At a time when India’s federal government seems to be silent on what's perceived as the slowing economy, the county's saints have taken it on themselves to seek divine intervention to remedy the perceived economic malaise.
Saints in the holy city of Prayagraj, in northern Uttar Pradesh, have invoked good times for the economy by worshipping 54 tridents - a weapon that Lord Shiva, from the triad of Hindu gods, carries.
Maheshwara Deva Trident Symbolize— Rani Selvi Sundaram (@SundaramSelvi) January 11, 2020
Maheshwara Holds Trident called Trishul. The Trident is Dhanu
Trishul Represents Maheshwara 3 Aspects of
"Creation - Preservation - Destruction"
Maheshwara Deva Trishul also Represents the 3 Gunas of "Satvik - Rajasik - Tamasik" pic.twitter.com/SbTyBH9KDI
At an ongoing congregation of saints on the occasion of Magh Mela – the annual cultural and spiritual festival in the month of Magha (January/February) as per the Hindu calendar, saints have worshipped 54 tridents.
All the tridents have been smeared with red vermilion and offered to the Goddess Lakhsmi – the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, with a plea to bestow economic well-being and help India out of its slowdown.
The worship was performed by one Mouni Maharaj of Paramhans hermitage in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh state. Mouni Maharaj told media, “I am trying to please and seek benevolence from the Goddess Lakshmi. This will help improve the economic situation in the country.”
Mouni Maharaj said 54 red coloured tridents were offered to please the goddess, and the deity was invoked thrice daily for the purpose of economic well-being.
In New Delhi, however, the Modi government which had been completely silent on the economic crisis is preparing the annual budget, which will be tabled in parliament by the federal Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. It remains to be seen what solutions Sitharaman offers to the economic troubles that run deep in the Indian economy.
All the macroeconomic indicators, meanwhile, reveal a gloomy picture. From a high of 8 per cent in April-June of 2018, India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has almost halved to 4.5 per cent during July-September of 2019. The impact of the slowdown is multiplied by rising inflation.
According to government data, the retail inflation rate in the month of December touched 7.35 per cent compared with 5.54 per cent in November. Similarly, India's wholesale price index-based inflation zoomed to 2.59 per cent in December 2019 against 0.58 per cent in November.