraged by the activities of the people. People still in the villages of Assam worship the elephant with great devotion.

Next Story