Legend Of Milagres Saibinn
I wonder how many of our Catholics who celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Miracles (Milagres Saibinn) in Mapusa every year on the second Monday after Easter, are aware of how the sister of the Hindu goddess Lairai came to be worshipped as ‘Milagres Saibinn’ in the church of St Jerome in Mapusa. Legend has it that Lairai, along with her six sisters, came to Goa from across the Sahayadri range, and settled in different parts of the state. Prominent among them was Lairai who settled at Shirgao in Bicholim taluka, and Mirabai who settled in Mapusa. Somehow during the Portuguese era, Mirabai got transformed into ‘Milagres Saibinn’ and is worshipped by thousands of Catholics and Hindus every year by pouring oil over her head, while Lairai is worshipped as goddess at Shirgao by the Dhonds, who walk over the burning coals to show their devotion. Such a practice has reinforced earlier belief held by certain Christian sects that Mother Mary of the Bible is different from Mother Mary of the Catholic Church. Can we expect some clarification on the subject by the church in Goa?
A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM
On Outrage And Selectivity
THIS is in response to Samir Khan’s letter titled ‘Public outcry against rapes isn’t selective’ (NT, April 20, 2018). Khan’s letter was in response to Sujit De’s letter. De is absolutely correct when he states that protest against rapes in India is selective based on the class, economy and demographic status of the victims. The ‘collective conscience’ of the nation awakened overnight following the brutal gang rape and murder of a physiotherapy intern in a moving bus in December 2012. But previous to that incident and following that gang rape case, innumerable gang rapes and murders of hapless girls and minors had taken place in various parts of this ‘great liberal’ land. But hardly had the country erupted in anger! Even when any girl of a Delhi slum gets raped or the victim happens to be hailing from the North-East, Delhi and the nation prefer to look at the other way. Does it imply that that only when a horrific case gets registered in New Delhi (or Mumbai and Bangalore) with the victim being a local medical student or journalist and their perpetrators hailing from ‘low class’, India and Delhi think it fit to protest? And Kathua incident proves that when fangs of religious intolerance bring another dimension to gang rape, vehement protests get lodged. Of course all sane persons should protest against the inhuman torture and murder of that eight-year-old little flower and its perpetrators need to be hanged to death, but when the little kid of the poorest of the poor family gets kidnapped from her footpath shanty and gang raped in car throughout the night and the body gets thrown in a canal after her murder, far from ‘collective conscience’ of the nation getting ‘hurt’, not minimum murmur gets witnessed in the society, not a single candle gets lighted in the honour of that unfortunate girl!
KAJAL CHATTERJEE, KOLKATA