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June 20th, 2013

Rolling for Rahul…(& pass the sick bag while you’re at it, please)

I am not making this up, I swear I am not.

Can you credit it?



You have to laugh, simply because this is so barking. So patently daft. So utterly pointless.  And also, to be honest, creepily sycophantic.

But, please, please, please, if I have misunderstood the whole thing and there is some deep meaning, some major significance attached to rolling around in honour of someone, won’t you please enlighten me ?

Is there some profound spiritual significance here (other than sycophantic self abasement) that I, as a mere foreigner, have missed?

I await your replies…



6 comments to Rolling for Rahul…(& pass the sick bag while you’re at it, please)

  • somaz


    Looks like Perur temple and folks do it to seek blessing like kids wedding etcmm this is just plain kiss-ass. As a matter of fact the last dude is someone who works there I think, as I hv seen him do this often.
    Good one

  • Beatrix

    You mean sycophantic self-abasement isn’t profoundly spiritual?
    Oh come on, you seriously did not know that gestures of servile devotion & sacrifice are ‘the order of the day’ among Dravidian political parties?
    Rolling on the ground ain’t nothin’!
    Now if they were REALLY resolved they’d slice off their tongue or ‘self immolate’ to promote their political cause!!!
    Check it out-
    “Jayalalithaa helps woman who sliced off tongue to celebrate her poll victory”

  • SRC

    I love ritual so I love all this stuff, as long as I don’t have to do them, or at least get to pick and choose which one. Rolling while circling the temple (shayana pradakshinam) is a very popular ritual in the South Indian worship tradition. I have helped a friend do this in the Malai Mandir (RK Puram) in Delhi who had gone to give thanks for her mother’s recovery from a car accident. Fascinating, repulsive, extreme, all at the same time. And about sycophancy, even as a lover of rituals and tradition, I can’t think of one popular religious tradition that isn’t deeply sycophantic – kowtowing to Mecca, kissing the pope’s ring, etc.

  • christine

    Thank you so much for putting all this in such intelligent context, and I fully take your point about what I suppose is global sycophancy. It’s just that God is one thing and Rahul-baba is another…
    And (being crassly opportunistic here) if ever there is another shayana pradakshinam at Malai Mandir, won’t you please let me know? I would love to witness one.

  • SRC

    Absolutely, will let you know if I hear via my friend of any upcoming ceremonies (I am not South Indian so it was new to me, too). I went with her some years ago, we went very early in the morning because when the temple gets crowded it is not possible to do this ritual. And my job was to walk while she rolled and guide her away from sharp edges and to keep her within the perimeter.

  • christine

    Brilliant! Live close by, am an early bird, so now I shall just wait for your summons!

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