India : Waiting for God

Teenager participating at a religious procession in honour of the hindu god Rama. Rajasthan, India.

Rama and Hanuman, two of the most popular hindu gods, have a diificult task ahead. A judge of the indian state of Jharkhand has summoned them to help resolve a property dispute that is 25 years old. He has isssued advertisements in newspapers asking the deities to appear before the court personally. They have to appear soon because the judge said that letters adressed to them had gone unanswered. The judge presides over a fast track court in Dhanbad. The dispute concerns the ownership of a 1.4 acre plot with two temples. The temple priest claims the land belongs to him. Locals say it belongs to the two deities. The two sides first went to court in 1987. Some years ago, the dispute was settled in favour of the locals. Then the priest challenged the verdict. The judge notices to the deities were returned as the addresses were found to be “incomplete”. This prompted him to put out adverts in local newspapers. So far no one has responded.

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