In a country with 33 crore gods, even a Royal Enfield bullet is worshipped
Local Press Co 5-point Snippet
In the 21st century, people believe what they see. But, for the oldest civilization in the world and the land of diversity, everything in and around nature has a purpose when viewed from the focal point of culture and religion. But, would you believe that in a country that already has 33 crore gods, there are still those who worship a Royal Enfield bike?
The story is actually as crazy as it sounds. Om Banna aka Bullet Banna is a shrine located near Chotila village, in Pali district near Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The temple, which has a 350 cc bullet as a deity, is named after Om Singh Rathore who was travelling on 2nd December, 1988 from Bangdi town near Sanderao of Pali to Chotila on his bullet when he lost control and crashed into a tree. Om Singh lost his life and the motorcycle fell in a nearby ditch.
The next morning, officials from the nearby police station arrived at the spot to survey the location and report the situation at hand. They took the motorcycle, as evidence, to the police station. The cops, however, were baffled when they learnt that the bike had disappeared overnight and made its way to the same ditch next morning. To ensure something of this sort does not happen again, the cops emptied the fuel tank, took the bike to the station and put it under lock & chain. But before dawn, the bike made it’s way to the accident spot once again. The same cycle repeated everything they would move the bike from the ditch.
The local population finally gave in to the mysterious nature of the bike by declaring it a ‘miracle’ and started worshipping ‘the bullet bike’. The incident gained so much popularity that the locals build a temple around the bike in order to worship it. The idea of constructing the temple was given by Anutosh Banerjee and the temple was named the ‘Bullet Baba’s temple’.
Today, Om Banna is worshipped by the travellers and villagers who cross the Pali-Jodhpur highway on a regular basis. It is believed that a good spirit lies at its resting place, and those who don’t bow down to the shrine have bad fortune on their journey. To appease the bullet god, people offer a host of items like alcohol, incense sticks, flowers, coconut etc. In fact, till date, villagers sing folk songs in the memory of Om Singh Rathore.
While at one end Indian scientists at ISRO are venturing into space exploration, there are those in the country who continue to live by the old ways and continue to believe in a greater power. That’s India for you!